Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Fine Tyrolean Broad Sword of Ambras Type Late 16th Century Ref: 062.16


Price: £7,650

Item Description:


A fine and elegant Broad Sword / Rapier dating to the fourth quarter of the 16th century. A well balanced, solid and finely proportioned weapon, presented in fine condition.


The complex and attractive hilt is formed from a central quillon block at the base of the grip, forged with triangular langets decorated with central incised lines extending from the block for a short distance down the ricasso on both sides. From the side of the block a knuckle bow of flattened oval section curls upwards towards the pommel and terminates in expanded fishtail form. Opposite a rear quillon of shorter length curls downwards from the block to create a wrist guard with a similar fishtail terminal.


From the base of the knuckle bow and wrist guard two outwardly facing convex bars curl downwards to terminate at junctures left and right of the end of the ricasso to form pas d'ane rings. To the front a robust and reinforced frontal guard loop extends from the base of the knuckle bow to curve laterally across the front of the hilt then curves downwards to converge with a similar more slender bar from the rear with the square section terminals of the pas d'ane rings. To the front two upward curled guard bars emanate from the pas d'ane rings with fishtail terminals. Between these a crescent of iron connects the pas d'ane rings. To the rear the pas d'ane ring terminals are joined to curved secondary guard bars which curve downwards from the rear lateral loop guard.


The pommel is forged in slightly flattened ovoid form, with a circular basal collar or neck, and expands towards its top. It is forged into a similar but larger fishtail terminal to those seen on the guard bars. The pommel is pierced for a wrist thong. The original grip is formed from a base of spirally grooved wood onto which alternate loops of straight and twisted copper wire has been wrapped and moulded into the grooves. The grooves are further finished with lengths of copper twisted wire which are covered at their terminals by wire turks heads top and bottom.


The double edged blade is stiffened and strengthened towards its point indicating that the sword was intended primarily for thrusting, probably against armour when in use. From the hilt the ricasso extends 2.25 inches (5.5 cm) after which the blade expands, is forged in flattened lenticular section and strongly tapers to its point. To the front an armourers mark consisting of a letter "C" beneath a crown has been punched in raised relief within a shield, slightly unclear on the right side due to the punch not beimg flat when carried out.


Between two incised decorative parallel lines which emanate from the hilt each side is the etched signature "ENRICHE COL ESPADEIRO DEL REY EM ALLEMANHA" beyond which broad orb and cross marks are etched. The bladesmith mark and the signature are of Heinrich Col who was a German bladesmith from Solingen who worked in Toledo. Cf. Seitz I, p. 344, and II, p. 268.


The sword is in fine condition with no repairs or breaks to the guard bars. It has minor age related blemishes on the blade commensurate with its age and a consistent well preserved sheen overall. Swords of this type are present in the Ambras Castle collection. Overall length 40.5 inches (103 cm) blade 35 inches (89 cm).


To enquire about this item please click here:

Click a photograph for a large version