Description This hilt is remarkable for its figural motifs: the pommel is chiseled as a lion, the quillons as Africans' heads, and the finger guard with a mythical unicorn attacked by a hound. Combined, these symbolize the ferocity of a noble warrior who uses his weapon in a pure cause though beset by adversity. The hilt is attributed to Gottfried Leygebe by comparison with ones that are signed. It may replace an earlier one that was damaged. The blade is signed "MEVES BERNS" on one side and, on the other side, "ME FECIT SOLINGEN" ("Meves Berns of Solingen made me").
Provenance Private collection, Sweden; Sale, Sotheby's, London, April 16, 1973, lot 219; Walters Art Museum, 1973, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1973
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