Collection of hunting knives and swords

Edged Weapons

A number of different edged weapons were used in hunting, and some were designed for use with a specific type of animal. For example, boars and bears, which are 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. Equally importantly, this 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, and displayed both the owners rank and wealth. Hunting hangers, which were shorter swords with a straight or slightly curved single-edged and pointed blade (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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INDIAN ARMS AND ARMOUR: PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL AND MYTHOLOGICAL

This special seminar, with Natasha Bennett, Acting Curator (Oriental Collections), will allow delegates to admire and examine weaponry and armour from India at close quarters.

27 February 2016

Leeds

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Did you know?

World heritage

Royal Armouries has objects on loan to over 100 sites across the world including: Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, Belgium and Ireland.