Object Title




about 1770

Object Number



Purchased from the Beriah Botfield collection at Norton Hall, Northamptonshire, with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund, 1942 (Norton Hall No. 830).

Physical Description

Although the blade is marked 'EN TOLEDO' the it is probably of German make. Hilt probably Scottish; blade probably German. Bright iron or steel hilt, basically of conventional Scottish form but of rather square shape and with the spaces between the side and main knuckle-guards each filled with three longitudinal, rectangular bars rather than the usual saltire bars and plate. Seen from the side, the side knuckle-guards and forward guard appear as one continuous bar. The straight rear quillon extension (or wrist-guard) is quite long and expands to form a wide, scrolled terminal. The outside faces of the main bars are decorated with an incised line near each edge. Fishskin-covered wooden grip, spirally grooved but lacking a wire binding.

Associated two edged blade with three fullers on each side which start at the hilt and extend to very near the tip.


Dimensions: Overall length: approx. 1020 mm (40.25 in.), Length of blade: 861 mm (33 7/8 4 in.), Blade width: 33.5 mm (1.32 in.) Weight: 2 lb 13 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade, on both sides, in central fuller, stamped: XX IN TOLEDO XX.8The I and E of the inscription on both sides is of the same, very stylized form. The N on the inside is worn away.


Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and A. Borg, European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London, London, 1974, p. 25, Pl. 53c (hilt).

P.J. Lankester, 'A Basket-Hilted Sword Marked 'AC' in the Royal Armouries' Journal of the Arms and Armour Society, XIII Supplement September 1990 pp. 36, 50 note 11 - summary of Scottish type basket hilts from the Botfield collection.


The hilt is almost identical to that of IX.831. Both hilts are reminiscent of the style of Walter Allen of Stirling but larger, more angular and less free in form.
The very stylized form of the inscription on the blade make it most unlikely that the blade was actually made in Toledo.