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Physical Description

grip detached separately numbered IX.1800 A) - blade probably Persian. Connected with the Shirley family.
Description from "Treasures from the Tower" (Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, 1982)
Iron hilt consisting of a pommel in the form of a blackamoor's head, a D-profile knuckle-guard and a rear quillon curled towards the blade and terminating in a monster's head. Outside the hand a side-shell is curved towards the pommel and linked to the knuckle-guard by a scroll-guard. The shell is pierced and chiselled with vigorous foliage scrolls surrounding a coat of arms which also occur at the junction of the knuckle-guard and scroll -guard: paly of six, a canton ermine with as a crest, placed on a barrel helmet a blackamoor's head and the motto 'LIBERTATE ET PATRIAE'. The inner shell has been replaced (apparetnly in the working life of the sword) by a smaller shell pierced with trellis decoration. Quillon block chiselled with acanthus scrolls.
Curved, single-edgeed blade with plain flat faces, in the Persian style.


length O/A: 90.2 cm (35.5 in) length of blade: 76.2cm (30.125in) Weight: 0.992 Kg (2lb 3oz)

Component parts


Bibliographic References

C Mazansky, British basket-hilted swords. A typology of basket-type sword hilts, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2005, p. 270, type Vi, pommel 'Mortuary' type XIII (illus.): 'c.1635'.