The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Two-handed sword
  • Two-handed sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany and Switzerland, possibly
  • c. 1580
  • Iron or steel, cord, leather and copper, blued hilt
  • Length: 135.2 cm
    Length: 40.5 cm, button to quillons
    Length: 34 cm, quillons
    Width: 3.7 cm
    Weight: 2.675 kg
    Length: 125.4 cm, point of balance
    Length: 8.8 cm, quillion block to parrying hook flats
    Thickness: 0.02 cm, 3cm back from point
    Thickness: 0.05 cm, blade thickness 3cm forward of ricasso
    Thickness: 0.05 cm, middle of blade
  • Maker's mark: 'S' surmounted by a cross In copper, 22.3cm from hilt
    Inscription: 'I·O·A·N·E·S / D·E·A·G·I·R·E'
  • A473
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Two-handed sword, the blued hilt including a fig-shaped pommel; straight guard of circular section ending in fig-shaped knobs like the pommel; single side-rings swelling in the middle and ridged; shouldered grip bound with cord and covered with leather. The two-edged blade of flattened hexagonal section with long ricasso, from which project two lateral lugs, incised with lines and rosetted circles; it is grooved for a short distance. A maker's mark in copper (the letter S surmounted by a cross) is set into the blade, which is also inscribed:–
    I∙O∙A∙N∙E∙S/ D∙E∙A∙G∙I∙R∙E

    The hilt is very like that of No. A477. Referring to the use by Solingen swordsmiths of spurious Spanish and Italian signatures and marks, C. Blair has drawn attention to a letter, dated 26 February 1677, specifically mentioning the use of the Toledo mark on Solingen blades being exported from Solingen to Paris (1974, p. 90, quoting F. Sommer, Z.H.W.K., X, p. 23). For a discussion of the group of two-handed swords to which No. A473 belongs, see G. M. Wilson in A. MacGregor, 1983, pp. 206-8, No. 93, PI. LXVIII. The signature probably denotes one of the Aguirre family of swordsmiths, of whom Domingo and Nicolas Hortuño Aguirre flourished at Toledo in the later 16th and early 17th centuries. Ortuño (Hortuño) de Aguirre is one of the names mentioned by C. Suarez de Figueroa in his list of the best swordsmiths in Spain, published in his Plaza universal de todas ciencias y artes, Madrid 1615 (p. 334). A blade apparently signed by him and dated 1614 was at Hever Castle (sold Sotheby's 5 May 1983, lot 15, repr. in cat.). According to Francisco Palomares in his list of Toledo swordsmiths published in 1762, his mark was a capital H with a small letter o above, all within a shield-shaped punch (No. 38; Seitz, Blankwaffen, II, pp. 266-7). Palomares states that Domingo de Aguirre was the son of Hortuño de Aguirre el viejo, while Nicolàs Hortuño de Aguirre, alive in 1637, was his grandson (Nos. 22 and 80 respectively). Count Valencia de Don Juan mentions an armourer Juan de Aguirre as working in 1493 at Villaviciosa de Marquina in the Basque provinces.