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Object Number



Purchased 1981, when it was stated to be from the collection of R E Oakeshott (see 'European Weapons and Armour', Oakeshott, London 1980, pl 21E, credited to the seller)

Physical Description

Hilt about 1650; blade early 18th century. Hilt: bright steel of conventional form (Norman, type 112) comprising pommel, knuckle guard with quillons and arms, shell guard and grip.

Pommel: mushroom shape with a spherical tang button (Norman, type 81 but much simplified).

Knuckle guard: the upper end of which is screwed to the pommel. At the centre of the guard is a transverse discoid swelling flanked by a pair of mushroom shaped balusters. The sleeve supports a pair of short, straight quillons and a pair of arms, both having mushroom-shaped button finials and the arms are turned out sharply at their extremeties where they fit into the gaps between a pair of shell guard lobes.

Shell guard: of two lobed form with the shells pierced with quatrefoils and intersecting circles. The centre section of each shell has a narrow extension which is scrolled inwards towards the hand.

Grip: an associated wooden grip of circular section bound with steel wire in a herringbone alternating with three plain wires. Two Turk's head ferrules are fitted.

Blade: straight, two-edged of flattened hexagonal section with a fuller on the inner and outer faces extending for 197 mm (7.75 in) from the hilt. At the point where the fuller ends, the blade narrows considerably in the 'Coningsmark' fashion. Each fuller is inscribed:



Dimensions: Overall length: 1049 mm (41.3 in), blade length: 799 mm (31.45 in) Weight: 17 oz


Places Italy


The dating of the hilt depends principally upon the form of the shell guards and of the arms (see 'Rapier and Small-sword',Norman, p 198, col 1, para 1 and para 3 respectively).
Compare also with a hilt formerly in the collection of A J Irvine (Cardiff) illustrated in the J F Winsbury album in the Armouries Library (DOE neg no A3/1204).
The inscription on the blade probably refers back to Antonio Piccinino, a Milanese swordsmith, 1508-89. (see 'Nobilata di Milano', Paolo Morigia, Milan 1595)
(For a sword similarly inscribed see IX,891)