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Broadsword of Oliver Cromwell

Artist/maker unknown, English

Made in England, Europe

c. 1650

Etched steel [blade]; embossed iron chiseled in high relief, wood, silver wire [hilt]

Length (overall): 38 1/8 inches (96.8 cm) Blade: 32 1/2 × 1 15/16 inches (82.6 × 4.9 cm) Hilt: 5 1/16 × 4 5/8 inches (12.9 × 11.7 cm) Height (pommel): 2 1/8 inches (5.4 cm) Diameter (pommel): 1 5/16 inches (3.3 cm) Weight: 3.1 lb. (1405g)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 349, Arms and Armor, third floor (Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Galleries)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch, 1977

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This is one of the finest surviving swords of a type favored during the English Civil War (1642-51). The long-standing association of this sword with English statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is consistent with the unusual inscription and heraldic arms of England and Ireland on the blade, and with the outstanding quality of the hilt's chiseled decoration.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.