The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Claymore and scabbard
  • Claymore and scabbard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt and scabbard- probably England; blade- Solingen, Germany
  • 3rd quarter of 18th century- first half 19th century (hilt)
    early 19th century (scabbard and sword belt)
  • Steel, silver, copper, leather, fish-skin and silk, engraved and chased
  • Length: 102.1 cm
    Length: 86.3 cm, blade
    Weight: 125 kg
  • Inscription: 'SOLIDIO / ANDRIA FARARA / GLORIO'
  • A696
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Scottish basket-hilted sword or claymore, the steel basket of the usual form, ornamented with heart-shaped piercings and crudely engraved thistles, and over one of them, in front, is a crown. Spirally-fluted grip covered with fish-skin and bound with copper wire. Between pommel and basket is a fringe or tassel of red silk.

    Broad, two-edged blade, with three grooves running nearly to the point. In the grooves is the inscription on both sides:

    SOLIDIO

    ANDRIA FARARA

    GLORIO

    Short ricasso with two wide grooves at the sides.

    Scabbard of black leather with steel locket and chape, the former with a hook to engage the hanger. Broad leather sword belt with silver buckle chased with flowers and foliage.

    The hilt of this sword is in fact of the third quarter of the 18th century. The scabbard and belt are early 19th-century.

    Purchased by Mannheim as lot 713 in the San Donato sale, Paris, 5- 8 April 1870, with a shoulder-belt, lot 714. His receipted bill in the archives of the Collection gives his price for these as 201 fr. He also purchased the dirk lot 715 (now no. A735), as well as a sgian dubh (lot 716), and a sporran (lot 733), neither of which is now in the Collection. Mannheim's prices for these were respectively 118 fr., 46 fr., and 69 fr. C. Blair has shown that the correct term for the Highland basket-hilted broadsword or backsword is claymore (Scottish weapons and fortifications, 1100-1800, ed. D. H. Caldwell, 1981, pp. 378-87).