The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sabre
  • Sabre
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • probably mid 17th century
  • Steel, wood and copper, inlaid and engraved
  • Length: 77.4 cm
    Width: 3.7 cm
    Weight: 0.96 kg
  • Maker's mark Inlaid in copper, 9.5cm from hilt
    Incised mark: '·I·I·P·' and '16·58' Shield engraved between above
  • A716
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Sabre, the hilt composed of a pommel made as a flat cup-shaped continuation of the grip (which is of dark wood, possibly rose-wood), widening at the end, faintly suggesting a bird's head; recurved knuckle-guard and short rear quillon, each terminating in a disk. Single side-ring. The curved blade is falchion-shaped, single edged at the top and double-edged within a foot of the point, with three shallow hollow or slit grooves. Four inches (9.5cm) from the hilt is a maker's mark inlaid in copper. Upon the pommel is engraved a coat of arms with the initials I.I.P and the date 1658. These arms are those of Pomer (alias Bemer) of Nuremberg, and are (in reality) per bend, in chief bendy of four gules and argent, in base sable (Patricii Respublicae Nurenberg, circa, 1600, sig. (:) iii and pl. 55 'die Pomer', and Feyerabend, Insignia Sacrae Cesareae Majestatis, etc., Francofurti a. M., 1579, 'Bemer').

    German, 16th century (?)

    Provenance: Elie Meyer (un saber portent la date de 1658 avec écussons, 150 fr.; receipted bill, 13 May, 1870); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    The date on the pommel was presumably placed there at the time the arms were engraved, but the shape of the sword and its workmanship suggest that it may have been made earlier in the 16th century.

    This sword is probably of the middle of the 17th century made in the 'old Franconian' (i.e. Gothic) style. Compare a sword at Vienna (inv. no. A 1590) with a hilt in similar archaic style, but with the mounts of its scabbard bearing 17th-century Viennese silver marks.