Royal Armouries

Two-hand Bearing Sword, probably an English royal processional sword

Images

monochrome line drawing of a giant size man's armour and 2 large swords

Two handed bearing swords from 'A Treatise on antient armour and weapons' by F. Grose, London, 1786, pl.22

  • monochrome line drawing of a giant size man's armour and 2 large swords

    Two handed bearing swords from 'A Treatise on antient armour and weapons' by F. Grose, London, 1786, pl.22

  • monochrome photo of two very large broadswords

    Two handed bearing swords. (IX.1024-1025)

  • monochrome photo of an armoured figure holding a large sword

    Two-handed sword in the New Horse Armoury, 1870s © Private collection 2013

Object number: IX.1024

Statistics

Object Provenance: Hilt probably English; blade German, Passau, early 15th century
Object Number: IX.1024
Overall length: 2270 mm (91 in)
Blade length: 1664 mm (65.5 in)
Weight: 6.5 kg (14 lb. 6 oz)

Two-hand Bearing Sword, probably an English royal processional sword

Description

Of great size for processional use.
Steel hilt consisting of an octagonal discoid pommel with a shallow circular recess in each face, and long straight cross-guard with square section quillons expanding slightly at the centre to take the thick tang.

Massive tapering blade of flattened diamond section with a shallow fuller extending for almost half its length. There are engraved symbols on each face with remains of copper or brass inlay. From hilt to the point: three pairs of parallel intersected lines; a stylized wolf with stick paws; the letter M in black letter script; and a double-ended fleur-de-lis. On one face there is in addition a five pointed star.

Original wooden grip with leather covering swells slightly towards its midpoint and then tapers sharply towards the pommel.
On the grip, painted: 473 and 86 (the former at least is a Weedon number).

Returned from the Royal Ordnance Depot, Weedon, Northamptonshire,1958; part of no. 226 in 1927 list; 1928 list : no. 473. (Latterly Loan [CL]90).

This or IX.1025 had been in the Tower since at least the late 18th century (Grose, 1786). It is probable that these are the ‘Two large Swords of State, with plain cross-guards. Length, 5 ft 4 in.’ listed by Hewitt in his 1859 catalogue, under IX.25 and 26 and which gives the Dillon re-numbering.

The relevant entries are marked ‘Returned to Store’ and no inventory numbers are given. If they were in store without inventory numbers, this might explain their emigration to Weedon.

Publications

Exhibitions

Statistics

Object Provenance: Hilt probably English; blade German, Passau, early 15th century
Object Number: IX.1024
Overall length: 2270 mm (91 in)
Blade length: 1664 mm (65.5 in)
Weight: 6.5 kg (14 lb. 6 oz)

Related Objects

Two-hand Bearing Sword, probably an English royal processional sword Click on the title link above to find out more.

Object number: IX.1025

Two-hand Sword Click on the title link above to find out more.

Object number: IX.3

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