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Purchased at Sotheby's, February 1973, Lot 229. Ex. Gerald Mungeam collection.

Physical Description

The hilt consists of a steel bowl guard incised with shell designs and terminating in a wide scroll quillon. There are short langets of characteristic English form. The wooden grip is fluted, bound with an iron ferrule and surmounted by a long-necked brass pommel and round top nut pierced for a tommy bar enabling it to be unscrewed from the blade so the sword my be dismantled. Between the grip and the guard is a boat-shaped block. The pommel is in the form of a lion's head merging with scrolled foliage. It is of brass. The IBE mentions traces of silvering.

The straight blade has a 38 mm (1.5 in) ricasso and thereafter is saw-backed for about 7/8 of its length with a false edge for the last 11 mm (4.3 in). It has on both sides, at the back, a medium fuller flanked by two narrower fullers running to the end of the saw-back. A third narrow fuller by the forward edge runs the length of the ricasso. It is signed in the fullers 'IOHAN KINNDT' (or John Kennet) on the inside and 'FECIT LONDON' on the outisde both inscriptions punctuated by five-dot crosses.


Dimensions: Overall length: 785 mm (30.75 in), blade length: 64 mm (25.5 in), blade width: 30 mm (1.15 in) Weight: 825 g (1 lb 14 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On the tang, inside, stamped: a unicorn's head (the mark of Clemens Horn of Solingen).


Bibliographic References

F. Wilkinson, Edged Weapons, London, Guiness Signatures, 1970, p. 87, fig. 76.

Anthony North, 'Hounslow hangers', The Spring 2004 London Park Lane Arms Fair, 2004, pp. 34-38, at p. 36, fig. 3 (no discussion in text).

C Mazansky, British basket-hilted swords. A typology of basket-type sword hilts, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2005, p. 251, type II, 'Mortuary' pommel type XIV (illus.): 'c.1625-50'.

Anthony R E North, 'Brass mounted hangers from the Hounslow sword-mill', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 13, June 2005, pp. 24-27, at p. 24, fig. 2, p. 25.


Display label in (Tower) Hunting & Sporting Gallery (to 1991), 'c. 1630'.
A similar grip and pommel is on IX.760 ('q.v.' for this type of grip and pommel generally and for its possible Hounslow origins). The IBE noted that the shell-guard of IX.760 is also decorated with radiating lines, though this simple decoration is probably too widespread for this to be of any significance on its own.
IX.982 also has a blade signed and dated by Kinndt, 1634. Several swords have been recorded by Kinndt dated 1634 and 1635 (J.F. Hayward, 'English Swords 1600-1635', R. Held (ed.), 'Arms and Armor Annual', I, 1973 (all published), pp. 142-161, at p. 159). Hayward cites the following other examples: three in the Museum of London (M.R. Holmes, 'Arms and Armour in Tudor and Stuart London', London, 1957, pls XII and XIII); another two (broadswords) in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Hayward 1973, p. 159, 24, 25). Like the present sword, one of these also has the mark of Clemens Horn on the tang (J. Tofts White, 'Hounslow blades and their makers', 'Guide' [to the London] 'Arms Fair', Spring 1979, pp. 46-50, at p. 48.). According to a note in the typed inventory (IBE) there is also a rapier in the Victoria and Albert Museum bearing Kinndt's name and Horn's mark but it needs to be checked whether this is the same as one the 'broadswords' mentioned by White.
The only documentary reference to him is in a letter of April 1643 from Sir William Waller ordering '200 Horsemens' swords of Kennet's making of Hounsloe [Hounslow]' (Hayward 1973, p. 161). There is apparently no evidence that Kinndt himself used this anglicised form of his name.