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Hanger or Hunting Sword: HEN.M.283-1933

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Hanger or Hunting Sword


Maker: Unknown




Hilt mounts of lines (once gilded); grip of brown polished wood, spirally fluted in alternating wide and narrow grooves, finished with a cap and tang button of brass. There is a small pelta-shaped guard in front, cast in one piece like a small ring-guard enclosing a plate, below the short, thick, scroll-ended quillons. Blade broad, curved, back-edged, with hollowed faces. The back-edge is sharpened for some 15 cm (6") up from the point. At the forte, it is engraved on each side in a kind of copperplate script with the opening verses of the Gospel according to St. John, in German: 'Am angang was das wort, wud das wort was bei Gott, und Gott was das Wort...…'.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 81.3 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


18th Century
Circa 1720 CE - 1740 CE


This very typical hunting hanger has an inscription of the first verses of St John’s Gospel, beginning on one side: Am anfang war das wort… (In the beginning was the word), and continuing on the other side: Es war in der welt… (he was in the world).

Components of the work

Hilt composed of gilt Width 15 cm
Grip composed of wood (plant material)
Sword composed of steel
Cap composed of brass (alloy)
Tang Button composed of brass (alloy)
Blade Length 66.5 cm Width 3.7 cm
Quillons Width 8.7 cm

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: the opening verses of St. John's Gospel

  • Text: Am angang was das wort, wud das wort was bei Gott, und Gott was das Wort
  • Location: On blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed in a kind of copperplate script
  • Text: 283H
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.283-1933
Primary reference Number: 19074
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 4 May 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Hanger or Hunting Sword" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-24 02:37:36

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{{cite web|url= |title=Hanger or Hunting Sword |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-24 02:37:36|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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