The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sword
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- England; blade- Germany
  • 1625 - 1700
    c. 1625 - c. 1630 (hilt)
    c. 1700 (blade)
  • Iron or steel and silver, blackened and etched
  • Length: 112.3 cm
    Length: 92 cm, blade
    Weight: 1.29 kg
  • Inscription: 'NO ME SAQVES SIN RASON' Etched
    Inscription: 'NE ME EMBAINES SIN HONOR' Etched
  • A641
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Swept-hilt sword, the hilt composed of a flattened globular pommel, wire-bound grip with herring-bone flutes, fluted double shell-guard enlarged by two linked loop-guards of flat section forming an incipient basket, and joining the knuckle-guard; quillons alternately curved upwards and downwards. The surface has been blackened and inlaid throughout with floral and feathered ornament and cherubs' heads in silver. The grip is probably longer than that originally intended for this hilt. The pommel is associated. The original pommel would have been a tall ovoid.

    The blade, with a short ricasso, is straight, double-edged, with shallow central groove in the forte, etched in capital letters on either side with the words:–

    NO ME SAQVES SIN RASON
    ('Draw me not without cause')

    NO ME EMBAINES SIN HONOR
    ('Sheathe me not without honor')

    The hilt is English, about 1625-30; the blade German, about 1700.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, p. 52. This type of hilt is also discussed in Norman and Barne, pp. 160-62. This type of hilt often appears in English portraits of the first half of the 17th century, e.g., Laking vol. IV, fig. 1385. The blade of A520 bears the same Spanish inscription, which is not uncommon, and the signature of P. Knecht of Solingen. It is also found rendered in French. A complete example, probably by the same hiltmaker and encruster, was sold at Christie's, 16 May 1973, lot 110, and another on 17 July 1975, lot 26 (both repr. in cat.).