Object Title

Short Sword - Baselard

Short Sword - Baselard


mid-15th century

Object Number



Excavated from Queenhithe in 1987

Physical Description

Wooden hilt of roughly H or I shaped profile and round section. The pommel is elongated on one side, being rounded off on top to accommodate the wrist more comfortably, while the other side curves gently underneath to meet the flat top. A ferrous metal plate is secured to the flat top of the pommel. Four brass pins secure the grip to the tang. The quillons are convex, arcing down towards the hand, and has an ferrous metal ferrule on the blade side. The blade is straight and single edged, with a varying profile. A long ricasso gives the base of the blade a triangular section, but about 1/3 along the length of the blade this softens into curved edge along one face.

Featured in

Hundred Years War


Engraving, Inlaying



BladeLength559 mm
OverallLength690 mm
OverallWeight560 g

Inscriptions and Marks

An inlayed pannel of brass wth the inscription +Naede Dann+ According to research undertaken by Dr Lech Marek, this could translate from an old Germanic dialect as, 'Help me then' or 'So help me', or most probably 'Grace then'. This probably derived from the more common `Hilf Maria` (or variations of) inscriptions often found on some germanic swords.
bottom of the blade on one face
inlay and engraving


Bibliographic References

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, pp. 64-5 (col. illus., 2nd from top).


A comparable example, albeit with a double edged blade, was found in Brooks Wharf, directly adjacent to Queenhithe, and now resides in the Museum of London (No. 7553)
There is a second comparable example within the Museum of London collection, with a similar single edged blade (80.34) and a third, now missing most of its blade, with an almost identical hilt (A16643). Two of these came from the Thames while the final example came from the London Wall. No other examples with the cut-off pommel are currently known outside of this group. However, several similar examples, albeit without the cut-off hilt, exist in Swiss institutions, particularly the Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum Zurich, (No. LM.16211 being an excellent example of the type.)