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Sword: HEN.M.210-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Maker: Unknown (Probably)




Mushroom-shaped pommel, with some diagonally depressed vertical depressions, the spaces between the depressions bubbled. Large well-formed tang button. Guard of late landsbracelet type incorporating an S-shaped insert. The ends of the guards are formed in small knobs. Knuckle-guard terminates in a larger knob, to match those on the ends of the quillons, which are slightly inched towards the blade. A forward side-ring encloses very carefully forged scrolls. One is a small single branch on the outside, linked to its extremity with a single back guard. Grip of wood, of oval section, bound with cord and covered with thin leather. This appears to be original. The whole hilt is blackened, which again may be the original colours. Very long back-edged blade with a long ricasso. There is a fuller narrow and shallow, running just over 1/3 of the length of the blade.
The blade bears some engraved markings in its upper half, long lines and oval shaped features, on each side. On one side a wolf-mask inlaid in copper, with the letters A N N. On the reverse, no letters but the figures widely spaced 1 5 9 1. There is a similar record in a Swiss private collection.


History note: Unknown before testator, Abbotsford, Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 117.5 cm
Weight: 1.31 kg

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, Late
Production date: dated AD 1591 : dated


Over the course of the later 16th century, extra bars were added to the cross guard hilt to provide extra protection for the hand. At first these were quite simple, starting with a ring to enclose a finger. Additional bars were added to form a sort of cage enclosing the hand, called a basket hilt. This is an early example. The blade is inscribed ANN on one side and 1591 on the other. It also has a mark of a wolf mask inlaid in copper alloy.

Probably German, or perhaps Swiss, dated ANN 1591.

Components of the work

Grip composed of wood (plant material) Length 9.5 cm
Decoration composed of copper
Sword composed of steel
Grip Cover composed of leather
Blade Length 100.3 cm
Hilt Width 4.4 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 210H
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.210-1933
Primary reference Number: 18923
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 19 April 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Sword" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-18 23:19:29

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{{cite web|url= |title=Sword |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-18 23:19:29|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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