Art of Swords

Sword
/sôrd/
Noun
1. A weapon consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved, pointed blade having one or two cutting edges and set into a hilt.
2. An instrument of death or destruction.

Brunswick Dagger 

  • Dated: 1583
  • Medium: steel, wood
  • Measurements: Length 44.9cm
  • Provenance: The armoury of Julius, Duke of Brunswick-WolfenbÜttel

The dagger features a hollow triangular blade, iron hilt formed with a pair of very short slightly arched quillons with spirally fluted tips and a residual outer shell-guard. It has a compressed pommel cut with a gadrooned pattern in relief over the top, and horn grip carved as a column of off-set triangles studded with nails at the points. A brass fillet is set at both ends while the set comes in its fabric-covered wooden scabbard.

The scabbard itself comes with a large tubular iron mounts with prominent raised mouldings and each cut with pierced fleur-de-lys almost meeting in the middle of the scabbard. The upper mount with four wood-lined shaped apertures for a triangular blade and three implements, the upper mount with belt-loop at the rear, the outer face engraved with a strapwork frame enclosing an heraldic device.

An arm issuant from a cloud is extended over a fire and holding a candle, the motto “Aliis in Serviendo Consvmor” and the date 1583 above, the bottom mount engraved with a chequered panel together with the abbreviated inscription "IHZS", and complete with byknife inlaid with a latten mark, awl and bodkin each entirely of steel. 

Sidenotes:

  • The motto "Aliis in Serviendo Consvmor" ("I spend myself in the service of others") is found on several two-hand processional swords from the distinctive series made for the Brunswick Ducal armoury, one of which was included in the 1952 Tower exhibition as No. 79.
  • The abbreviated inscription "IHZS" ("Jesus Hilf zur Seligkeit") is also found on the pommel of a rapier included in the 1952 exhibition, No.69, on a pistol made for Duke Julius, now in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (No. XII, 1176) and on some of the small gilt-brass hunting horns also from the Ducal armouries.

Source: © Hermann Historica

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