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Purchased from Arbour Antiques Limited (Mr Robin Wigginton), September 1982. Said by the vendor to have come from an English country house

Physical Description

Hilt of blackened and corroded steel, consisting of a barrel-shaped pommel of Norman type 86 but slightly tapered below; a knuckle-guard plugged into the pommel, and the remains of a short rear quillon curved towards the blade, supporting each side an oval side-ring filled with a plate. The knuckle-guard is linked by a scroll-guard on each side, just forward of its centre, to the forward edge of the side-rings. In addition an oval plate piereced to look like three separate ribbon-guards is mounted on the centre of the side-ring outside the hand and plugged into the outside of the pommel. Very short ears (langets) flank the blade. Solid brass writhen grip.

Single-edged, curved blade, expanding slightly towards the spear-point and with a false-edge of 6 in. About 15 mm (0.5 in.) is missing from the tip. Narrow fuller near the spine for 475 mm (18.75 in.)


Dimensions: Overall length: 870 mm (34.25 in.); blade length: 692 mm (27.25 in.) Blade width, by hilt (needs checking): 38 mm (1.5 in.) Weight: 1.002 kg (2 lb 4 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On blade, on inside, about 5.5 in. from hilt, stamped: a mark very like an elaborate fleur-de-lys.On blade, on outside, about 4.5 in. from hilt, stamped: remains of the same mark as on inside.

Bibliographic References

E. Black, Kings in conflict : Ireland in the 1690s, Belfast, 1990 (catalogue of an exhibition held at the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, from 11th April - 2nd September 1990; Ulster Museum Publication No. 265), pp. 198, 197, no. 190 (illus.).


A sword with a similar hilt is illustrated by G. Neumann, 'Swords and Blades of the American Revolution', Newton Abbot, 1973, No.254S where it is described as a horseman's sword. It has a longer (31.75 in.), straight, double-edged blade with 'a high median ridge and the markings, '1690 WR (King William, a coat of arms, plus 'SHOTLEY BRIDG''.
Siliar hilts on curved hanger blades occur in 'The Granadier's Exercise of the Grenade in His Majesty's First Foot Guards ..., drawn from the Life & Etched by Bernard Lane Octr' ye 30th 1735' (copies in the Royal Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and possibly also in the National Army Museum), repr. in Y.W. Carman, 'British Military Uniforms...', London, 1957, Pl. 24 and as two colur post cards by the National Army Museum (n.d., purchased by PJL at N.A.M., Dec. 1999; p-copies on inv. file) - mostly ex inf. A.V.B. Norman, March 1991.
Mr Erik Gold visited 13 October 1993 and commented that he thought the present sword sword may be foreign. He observed that the present brass grip does not sit well to the quillon block, and therefore is probably not original.