Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: adelaide south australia
Circa 1575 Shell Guard Cutlass or Riding Sword
This sword had been in a close friend’s collection for many years until I purchased it from estate at Auction where it had been described as an early Riding Sword. The look and feel of the thing screams cutlass or sabre to me and I would be interested in your thoughts.
Date: Circa 1575-1625 (16th Century)
Overall Length: 86.1 cm (33.9 inches)
Blade length: 73 cm (28.7 inches)
Blade widest point: 3.011 cm (1.2 inches) near hilt, 3.115 swollen tip (1.2 inches)
Hilt widest point: 11.6 cm (4.6 inches)
Inside grip length: 7.5 cm (3 inches)
Marks, etc: So called ‘Passau Wolf’ mark 16th Century, anchor marks
Shell Guard Riding Sword c1575
The steel hilt has a very large upturned guard, styled as a sea shell, and a smaller shell with thumb ring for the reverse guard. The knuckle guard and quillion are of equal length and create a most graceful sweep through the cross guard. The pommel is of a large globular shape with pronounced tang cap. The grip is turned wood covered tightly bound brass wire that is now extremely smooth to the touch and black with age in patches. Steel ferrules are fitted at the top and base of the grip. The curved single edged blade has a single fuller running two thirds of its length and is marked with the 16th century version of the Passau Wolf and early German anchor marks. The blade swells slightly towards the tip.
Sim Comfort has suggested that this style of sword may have a naval connection. The sword bears a strong resemblance to the ne in the early etching of the Pirate Francis Lolonois.
COMFORT (S.) NAVAL SWORDS AND DIRKS: A STUDY OF BRITISH, FRENCH AND AMERICAN NAVAL SWORDS, CUTLASSES AND DIRKS DUR-ING THE AGE OF FIGHTING SAIL. EW5 Pages 5-7.
DUFTY, Arthur Richard EUROPEAN SWORDS AND DAGGERS IN THE TOWER OF LONDON plate 35 d
ESQUEMELING John The Buccaneers of America. First published in Dutch in 1684, and then subsequently in London and New York and currently in print via Naval Institute Press.
OAKESHOTT, Ewart EUROPEAN WEAPONS AND ARMOUR pp155
PETERSON Harold L. Arms and Armor in Colonial America (1526 - 1783) Bramhall House, New York, 1956.
SOUTHWICK Leslie The Price Guide to Antique Edged Weapons, pub Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1982.
VALENTINE Eric Rapiers, pub Arms and Armour Press, London, 1968.
WALLACE COLLECTION Catalogue of European Arms and Armour, pub by the Wallace Collection, London, 1962.
Cheers Cathey and Rex