Object Title

Sword Pommel

Sword Pommel


about 1600

Object Number



Presented by F.H.Cripps-Day, 1941-1942. From the Franz Thill Collection via Captain Jack Ball.

Physical Description

Of iron, cast and chiselled in the form of the head of the negro.


Dimensions: Height: TO DO Weight: 0 lb 8 oz


Places Italy

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 22 and pl. 37, third row, centre.

H.L. Blackmore, 'The blackamoor swords', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 3, 1998, pp. 67-76, at p. 72 (ref. to Dufty 1974, pl. 37; inv. no. not cited).


See Blackmore 1998 for a discussion of the symbolism negros generally and the possible meanings of blackamore heads on edged weapons. For general comments on human-headed pommels see A.V.B. Norman and C.M. Barne, 'The Rapier and Small-Sword, 1460-1820', London etc., 1980, pp. 276-7, type 82.
Other negro-head pommels in the Royal Armnouries are: IX.741 (also a detached pommel); IX.2654 (hanger).