The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Longsword
  • Longsword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1525 - c. 1550
  • Iron or steel and leather, blackened
  • Length: 100.3 cm
    Length: 24.5 cm, grip
    Width: 2.7 cm, at shoulder
    Weight: 1.16 kg
  • Maker's mark: Incorporating the letter 'S' 9cm from hilt
  • A476
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Longsword, the blackened hilt having a flat diamond-shaped cap to the grip which enlarges towards it and is bound with leather; guard of diamond section, curving towards the blade and swelling at the ends; forward finger-guard on one side, and side-ring on the other, the latter decorated with a slight roping. The blade is single-edged and slightly fullered; it bears a maker's mark incorporating the letter S, 9 cm from the hilt.

    Swords of this essential size and proportions have often been called 'bastard' or 'hand-and-half' swords. The former is a contemporary term, apparently applied to any sword of unusual size or form. The latter is a 19th-century collectors' term probably based on the Italian term spade... da una mano e mezza... (See C. Buttin, 'Notes de M. Charles Buttin sur quelques articles de I' inventaire de 1549', Mémoires et documents publiés par la Societé Savoisienne d' histoire et d' archéologie, XXXVIII, 1899, p. 388).