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Executioner's sword: M.10-1947

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Production: Unknown




Executioner's sword, broad blade with rounded point. Etched with a gallows and three wheels inscribed 'Si Deus pro hoblis i (q)uis contranos'. Stamped with king's head mark of Johannes Wundes of Solingen. Engraved and silvered tilt.


History note: Sir Guy Laking; Stead Collection

Measurements and weight

Length: 105.9 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1947) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


Early 17th Century
Circa 1616 CE - 1630 CE


Made by the famous Wundes family of Solingen. The blade is etched on one side with three wheels and ‘SI DEUS PRONOBIS’ and on the other side with a gallows and the rest of the inscription ‘IUIS CONTRANOS 1616’, [If God is for us who is against us]. The form of the blade and its decoration indicate that this was an executioner’s sword but it may have been used more often for ceremonial purposes than executions.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of silver

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Sword, cast with etched decoration and an engraved and silvered hilt

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Si Deus pro noblis i (q)uis contranos
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription

Inscription present: king's head mark of Johannes Wundes of Solingen

  • Method of creation: Stamped
  • Type: Mark

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.10-1947
Primary reference Number: 18877
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 19 April 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 20 April 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Executioner's sword" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-09-25 19:22:40

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