English Mortuary Sword
- Dated: circa 1640
The historically important and undeniably English mortuary sword is not a rare sword. However, most examples are relatively poorly made, showing crude workmanship and decoration, and rarely survive in good condition. This example is of much better and more delicate construction, yet is also in very good condition.
Delicate iron shell guard chiseled and pierced with 4 bearded faces (generally considered to represent King Charles I) and acanthus decoration. A knuckle guard with acanthus base extends from the center of the shell and is screwed to the pommel. Two delicate scrolled bars on each side extend from the shell to the knuckle guard.
An additional bar on each side, decorated with a face, extends from the side of the shell and is screwed to the pommel. Pommel chiseled with acanthus in high relief. Attractive replaced grip wrap of 3 different sizes of twisted brass wire. Straight 31 3/8” double-edged blade with twin full-length fullers, marked on one side with a running wolf mark.
Very good cleaned condition overall with one small repair to one of the rear scroll bars where it joins the shell. Overall length 37 ½”. Similar to the Type I*Gi example from the Royal Armouries illustrated in Mazansky’s “British Basket-hilted Swords”. Another is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Kienbusch Collection.
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