Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Early to Mid 17th Century German Infantry Officer’s Broad Sword of Early “Walloon” Type With Chiselled Steel Guard Ref: 037.16


Price: £1,775

Item Description:


A German or Northern European single hand broad sword of early "Walloon" type dating to the early 17th century. The sword is in good russet condition with a fine chiselled steel hilt. The guard is formed as a central block from which a round section knuckle bow rises to the pommel, swelling towards the middle,  chiselled with a decorative panel of foliage. An outer side loop guard with a moulded border protects the fingers of the right hand of the user and is infilled with a plate chiselled with similar designs to those on the the knuckle bow. From this a second primary guard bar, similar in form to the knuckle bow, rises perpendicular to the knuckle bow to the pommel, and protects the back of the right hand of the user.


On the inner side a further loop guard infilled in similar manner is mounted with a flattened bar on the outside which projects upwards for a short distance to curl over and meet the base of the grip to form a thumb ring.


The pommel is of flattened globular form with a neck and is cut on its upper surface with similar designs to the main guard bar mid points and the loop guard plates. To the rear a downward tear-drop shaped wrist guard emanates from the quillon block terminating with a decorative swollen acorn finial. The cylindrical wooden grip is covered with leather and spirally fluted accommodating its copper wire binding.


The tapering pointed double edged blade is of fine quality and of lenticular section for its entire length. It is formed with a central fuller either side 6.25 inches long (16 cm) in which the letters "I V A N I" are applied flanked by quatrefoils of dots. Further narrow fullers flank the central fuller. Beyond the fuller termination on both sides a boldly stamped bladesmith's mark of three king's heads set in triangular format are present. The blade is 30 inches long (76 cm).


Multifunctional swords of this type with double edged stiff blades of medium length were generally used in close quarter front line combat by infantrymen and pikemen when massed ranks met, sharp enough to cut through the less defended areas of an opponent, and strong enough to be used for thrusting to penetrate between plates of armour.


Condition: The sword is in good original condition russet all over with some patches of old light pitting commensurate with its age.


Note: The bladesmith's marks are probably those of a member of the Wundes family of bladesmiths working in Solingen in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.


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