Apr 24, 2020

Executioner's Sword

Executioner's Sword

blade dated 1634


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


Did you know?

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


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
MED - Arms & Armor
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor

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