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Object Number



Purchased from D.R. Petty Ltd., 29 May 1981. Apparently found in a peat bog together with a sword which is now in the Oldeschalchi collection, Rome (Inv. No. 837); ex Laking and de Cosson collections (sold Sotheby's 14 May 1929, Lot 93) who had bought it from Paul Bacherau in 1895; sold at Sotheby's 30 November 1962, Lot 30, to J Wallace Esq; 1976/7 sold to Howard Ricketts.

Physical Description

Iron hilt. Pommel of so-called 'pod' form (Oakeshott type V); having the general form of two cones butted at their bases and with their tops flattened. Arched quillon of square section with pyramidal terminals. Restored leather-covered wooden grip.
Stiff, broad, double-edged blade expanding in width at the hilt, and with a very sharp point. A single fuller runs down the centre of each side for two-thirds of the blade length. At the forte on either side of the blade is engraved on each side of the fuller with the letters IOIO (or TOTO) within a semi-circle. On one side of the blade the inscription apparently retains traces of gilding.

Both hilt an blade have a hard black patina.



Dimensions: Overall length: 1007 mm (39 5/8 in), blade length: 859 mm (33 5/8 in) Weight: 1077 gm (2 lb 6 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Engraved on blade: IOIO (or TOTO) (see above for details)


Places Europe

Bibliographic References

R. E. Oakeshott, The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, London, revised edn., London etc., 1981, p.101, pl.20 a


The sword in the Oldeschalchi collection with the same provenance is very similar indeed to this one although it lacks a blade inscription (see N di Carpegna, 'Antiche Armi', Rome 1969, Catalogue No. 196 repr. in cat.)

Similar pommels also occur on a sword from the River Witham, with arched quillons and a similar blade, in a private collection (further details in binder), illustrated in Oakeshott, 'The Sword in the Age of Chivalry', London, 1964, Pl. 26A; A Bruhn Hoffmeyer 'Middelalderens Tvaggede Svaerd, Copenhagen, 1954, pl. XXIII f); a sword with straight quillons in a Danish private coll. (see inventory for details), ill. Hoffmeyer, 'op.cit.,' pl. XXIII d; a boy's sword in the Glasgow Museum (see Oakeshott 'op.cit' p.101); a sword from the V. Gay Collection, Museum fur Deutsche Geschichte, E. Berlin (ibid); a dagger (formerly) in the collection of Sir James Mann and now Royal Armouries AL.23 101, (ibid); two boys swords, in private collectionsat time of writing (see inventory for details) and, according to Oakeshott ('op.cit.' p.101), on an effigy at Gosberton in Lincolnshire.

Similar blade markings are found on a sword with a single-edged blade at one time in the Collection of Professor G. Bini, Rome, which was sold at Sotheby's Rome, 5, 6 November 1973, lot202 (see A.V.B. Norman 'The Rapier and Small Sword 1460-1820, London 1980, p.32).

A copy of this sword was made by Wilkinson Sword Ltd. and presented to the Education Centre, 1983, (inv. no. XXI.91)