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Hand-and-a-half sword: HEN.M.187-1933

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Hand-and-a-half war sword or bastard sword. Type XIIIA. Broad, oval wheel pommel, the central boss rectngular in shape and cut breadthwise with two deep parallel grooves. No rivet button. The whole pommel is very flat, and light seeming. Long tang covered with 19th century grip, obviously made at the same time and for the same collection as HEN.M.188-1933. Long straight cross of hexagonal section, widening a little toward the tips. There appear to be traces of some sort of plating on the pommel and the cross, of ? silver or ? tin. Blade of flat hexagonal section with a narrow rather shallow fuller running some one-third of the length. This fuller on one side runs up under the mid-part of the cross, and the other stops about 3 cm short of it. Fairly sharp point.


History note: Sold at the Helbing Gallery in Munich 1908

Measurements and weight

Length: 114.5 cm
Weight: 1.40 kg

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


14th Century, Early
Circa 1300 - 1400


There is a very strange patination on this blade, showing that it has corroded in contact with something wrinkled, like fabric. This is strongly suggested by a band about 2" wide where it has clearly been wrapped round by a strip of woven material, maybe a belt? It does not look as if it has been in a scabbard.

Western European

Components of the work

Plating composed of silver ( or tin)
Bound Tang composed of leather
Tang Length 29.5 cm
Blade Length 89.0 cm
Cross Width 20.0 cm
Blade At Hilt Width 4.0 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Sword, cast, with traces of plating on the pommel

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.187-1933
Primary reference Number: 18824
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 August 2016 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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