German Executioner’s Sword, 17th C


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Silver-gilt cruciform steel hilt with octagonal quillons swelling toward the baluster finials;
chiseled quillon block. Delicately chiseled ovoid pommel; wood grip with cord and leather
wrap (possibly original) secured with ferrules top and bottom. Broad (2 3/8″) double-edged
33 ½” blade of lens section with blunted end as typically found. Deep central fuller on each
side, engraved “Die herren Steuren Dein unheil. Ich Exequiere Ihr Endts urtheil” (Men
control your misdeeds. I execute your judgement) on one side and “Wan Ich das Schwert
thue aufheben wunsch ich dem Sunder das Ewigleben”, (When I pick up the sword I wish
the sinner eternal life) on the other. This inscription is typical of German executioner
swords in that even as the criminal is condemned to death for his crime, the desire is that
they find redemption in the eyes of God. Blade also features engraved naked female
figure of Justitia on one side below the fuller and Prudentia on the other; engraved floral
decor flanking the fullers. Much better quality workmanship than typically found. Very
good condition with generally smooth metal and retaining traces of the original silver gilding
on hilt. Overall length 42 1/2″.