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Encyclopedia > Mortuary sword

A mortuary sword is a kind of backsword which was used after 1625 by the dragoons during the English civil wars. This kind of backsword sported a half-basket hilt with a straight blade some 90-105 cm long. These hilts were often of very intricate sculpting and design. In the 19th century it was conjectured that the ornate markings were meant to commemorate King Charles I, the executed English martyr. However this style of hilt predates the execution of Charles (1649).


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Paul Chen (1492 words)
Replicated from a sword thought to be that of Albrecht II of Austria, the Hand-and-a-Half Sword (SH2034) represents the pinnacle of beauty and balance in medieval swords.
The style is typical of a 14th century battle sword but the fittings are undoubtedly those of a king, from the heavy gilding to the adder-skin grip to the beautifully enameled coat of arms, the latter illustrating Edward’s claim to French territories by combining the Lion of England with the Fleur-de-Lys of France.
The two-handed sword was a weapon developed for the use of the foot soldier and had became quite common by the early 1500’s.
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