Dutch chiseled iron smallsword

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Inscription gone wrong: blade

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Collection Mandarin Mansion - Chiseled iron dutch smallsword - OverviewCollection Mandarin Mansion - Chiseled iron dutch smallsword - BladeCollection Mandarin Mansion - Dutch-smallsword in 1933 catalogCollection Rijksmuseum - Degen met ruitermotieven 1655 - 1665 - Nr NG-2002-23-236.jpg

The blade starts with a hexagonal cross-section at the base, gently merging into a lenticular cross-section further up the blade. The flat of the blade on either side is inscribed: "INRII MARIA"

There are further decorations of dots and a brass inlaid cross and it is framed by a narrow groove. It is interesting that the word INRI, which stands for IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDÆORVM or "Jezus of Nazareth, King of Jews" is spelled with an additional I.

Peter Dekker, owner of Mandarin Mansion, spotted this misspelling. Misspellings in markings were very common on old European swords because most craftsmen were illiterate. This misspelling, however, revealed the true identity of this Dutch beauty.

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Digital photograph of Peter Dekker
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