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Purchased 24 November 1997 (Smith Colln. No.12). Found beneath Southwark Bridge.

Physical Description

Retaining original wooden grip. Hilt of one-piece, wooden (possibly fruitwood) construction consisting of flattened ovoid pommel with incised line around its base. The tang button sits slightly proud of the pommel and is of copper alloy and circular in shape with incised decoration consisting of a diamond, with a cross within it (with a rivet at the centre). The facetted, four sided grip is of uniform diameter. Quillons not of the usual globose form, but with flattened sides and a central ridge running down the centre of each. The underside, which curves slightly upwards (away from the blade) is fitted with a similarly curved, boat-shaped copper alloy backing plate which has a small rectangular lug on each side.
Blade of thick triangular section with re-inforced point.

Condition on acquisition: Considerable damage to hilt -large piece missing from pommel, and a crack which continues down the grip for about an inch. One quillon largely intact, but the other has damage to both sides. Blade with dark patina, patches of corrosion and nicks out of the cutting edge (one particularly large, approx. 2 in from point.)


Dimensions: Overall length: 381 mm (15 in), width across quillons: 50 mm (2 in), pommel diameter: 38 mm (1 1/2 in), blade length: 264 mm (10 3/8 in), blade width (max.), just beyond hilt: 27 mm (1.0 in) Weight: 220 g (8 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

There is an inlaid copper alloy mark on the inside face of the blade, approx. 2 in. from the shoulder, of roughly rectangular shape with concave sides, (photo on inventory binder and on 'Photos' Record no. 60308)


Places England


X-rayed 14/10/98 for comparison with enquiry Dep A0425
The wooden grip was examined by Dr Allan Hall, a consultant archaeobotanist, on 27 October 2000. His findings were as follows: 'there were no clear anatomical features, despite the good state of preservation of the wood on this object, even on the rather well-polished end where a transverse section ought to have been visible; a tiny fragment removed from a damaged portion of the wood did not provide any diagnostic information except that it was a hardwood'.