Artifact of the Day
Western Europe, perhaps the Netherlands (about 1700-10)
Steel triangular blade of hollow-ground hexagonal section in forte becoming lozenge section to point. forte pierced through with dots & slotted dots. Gilt bronze hilt with small bivalve shell having fluted edge & cast with openwork traceries & figural motifs. Large arms of the hilt, baggy sleeve with hexagonal plinth below. Rear quillon bent, originally slightly turned towards obverse shell, having swollen terminal with foliation. Quillon block has ornate scenes with figures & angels, asymmetrically curved knuckle guard swollen at mid-height where it is carved with scenes of figures. Knuckle guard with dragon's head terminal plugging into side of pommel. All branches of hilt fluted. Oval section pommel slightly oblate circular in outline with necked base & low button above. Pommel with oval cartouches of Victory & armored merman figure both supported by female figures. Wire-wrapped wooden grip tapering to ends with braided brass "Turk's heads".