Apr 24, 2020

Executioner's Sword

Executioner's Sword

blade dated 1634

Steel

Overall: 98.1 cm (38 5/8 in.); Blade: 75.3 cm (29 5/8 in.); Quillions: 15.5 cm (6 1/8 in.); Grip: 22.5 cm (8 7/8 in.)

Weight: 2.04 kg (4.5 lbs.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1616

Location

Did you know?

The blades of executioner's swords were often decorated with moralistic inscriptions.

Description

An executioner's sword is specifically designed and balanced for decapitation, not combat. It usually features short quillons or cross guards, as the hands did not need added protection, and a blunt end. In wide use during the 1600s, by the 1700s they were largely out of use except for ceremonial purposes.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Arms & Armor
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor
Medium: 
Steel

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