Hanger, the hilt of the hanger consists of a symmetrical iron guard, which is made, in the form of a twin scallop shell, with the shell on the obverse being larger than the shell on the reverse. Four slots, two forward and two after the junction with the blade, pierce the hilt. The knuckle-guard extends in a downward curve from the front joint between the two-scallop shells and broadens itself into a rough scallop shell shape more than halfway towards the pommel. This scallop shell from its terminal through a continuation may have connected it to the pommel at one time, as there is a small hole in the pommel cap's leading face. The pommel cap is flat-ended and has a pear-shaped flat plate applied to it. A tongue-shaped quillon is upwardly scrolled and ends in a drum-shaped finial. The protruding tang is secured in place by a square-shaped nut. The horn grip is made of an irregular-section, which swells to the pommel, and is narrower at the top where it is encircled by an iron ferrule.

The steel blade is slightly curved, flat-backed and somewhat falchion-shaped (a short curved sword). The blade has two broad grooves running for most of its length to the point, with an additional narrower groove against the back edge. There is also a very short groove at the shoulder, close to the cutting edge. A short false edge is preceded by a pronounced protuberance. The point is damaged and presumably was originally rather longer than it now appears. The reverse of the blade has markings contained within the two broad grooves, 76mm from the hilt. The scabbard is missing.

The type of hilt used in this hanger seems to have been fairly common for Naval weapons in Western Europe in the 17th and early 18th centuries. Although the scallop shell has maritime connotations it was widely used elsewhere particularly in hunting weapons. It is impossible to confirm that this hanger has Naval connections, except it is safe to say that it is of a type popular at sea. There are a number of similar weapons in the Tojhusmuseet and elsewhere, which are described as 'cutlasses'. Certainly, the form of this weapon - cheaply made but reasonable effective - is similar to what would be expected of a cutlass.

Object Details

ID: WPN1430
Collection: Weapons
Type: Hanger
Display location: Display - Tudor and Stuart Seafarers Gallery
Creator: Unknown
Date made: 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Blade: 616 x 35 mm

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