Object Title

Sword hilt - attributed to Giambologna or Pietro Tacca.

Sword hilt - attributed to Giambologna or Pietro Tacca.



Object Number



The collection of the late Sir James Mann, 1981. (formerly AL.23 100.).

Physical Description

Cast bronze, chased and patinated to a dark lusterous brown. The hilt is made in one piece, and consists of a pommel in the form of a whiskered male Oriental head, the face turned upwards and slightly inwards; the grip is decorated in well-developed auricular style; on each face in the area towards the blade is a grotesque face, its eyes pierced by a tightly bound fillet. The part of the grip immediately adjacent to the pommel is formed by the upper part of the Oriental's torso, the place of his shoulders being taken by scrolls. The quillons which are slightly recurved in the plane of the blade are formed as pig's legs and trotters, while the side-ring outside the hand is formed as a pig's curly tail

The missing blade seems to have been secured by means of a transverse peg or screw inserted into the end of the grip on the opposite side to the side-ring.





OverallDepth65 mm
OverallHeight150 mm
OverallWeight750 g
OverallWidth120 mm

Bibliographic References

C. Avery, 'Two ornamental bronzes from the Medicean Grand-Ducal Workshop around 1600', Burlington Magazine, CXXIV (1982), esp. pp. 429-30, figs 38, 40, 41.

Royal Armouries Official Guide, 2nd (rev'd) edn, London, 1993, p. 40, left (col. ill., hilt and associated blade - 'attributed to Pietro Tacca, about 1640').

M.D. Coe et al., Swords and Hilt Weapons, London, 1989, pp. 79 (ill.), 80 (chapter by A.R.E. North).

T. Richardson and G. Rimer, Treasures from the Tower in the Kremlin, Moscow, 1997, cat. no. 60, pp. 154-55 (col. illus. - gen. view), 196 (b. & w. illus. - gen. view, as before, but smaller) - 'Italian, Florence, about 1640'.

Charles Avery, Jean Bologne: La Belle endormie, Galerie Piltzer, Paris, April 2000, illus, no. 32 (pommel from the front) and no. 33 (Hilt from the side, caption reads 'Jean Bologne, pommeau d'epee' (for further inf. see Notes).