Object Title

Sword - Two-hand sword

Sword - Two-hand sword



Object Number



Purchased at the Earl of Shrewsbury's sale in 1857.

Physical Description

The hilt consists of a bulbous modern pommel, long leather covered grip and straight, circular-section quillons expanding slightly towards the tips.

The long, two-edged blade bears, near the hilt, three shallow fullers which change to two extending to the point.

The blade bears inlaid marks.





BladeLength1052 mm
BladeWidth55 mm
OverallLength1382 mm
OverallWeight2.45 kg
CrossLength336 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Makers Marks
A series of marks inlaid in copper-alloy (latten?), from the hilt: a motif, possibly a flying bird, beast (lion passant?), a helm with a pair of horns as a crest (in the German manner) and a sword - see illus. in ffoulkes 1916.
On blade:on each face
Inlaid in copper-alloy (latten?)
coat of arms
a helm with a pair of horns as a crest (in the German manner) and a sword
On blade


Places Germany

Bibliographic References

C. ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, London, 1916, vol. II, p. 260 (illus. of mark) pommel described as barrel shaped - needs checking.


/The old (Tower) Medieval Gallery label (dismantled from 1994) dated this sword late 15th century, and the separate label for the similar IX.2 (displayed with a composite late, 15th-century German armour in the same case) had the same date.
There are no very likely lots in the Alton Towers (Earl of Shrewsbury's) sale, unless it was '965: A powerful two-handed fighting sword, engraved'.
According to Dillon 1909 Inventory, it is IX.2 that came from Alton Towers sale! Were both (or neither) purchased then?
ffoulkes describes the pommel as barrel shaped - whereas the pommel now on the sword is the same general form as that on IX.2 (described by ffoulkes as 'pear-shaped').

The beast and possible flying bird motifs form part of the mark on the similar blade of IX.2, and also on the probably once similar, but now cut-down, blade of IX.163. Similar motifs also occur on the blade of the very large bearing bearing sword of the Sempills of Eliestoun in the Museum of Scotland (no. H.LA 6).
The blades of IX.1, 2 and 163 all have three fullers (merging to 2 fullers in the case of the IX.1 & 2 - CHECK 163)). The general form of the blades is generally similar to the very large blades of IX.1024 and IX.1025 but these latter two have only a single fuller; there is, however, a possible link with the blade of IX.163 in that the marks on IX.1024 and 1025 inorporate three gothic script 'minims', similar to the five 'minims' on IX.163.
Cf. a sword in Basle Museum, Cat No. 173 (with side rings on quillons) and 181 (full reference?).
HY 19/11/2020: similar copper-alloy blade marks are on a `Hand-and-a-half sword, Passau, 1520/30`: Inv. Nr. BL 5 from the Styrian Armoury, Graz. Shown on pp. 18-19 in `Schwert und Spiess`
by Krenn, Peter; Graz Landeszeughaus am Steiermarkischen Landesmuseum Joanneum c 1997. See inventory file.


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