The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Hanger
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- England; Blade- Germany, possibly Solingen
  • c. 1640 - c. 1650
  • Iron or steel, silver, gold and wood, blackened, etched and gilt
  • Length: 77.4 cm
    Length: 64 cm, blade
    Width: 3.2 cm
    Weight: 0.685 kg
  • Inscription: 'Fedes:' and 'Spes:' First letters 'e' and 'd' are reversed
  • A718
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Hanger, the hilt composed of a cap-shaped pommel, with quatrefoil head and button, the end of the cap turned over in a scroll or 'snout'; grip of wood, formerly bound with iron and silver wire (now missing); knuckle-guard of flattened section with vase-shaped centre; shell-guard of trefoil shape, placed on either side of the hilt and slightly curved upwards and downwards alternately, that on the right being larger; short upward curving rear quillon with broad, shaped end: the whole decorated with a trellised pattern of silver lines and round dots on a blackened ground. Curved blade with hollowed facets and a shallow groove along the back edge which is serrated, four panels at the hilt are alternately faceted and plain and are etched and gilt with flowers, a bird on a twig, and figures of Faith and Hope inscribed:

    Fedes: (but with the first letters e and d reversed)



    About 1640-50; hilt English; blade German (possibly Solingen).

    English hangers, or riding swords, of this type are not uncommon. The hilt is of characteristic 'snouted' form, and the silver piqué decoration likewise English. The blade, which is of unusually good quality may have come from Solingen. Sometimes the blades fitted to this type of hilt were made at Hounslow. Cf. Tower Armoury, IX, 157, and Laking, European Armour V, figs. 1523, 1524.

    For a note on the dating of side-shells of this type when found on smallswords decorated in this style see Norman and Barne, 1980, p. 201.