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A wonderful and impressive, large, Pilgrim Century sword with a solid carved ivory hilt composed of a finely figured eagle head pommel, full detailed lion back-strap and Corinthian ferrule; the carved grip depicting a helmeted Roman warrior on rearing horse while holding up a scepter. Most probably elephant ivory brought back on the East Indies trade routes by the Dutch VOC (East India Company).
The bronze cross guard composed of long re-curved quillons with nicely detailed bird's head finials. The blade with two crude fullers to each side, both sides fully-engraved with an undulating worm (full length of blade) and a sun with face on the ricasso (engravings worn). Length of hilt about 5 1/2 inches, length overall about 35 1/2 inches.
A very high quality arm that is extremely well balanced, extremely well executed (note the carving of the bird's tongue on pommel) and obviously made for a very important person.
The hilt design is full of symbolism: the Roman warrior on the grip representing the power of the former Empire, the eagle representing Germany, the Lion representing the Netherlands, with the Lion sort of knowing on the eagle and holding it back. Symbolic of the Netherlands’ struggle to suppress the German expansion.
The ivory hilt has a beautiful mellow yellow age patina with normal hairlines caused by normal aging as seen in photos.
Originally purchased from an up-state New York dealer many years ago where it reportedly came from an early Dutch Hudson Valley homestead. Although there is no surviving documentation, its former owner claimed that the sword was handed down in his family for generations and had originally belonged to Peter Stuyvesant, early Dutch Governor of New Netherland (New York) and this information was passed along with the sword. However, this is probably nothing but pure romantic folklore. Whatever the case; that fact is that this sword was probably brought over from the Netherlands by an important early Dutch colonist during the early 17th century settlement of New York (New Netherland).
John Thompson of Plymouth Colony owned a sword of similar form, but of a considerably lesser quality (horn grip and iron guard). We can send you a scan if interested.
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Antique Arms and Armor
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Fine Art Limited
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