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Sword: HEN.M.236-1933

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Sword. Blackened hilt. Long pod-shaped pommel, fluted. No button. Knuckle-guard of vaguely oval section, the top flattened, turned up through a right-angle and screwed into the side of the pommel; it widens at midpoint, where a loop-guard springs from it on each side to join the top of a shallow cup-guard. The ends of the loop-guards are scrolled towards the forward quillon. Short quillons, curled over towards the blade in tight spirals. The back of the hilt is a mirror image of the front. There is a massive quillon-block bluntly joined and incised with lines rotating from that point. The cup-guard is coarsely decorated with overlapping scale-shaped motifs, each pieced à jour with circular holes. The upper edge is decorated with a scalloped frill, and pressed à jour. The grip which is original has lost all its binding except for Turks' heads at top and bottom; it is of dark wood, swelling in the middle and facetted vertically with eight faces.
Long tapering blade of flattened diamond section, the faces hollowed with a strong shoulder below the hilt. There are traces of engraved decorative motifs along the forte, but these are too worn to be identified except for a small floral piece just below the guard.
Norman, hilt type 87.


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

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 110.9 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


Mid 17th century
Circa 1640 CE - 1660 CE


A similar sword is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Reg. no. M2774-1931). Another similar one is in the church at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, said to have belonged to Colonel Billingslay, who was killed in the churchyard in 1646.

Components of the work

Grip composed of wood (plant material) Blade Length 96.5 cm
Below Hilt Width 3.0 cm
Decoration Hilt Pommel Quillon-block Sword

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 236H
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.236-1933
Primary reference Number: 18974
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 11 August 2015 Last processed: Wednesday 24 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Sword" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-07 16:46:58

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