The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Falchion
  • Falchion
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- Netherlands or England; grip- The Netherlands; blade- England or Germany
  • c. 1640
  • Steel, box-wood and copper alloy, inlaid and russeted
  • Length: 91.4 cm
    Width: 5 cm
    Weight: 1.06 kg
  • Incised mark: '1470' On reverse side
    Maker's mark: Bladesmith's mark
    Incised mark: Running-wolf Inlaid in brass
    Inscription: 'EDWARDVS · PRINS ANGLIE'
  • A717
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Falchion, the hilt boldly carved out of one piece of box-wood, the pommel taking the form of a large helmeted head surmounted by a crest of a grotesque animal; upward-curving, steel guard of oval section termination in scrolls, one of which bifurcates to form a short knuckle-guard, a small shell-guard projects at right angles from the side. It is incised on the reverse side with the numerals 1470. Broad, curved blade, single-edged, with a single narrow groove running nearly to the point, the back edge sharpened towards the point. It is stamped on one side with a bladesmith's mark, and inlaid in brass with the mark of the running-wolf and the inscription:

    EDWARDVS . PRINS ANGLIE

    Hilt Dutch or English; grip, Dutch, about 1640; blade English or German.

    Provenance: De Beaumont Catalogue, footnote to no. 52, mentions A717 as then being in the Carrand collection. Louis Carrand fils (Restait dû sur le dernier marché du cimeterre d' Edouard d'Angleterre, 500 fr.; receipted bill undated, but on paper similar to other pieces, numbered 1- 4 from 'la vente d' armes de Springer', but it is made clear that no. A717 did not come from that collection); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    The late Baron de Cosson, in a paper contributed to the Society of Antiquaries (Proceedings, 2nd series, XVIII, 21 June, 1900, p. 206), mentioned the existence of several 17th-century swords mounted in English hilts and bearing a like inscription, one of which he described. Similar blades exist bearing the names 'Robertus Bruschius Scotorum Rex 1310', 'Marchio Rodericus Bivar' (the Cid), Hugh Lupus, and Recared, King of the Goths. One was in the Philip Henderson Collection. Another with a similar inscription the 'Armathwaite sword', no. IX. 1015. Another blade of the series is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (no. arm. 282-1933), and another, mounted in a hilt of the same general type as no. A718 here, was for sale at the Dorchester Hotel, London, 5-6 November 1982. Early in the 17th century there was a strong antiquarian movement in England which found expression in books on heraldry containing much fictitious lore, see J. P. Earwaker in the Arch. Journal, XXX, 1873, 'On certain swords inscribed Edwardus Prins Anglie' and R. Gough in Sepulchral Monuments, 1786, vol. I, part I. p. cxlvii. The wolf-mark does not preclude the blade having been made by one of the Solingen bladesmiths resident in England. The mark of a bell occurs on a hunting knife formerly in the German Historical Museum in Berlin. It was also used by John Phillipes of the Armourers Company of London in 1578.