A BRUNSWICK STATE TWO-HAND PROCESSIONAL SWORD OF THE GUARD OF JULIUS, DUKE OF BRUNSWICK AND LÜNEBURG IN WOLFENBÜTTEL (1528-89), NO. 235, DATED 1573
with straight double-edged blade of flattened-diamond section sharply tapering at the point, rectangular ricasso formed with a pair of slender up-turned lugs in the middle, boldly incised with the crowned Ducal monogram, the number and the date within a linear frame on each side, iron hilt comprising a pair of ribbon-like quillons each interrupted by a chiselled and engraved fish-shaped moulding, curled forward and back at the respective down-curved terminals (one quillon expertly repaired), a pair of small flat engraved serpentine lugs at the base, punched inner and outer ring-guards, each interrupted with three baluster mouldings and filled with a saltire, the former with thumb-ring, thick pierced crutch-shaped pommel boldly engraved with foliage, and early leather-covered wooden grip
134.0 cm; 52 3/4in blade
The Brunswick Ducal Zeughaus, Wolfenbüttel
Duke Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1528-1589) inherited the title following the death of his two older brothers in battle. He was a keen supporter of the Reformation and introduced it into the Duchy of Wolfenbüttel. The swords from his Ducal Guard are all numbered and may be divided into two series, one dated 1573 and the other 1574. The blades are generally inscribed with the date, an arsenal number and the crowned Ducal monogram IH. There are minor variations within each series and it would appear from the numbered swords extant that original quantity in the group was around 600 - with numbers in each series being recorded in the 290's. In 1573 a sword was delivered to Wolfenbüttel by the armourer Wolf Gabriel and it has been suggested that this was possibly a prototype for the group. Given the large number of differing bladesmith's marks and the variation in minor details it is likely that the order for both the 1573 and 1574 swords was contracted to a number of swordsmiths. It is probable that they were originally stored in the Wolfenbüttel Zeughaus and transferred to the Brunswick Zeughaus when the family moved from Wolfenbüttel in 1753/54. The inventory of the Hanover Zeughaus in 1854 records six of these swords, three dated 1573 and three dated 1574. A document describing the decoration of Schloss Blankenburg in 1868 with arms and armour from the Brunswick Zeughaus records thirty-six swords which are probably from this group.
£15000 - 20000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.