The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Hunting sword
  • Hunting sword
  • Carlo Botarelli (active between: c. 1660 - 1690)
  • Probably Brescia, Italy
  • c. 1680 - c. 1700
  • Steel and gold, blued, chiselled, etched and gilded
  • Length: 73 cm
    Width: 1.8 cm
    Weight: 0.368 kg
  • Inscription: 'DAMASCO' Etched and gilt
  • A702
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Light hunting sword, the hilt entirely of blued steel and made up of a pommel chiselled as the head of a grotesque animal; the grip hollow and of octagonal section, each side pierced and chiselled with a strip of conventional foliage, the angles fluted; short guard with a slight horizontal recurve, elaborately chiselled with acanthus foliage, and ending, like the pommel, in grotesque heads. Oval escutcheon pierced and chiselled with a grotesque mask on each side. Small shell-guard on the one side only, also chiselled and pierced with a mask in relief; straight blade, fluted back edge and hollow ground on each side, changing to diamond section towards the point which is talon-shaped.

    On either side at the forte there is a rectangular panel etched and gilt, containing an oval inscribed:

    DAMASCO

    Italian (? Brescian), about 1680-1700.

    The workmanship of the hilt resembles the work of Carlo Botarelli of Brescia, a steel-chiseller who decorated the mounts of both edged weapons and firearms. See Boccia and Coelho, 1975, figs. 666-8; Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 183 and 335; C. Bertolotto in Manzini, 1982, p. 94, pls. 1-6. A carbine in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, is signed on the lock by Botarelli. Presumably its chiselled mounts, which are of exceptional quality, are also by him (no. 49.163.5; exhibited in The Art of Chivalry, New York, 1982, no. 103). The dates of Botarelli's working life are given in Neue Støckel, I, p. 129, as about 1660-90.