The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sword
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France or England
  • 2nd half of 14th century
  • Iron or steel, copper and cord
  • Length: 95.4 cm
    Width: 6 cm, at guard
    Weight: 1.36 kg
    Length: 67.8 cm, blade
    Balance point: 6.5 cm, forward of the guard block
  • Maker's mark: inlaid in copper, 16.5cm from hilt
  • A460
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Arming sword, the hilt composed of a wWheel pommel, with circular sunken centre and a protuberant cap at the top; guard of oval section, slightly ridged on both sides, diminishing at the ends and curving towards the blade; the grip bound with cord (modern). The two-edged blade is of broad diamond section, stiff and strongly tapering; on one side it is heavily criss-crossed with scratches, but otherwise bright. A maker's mark, a small cross (in copper), appears on both sides.

    Although in excavated condition, this archetypal late-medieval fighting sword has survived the centuries extraordinarily well. Given its date, it may well have been carried into battle during the Hundred Years War between England and France, which began shortly before the famous Battle of Crécy in 1346. Formerly in the comte de Nieuwerkerke’s collection, its earlier provenance is unknown, but there is a strong likelihood that it was found in France, the distinctive corrosion patterns on the blade indicating perhaps that it was a river find. The grip binding is a later (probably 19th century) restoration.