The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Baselard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany or Switzerland
  • c. 1530
  • Iron or steel, bronze, copper and wood, engraved and hatched
  • Length: 56.2 cm, blade
    Width: 4 cm
    Weight: 0.64 kg
  • Maker's mark: In copper
  • A503
  • European Armoury I
Further Reading
  • Baselard (Hauswehr), composed of an arched pommel, capped with light bronze; grip of oval section of dark wood shaped to fit the pommel and guard; guard of light bronze, curved towards the hand; both pommel and guard are pierced with a small hole on the same side. They are engraved with a pattern of scrolled ribbon with hatched background; blade, double-edged and triple fullered, the ricasso with five grooves. A maker's mark in copper on both sides.

    Of a distinctive Swiss type, described by Wegeli in an article on Der Schweizerdegen, in Jahresbericht des Historischen Museums in Bern, Supplement, 1910. There are numerous examples in the Historical Museum at Bern (Wegeli, Nos. 160-169) and in the Landesmuseum at Zurich (Gessler, Führer, 1928, Pl. III, 5-8).

    C. Blair has shown that the original name for a dagger with a hilt of this form is ‘baselard’ (Nickel and Pyhrr, 1981, pp. 13-14).