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Empire & Industry

The Sword

Execution Sword

Period:
17th Century
Description:
This is not a weapon of war but is still an instrument of death. The condemned did not prostrate themselves on the block as they would have done if the tool used by the executioner was an axe. Rather they would be blindfolded and would kneel upright in front of the executioner (sometimes holding a cross). There are records of several people from noble families (such as Anne Boleyn) avoiding the clumsy chops of the axe by paying for specialist foreign swordsmen to carry out the deed.
Place of Production:
Germany
Dimensions:
blade 807mm, hilt 230mm
Source:
Dean Castle
Accession number:
MA/S76
Digital Number:
EAAM093n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council