The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy, probably
  • 15th century
  • Iron and steel
  • Length: 87.3 cm
    Width: 4.5 cm
    Weight: 1.255 kg
  • Stamp: Sunken hollow of a shield
  • A465
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Sword, the hilt having a faceted, fig-shaped pommel with a sunken hollow designed to accept a small, shield-shaped insert impressed on both front and back; straight, flat crossguard, broadening at the ends, and there pierced with a cross; the grip is missing. The two-edged blade, stiff and dramatically tapered, is of diamond section with a central fuller at the forte, where it bears traces of an inscription. In Oakeshott, 1964, p. 128, Pls. 26C and 27A, the author suggests that this type of guard might be English. However, the English examples he cites tend to be relatively broader at their ends and usually to be very slightly arched, as for example on a falchion found in the River Thorpe and now in the Castle Museum, Norwich (Oakeshott, op. cit, PI. 26B). A sword comparable with A465, and with a very similar guard, was found in 1972 in the tomb of Bartolomeo Colleoni (died 1501) in the Colleoni Chapel, Bergamo (C. Blair, personal communication, 1974). The sword of Estore Visconti (died 1417) has a pommel of comparable form still retaining its inlaid silver shields (Blair, Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 1962, pp.112-20).
    Sever similar pommels were in the collection of Carl von Schwerzenbach (R. Forrer, Die Schwerter und Schwertknäufe, Pl. VII, figs. 6-9).