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Claymore: M.2-1949

An image of Claymore

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Production: Unknown




The pommel is from a basket-hilted sword. An inscription 'AFORBES' (with the F the wrong way round) is punched (pontillé style) along one length (nothing on the other): name of previous owner?


History note: Christie's, London, 3 March, 1949, Lot 76, vendor not named

Legal notes

Bought with the General Duplicates Fund

Measurements and weight

Length: 135.4 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1949-03-11) by Christie's


Early 16th Century
Circa 1500 CE - 1530 CE


The claymore is a two-handed sword of a type used in Scotland from the 15th to 17th century.

The claymore, which has this very distinctive form of hilt and guard, was used in Scotland, its name said to be derived from the Gaelic for great sword, claidheamh-mor. The claymore became well known through the writings of Sir Walter Scott in the 19th century and became, along with the kilt, very strongly associated with the rise in Scottish romanticism. This, very characteristic, example has the name AFORBES (with the F the wrong way round) on one side of the blade, probably the name of a former owner.

Components of the work

Across Quillons Width 31.1 cm
Blade Width 5.4 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Sword, cast

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: the F is written backwards

  • Text: AFORBES
  • Method of creation: Punched

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.2-1949
Primary reference Number: 18874
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 19 April 2021 Last processed: Thursday 17 March 2022

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Claymore" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-29 20:31:47

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