Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Civil War Period Mortuary Back Sword Ref: 018.16


Price: £3,150

Item Description:


English "Mortuary" hilted back sword dating to the middle part of the 17th century. The workmanship is a good example of the English Civil War period armourers craft. The hilt is of typical form consisting of a broad boldly manufactured dish-shaped guard plate from which three main guard bars extend with the flattened terminals screwed into the pommel. The spaces between these bars are infilled with subsidiary bars and scrolls.


The main guard plate is covered with chiselled and pierced decoration to the outside consisting of four panels with a bust in each commonly thought on these sword hilts to represent King Charles I. The spaces imbetween are chiselled with images of beasts. The guard bars and pommel are decorated with chiselled lines in a fern-like manner.


A curled wrist guard is fashioned from the rear of the plate. The pommel is globular in shape and has an integral button and a pronounced flared neck. The wooden grip is wrapped with wire. The grip sits on an iron flanged plug mounted onto the inside of the guard plate and from which two langets extend through the tang aperture to flank the blade either side of the ricasso for a short distance from the hilt.


The blade is single edged for most of its length. It has a short ricasso and shallow fullers extending for most of its length.  Armourers marks are placed on the blade a short distance from the hilt consisting of star shaped stamps and two pairs of crescents either side. The blade is age stained with blackened patches and in general the sword is in fine condition. The blade is just under 33.75 inches long (85.5 cm) and overall the sword measures 40 inches (101.5 cm) long.

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