Skip to main content

Gauntlet sword: O.1-1879

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Blade maker: Unknown (Probably)
Hilt maker: Unknown




The steel blade is straight and double edged, narrowing to a rounded point. It is probably European. The hilt is of gauntlet type, with a gutter-shaped cuff and a rounded hand defence, inside which is riveted a transverse grip. The blade is secured by long plain reinforces wit onion-shaped finials. At the end of the cuff is a loose curved bar attached to loops, to hold the forearm in place, and the side edges of the cuff are bordered by pierced studs, several retaining small loose rings. The cuff and hand are decorated with medial and edging applied bands of copper alloy, pierced with an edging of fleurs-de-lis, and on the hand defence with an applied face, eyes, eyebrows, nose and curly moustaches. The borders are applied with a mixture of iron, brass and copper rivets. The iron is bright and pitted and stained from earlier corrosion.


History note: From ‘Jounpore, AWP’, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh; Robert Taylor, MA

Legal notes

Given by Robert Taylor, MA

Measurements and weight

Length: 128 cm
Weight: 1360 g

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1879) by Taylor, Robert, MA


Circa 1800 CE - 1879 CE


This type of sword is unusual in that the hilt is formed as a gauntlet fitting over the lower arm making wrist movements impossible when fighting. It has a very characteristic face motifs with eyebrows, eyes, nose and curly moustaches.

Components of the work

Rivets composed of iron ( decorating borders of upper part) copper ( decorating borders of upper part) brass (alloy) ( decorating borders of upper part)
Cuff And Hand composed of copper alloy ( decoration of applied)
Blade composed of steel Length 91.5 cm

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: ADD

  • Text: 1
  • Location: Tied on with thread
  • Method of creation: Printed
  • Type: Label
  • Text: 1
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: O.1-1879
Primary reference Number: 158300
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 12 May 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Gauntlet sword" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-01 16:59:44

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Gauntlet sword |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-01 16:59:44|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: GR.87.1901

Mortuary sword

Accession Number: HEN.M.291-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.232-1933

Mortuary sword

Accession Number: HEN.M.290-1933

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...