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Title Cromwellian back sword
Nationality British
Period c 1640
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

English Civil War period mortuary sword, traditionally worn with a buff coat and breast and back plate by officers of cavalry and infantry units on both sides. These were called mortuary swords by 19th-century collectors, as the typical design of a long-haired man was thought to commemorate the execution of King Charles I in 1648

The back sword blade (34"), which has had considerable cleaning over the years, is either German or North Italian. There are no repairs obviously visible, since its original manufacture, on the nicely chiselled iron hilt. The inside of the guard is well patinated, even showing the hammer marks from the original forging. The copper wire grip may well have been refurbished at some point in the last 100 years. However, the tang button shows very little evidence of any recent disturbance and both it and the tang are also nicely patinated.

There is a wonderful statue of Cromwell in Parliament Square (London) holding this sword in one hand and the Bible in the other (as I remember).

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : British : 17th Century]


The Saber is really beautiful.

R K, Austria, 29.06.2017

Hanger arrived safe and sound 11.30ish today. Very pleased, it's as expected. Your excellent pics make all the difference in terms of confident buying over the net. As a matter of interest, the frog, which as you said is very a/f, is, as you thought, 'spot on'. On closer inspection it is a mk.1 Naval Frog, designated 'for cutlasses'. Date seems around 1860ish give or take.

By the way, I think your site is very user friendly. Seems to work much better than many and up to date, a rarity!!!

C W, UK, 20.04.2006