The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Longsword
  • Attributed to Itelhans Thumysen (died 1566)
  • Switzerland, probably
  • c. 1530
  • Iron or steel, leather and cord
  • Length: 101.5 cm
    Width: 3.8 cm
    Weight: 1.62 kg
  • Incised mark: Resembles Lyons bladesmith Possibly maker's mark, 21.5cm from shoulder
  • A489
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Curved longsword, or hand-and-a-half sabre, the hilt composed of a lobed pommel, fig-shaped and writhen; horizontally recurved crossguard of diamond section, with knobs similar to the pommel at the tips; side-ring of trefoil shape; hilt arms with forward guards, one of which projects at right-angles and ends in a twisted knob like the cross; another transverse one joins the ring near the centre; long knuckle-guard of two bars joined by another (S-shaped); shouldered grip of wood bound with leather over cord. The blade is slightly and very gracefully curved, for two-thirds of its length single-edged, with a long, partial rear edge at the top third. There is a mark, possibly that of the maker, resembling that of a Lyons bladesmith referred to by Boeheim, 675.

    This type of sabre is usually thought to be Swiss (see E. A. Gessler, "Die Entwicklung des 'Schweizrsäbels' im 16. bis ins 17. Jahrhundert", Z.H.W.K., VI, 1912-14, pp. 264-77 and 303-13; and Gessler, "Vom Schweizärsdbel",Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, 1923, Kleine Abhdndlungen, Zurich 1924, pp.25-30). The mark on the blade resembles that found on the blades of a number of two-handed swords from the old Zurich Zeughaus (now Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich (inv. nos. KZ199, 200, 671, and 676, see 1980 CM, nos. 143, 144,145 and 159). It has been attributed by H. Schneider to a Zurich bladesmith Itelhans Thumysen, recorded in 1531, died 1566 (Schweizer Waffenschmiede, 1976, p. 264).