My Antiques Obsession: Sword Edition

Here’s my Sword Post, as promised. (Did you miss my map post or ‘where the magic happens’ post? Check them out here and here)

As I mentioned before, the history of this sword is unknown. But there are a few things that we do know about it.

  • My parents bought it for me after I graduated college in 2013.
  • It was sold at auction from the collection of William Ashby. The auction house kept the pictures of the lots up for about year after, so they’re gone now, but if you look up ‘William Ashby collection’ on Pinterest, you’ll find some of the other items that were sold.

File May 08, 10 39 41

  • Fact: The Sword was made in Balboa, Spain.

File May 08, 10 41 51

  • Fact: The Sword was likely made sometime in the 1600s- early 1700s.
  • Fact: The Sword was used. As you can see, there are dings and dents in the blade and handle. (Does the pitting equal salt water exposure or just age? Who knows.)

File May 08, 10 42 23

  • Fact: The only defining marks on the blade are tiny crosses (see below), and they are on both the front and back of the blade. I imagine they are of some import, rather than just decor, but I haven’t been able to locate them online.

File May 08, 10 43 27

I can imagine a lot of exciting scenarios involving the history of this sword. One of my ancestors, Humphrey de Bradburn, was employed as a sellsword for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain and fought against the Moors there. I think he was probably a bit too early to the be the owner of this sword, but how I would love for that to be the case!

What else was happening in 1600s-1700s?

  • The Golden Age of Piracy was 1660-1730.
  • 30 years war (1618-1648)
  • Spanish Inquisition (1400s-1800s)
  • War of European powers against the Turks (1683 to 1699) {Ottoman Wars}
  • William III of England defeats former king James II and Irish rebels at Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. (1690)

What do you think? Pirates? ‘Crusaders’? Inquisitors? Rebels?

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