A Good 17th Century English Mortuary Sword, second quarter of the 17th Century.
A Good 17th Century English Mortuary Sword, second quarter of the 17th Century. Tapering 31.25" single edge blade. Symmetrical steel hilt comprising a pair of langets, basket-guard chiselled with rather crude scrolling foliage, the knuckle-guard joined at the front and the rear guard by a pair of scrolling bars and with a further pair of scrolling bars, vestigial scrolling quillon. Chiselled ovoid pommel. Original wood grip missing the wrap. No scabbard. 37.25" overall.
NOTE; the basket-guard has a few small holes in areas.
The cut-and-thrust mortuary sword which was used after 1625 by cavalry during the English Civil War. This (usually) two-edged sword sported a half-basket hilt with a straight blade some 90–105 cm long. These hilts were often of very intricate sculpting and design.
This form of sword was Oliver Cromwell's weapon of choice; the one he owned is now held by the Royal Armouries, and displayed at the Tower of London. Mortuary swords remained in use until around 1670 when they fell out of favor among civilians and began to be replaced with the smallsword.