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Purchased from Andrew Lumley (dealer), 20 May 2002.

Physical Description

With grip made of horn with pique decoration. The cruciform hilt, with short straight quillons, sraight grip of octagonal section, and 'beak' shape pommel, is made from cow-horn. It is inlaid throughout with white metal (silver or pewter) studs and stag-horn and ebony roundels. The hilt is also decorated with red composition circles. The back of the hilt is inscribed with a date and the name of the owner: '1647 GERRARD SKRYMSHER'. The broad blade is straight, two-edged and has two fullers on each face of the forte. The blade terminates in a tip ground to a 'hatchet' point. The fullers on both sides of the blade are inscribed with the maker's name 'IOHANNIS MEIGEN', an incised running wolf motif and the maker's mark struck three times.


Dimensions: Overall length: 788 mm (31 in.), Blade length: 640 mm (25 3/16 in.) Weight: 53 g (1 lb 3 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Blade maker's mark, of a 'dragon' in an oval, struck three times on each side. Running wolf motif (of Solingen) engraved on each side of blade.

Bibliographic References

B Godwin, D Oliver, M Pegler and R C Woosnam-Savage, 'Early English Firearms: A loan exhibition from the Royal Armouries and private collections', The 20th Anniversary London Park Lane Arms Fair [Catalogue], 2003, p.19, No. 23.

Victoria and Albert Museum, The Art of the Armourer, Arms and Armour Society, London, 1963, p.34, No. 92.

Wilmer House Museum, Catalogue of the exhibition of arms and armour from the collections of A R Dufty, R T Gwynn,and J F Hayward, April 3rd to the 29th, 1962, Farnham, Surrey (with an introduction by A R Dufty), p. 5, No. 37.

R Mount and C Blair, The art of the armourer, Country Life, 5 April 1962, Fig. 8 and p.757.

Dorling Kindersley, Weapon. A visual history of arms & armour, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2006, p. 117 (col. illus., 3rd from top).


The sword was owned by, and apparently made for, Gerrard Skrymsher (1605- 1665), Lord of Mere, Forton 1629-65, of Aqualate Hall, Forton, Staffordshire, son of Thomas Skrymsher (1539-1633). This sword is unique in both form and construction and is an 'unusually early dated example of English pique work' (Mount and Blair 1962).
A previous owner was A R Dufty a former Master of the Armouries. Dufty bought it directly from Falkiner (pers. comm. C Blair to R Woosnam-Savage 10/09/2002). Falkiner was born in Yorkshire in 1885 and was an arms and armour collector active in the first half of the 20th century.
The blade maker, Johannis zu Meigen, was active in Solingen between 1645-1700 (See R H Bezdek, German sword and swordmakers: Edged weapon makers from the 14th to the 20th centuries, Boulder, Colorado, 2000, p. 68).
NB. Whilst the hanger was on display at the Park Lane Arms Fair in 2003 ARE North commented on the fact that there was a very similar hilt, possibly by the same maker, on 'a knife at Reading Museum' (TBC).