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Acquired (HOW?) 1974. Ex collection Dr Richard Williams. Ex David Gilbert Collection, Eastbourne, 1921.(This is all that appears in the typed inventory.)

Physical Description

Of mortuary type with chiselled, incised and embossed decoration.

Hilt of steel consisting of a pommel of rounded double conical form with a small stand and a guard of conventional 'mortuary' type. Thea roughly oval stool, which extends at the back to form a wrist guard with a turned edge, supports three knuckle-guards the ends of which are screwed to the pommel. The main knuckle-guard is linked to those on either side by two recurved bars, while the side knuckle-guards, each one branching in two before it meets the stool, are each linked to the rear part of the stool by a scroll. Between the grip and the stool is a boat shaped block which supports two small, rounded langets. Associated spirally grooved grip bound with wire twist with single medium twist in the grooves.

The top half of the pommel is decorated with incised lines to form to cockle shells. The stool is decorated with foliage incorprating four incised masks executed in incising, chiselling and embossing.. The lower parts of the side knuckle-guards also have incised foliage.

Straight single-edged blade with a false edge for the last 70 mm. and a short ricasso. A broad, central fuller (the edge ill-defined on the forward side) rises beyond the ricasso and extends to the tip. A narrow fuller at the back extends from the hilt to within 110 mm of th tip and there is a matching narrow fuller on the forward side of the ricasso.

Condition: (at July 2001): Both hilt and blade show considerable rust pitting. The junction of the bar linking the side knuckle-guard with the rear of the stool is broken at the knuckle-guard end. Some of the other bars thinner bars are slightly mis-shapen, probably through use. The last 70 mm of the blade are twisted very slightly out of true.


Dimensions: Overall length: 1030 mm, Blade length: 860 mm, Blade width, at hilt: 38 mm Weight: 2 lb 6 oz.

Inscriptions and Marks

No visible marks.

Bibliographic References

P Connor (ed.), All the Queen's horses. The role of the Horse in British History, Lexington Ke, Kentucky Horse Park, 2003, p. 144, no. 31 (group entry with Harquebusier's armour).

C Mazansky, British basket-hilted swords. A typology of basket-type sword hilts, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2005, p. 248, type I*Dii, 'Mortuary' pommel type VII (illus.): 'c.1650'.


Method of acquisition to be completed (when known) for completion to Full entry standard.