Collection of hunting knives and swords

Edged Weapons

A number of different edged weapons were used in hunting, some were specifically designed for use with a specific type of animal. Boars and bears for instance, which were both large and dangerous, were hunted with specially designed thrusting spears and swords.

These weapons had crossbars which stopped the blade from penetrating too deeply, which might make it difficult to pull out, and, equally importantly did not allow the wounded animal to slide up the blade and gore the hunter.

Once the animal had been killed the carcass would be butchered in preparation for the banquet that often followed such a grand social occasion. Some hunting swords had saw-back blades with which to dismember the kill. Special sets, known as trousses included various choppers, bodkins, knives and forks, designed to be used for both the preparing and eating of the game.

Spears and swords for the chase could be heavily decorated, displaying both the owners rank and wealth. Hunting hangers, for instance, which were shorter swords with a straight or slightly curved single-edged and pointed blade, and used for game such as deer, often had hilts made of precious materials such as ivory, cast bronze, semi-precious stone, or even porcelain.

The blades themselves were often etched and gilded. Indeed some hangers are nothing less than masterpieces of decorative art.



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