Transitional Short Sword
Place of Origin: British Isles
Overall: 34.5 inches
Blade: 27.75 inches
A lovely Dutch transitional rapier or small sword. The hilt is chiselled steel, the guard pierced with floral designs and two stylized human heads in profile. The same head is represented twice on the guard, quillon block and pommel, for a total of six heads. The quillons, quillon block and pommel are all chiselled en-suite with the rest of the hilt. The grip is likely original and the sword overall is undisturbed. The patina is a beautiful rich grey colour.
The Hilt is almost certainly by the same maker as a sword pictured in Oakeshott’s book, European Weapons and Armour, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, plate 21F. The sword in Oakeshott’s book has a knuckle guard, while our sword does not which generally indicates a slightly earlier date.
The blade has a small rectangular ricasso that has a shallow concavity, with a maker’s mark on one side. The blade then steps down and is hexagonal in section. The hexagonal region is chiselled with more floral designs and what appears to be a stylized ‘Lion Rampant’. The third and final phase of the blade is diamond sectioned. The blade overall is extremely well forged and executed, a definite bonus on an already interesting sword.
The maker’s mark appears to be a Negro’s head, which in the murky world of maker’s marks may indicate that it is the work of Andres Munsten 1587 – 1610. Munsten is said to have worked in Solingen and in Toledo.