This is a rare complete example of the classic form of two-handed sword used in the Scottish Highlands, called a claymore (literally, "great sword"). The term is also applied to the basket-hilted sword characteristic of Scotland from at least the eighteenth century onward.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Culture:hilt, Scottish; blade, German, Solingen
Dimensions:L. 53 1/2 in. (136 cm); L. of blade 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm); W. 11 1/4 in. (28.5 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 9 oz. (2068.5 g)
Credit Line:Bequest of Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 1954
Inscription: Incised on both sides of the blade at forte: :: I :: H :: S :: (framed by incised lines and rows of dots terminating in an ornamental cross).
Marking: Stamped on one side of the ricasso: [an arch or table beneath a crown]; [a B-shaped mark]; [an arch or table beneath a crown]; on the other side of the ricasso: [an arch or table beneath a crown]; [a bugle beneath an M] (within a rectangle); [an arch or table beneath a crown]; inlaid in brass on one side of the blade: [an abstracted design which may depict a running horse].
John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, Taymouth Castle, Kenmore, Perth and Kinross, Scottland and Park Lane, London (until d. 1862; Inventory of the Pictures and Other Works of Art, Including Marbles, Antiquities & Curiosities, The Property of The Most Noble The Marquis of Breadalbane, K. T., Deceased at Taymouth Castle, N. B. and 21, Park Lane, London 1863, probably no. 152; by descent to his heirs); John Alexander Gavin Campbell, 6th Earl of Breadalbane and Holland, Taymouth Castle, Kenmore, Perth and Kinross, Scottland and Park Lane, London (1862–d. 1871; by descent to his heirs); Gavin Campbell, 1st Marquess of Breadalbane, Taymouth Castle, Kenmore, Perth and Kinross, Scottland and Park Lane, London (1871–85; Majolica, Limoges Enamels, Venetian and German Glass sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, May 20, 1885, no. 188, for 18 guineas); Charles Alexander Cosson, London (by 1890–93; Armour and Arms, or, Catalogue of the Famous Collection of Armour and Arms Formed by That Well-Known Connoisseur, The Baron de Cosson, F.S.A., Which Has Been On Loan to the South Kensington Museum for the Last Two Years sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, May 2–3, 1893, no. 184, for 60 guineas); Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, New York and New Jersey (until d. 1909; by descent to his heirs); Mrs. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, New York and New Jersey (1909–d. 1948; by descent to her heirs); Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, New York and New Jersey (1948–d. 1954; his bequest to MMA).
London. New Gallery. "Exhibition of the Royal House of Tudor," 1890–April 6, 1890, no. 656 (lent by Baron de Cosson).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor," August 3–September 27, 1931, no. 138 (lent by Mrs. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant).
Waring, J. B., and J. R. Planché. A Handbook to the Museum of Ornamental Art in the Art Treasures Exhibition. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1857. p. 75 (possibly this claymore).
Christie, Manson & Woods. Majolica, Limoges Enamels, Venetian and German Glass. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, May 20, 1885. p. 14, no. 188.
New Gallery. Exhibition of the Royal House of Tudor: The New Gallery, Regent Street. London: The Gallery, 1890. p. 157, no. 656.
Christie, Manson & Woods. Armour and Arms, or, Catalogue of the Famous Collection of Armour and Arms Formed by That Well-Known Connoisseur, The Baron de Cosson, F.S.A., Which Has Been On Loan to the South Kensington Museum for the Last Two Years. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, May 2–3, 1893. no. 184.
Ehrenthal, Max von. Führer Durch das Königliche Historische Museum zu Dresden. 3rd ed. Dresden: Wilhelm Baensch, 1899. pp. 47, 73 (marks ill.).
Dean, Bashford. The Collection of Arms and Armor of Rutherford Stuyvesant, 1843–1909. New York: privately printed, 1914. pp. 60–61, no. 61, pl. XXV.
Laking, Guy Francis, and Charles Alexander Cosson. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries, edited by Francis Henry Cripps-Day. Vol. II. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920. p. 303, fig. 682.
Weyersberg, Albert. Solinger Schwertschmiede des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts und ihre Erzeungnisse. Solingen, Germany: Verein für Technik und Industrie, 1926. pp. 32–35, fig. 78.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, August 3 to September 27, 1931. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 39, no. 138, ill.
Nickel, Helmut. Warriors and Worthies: Arms and Armor Through the Ages. New York: Atheneum, 1969. p. 81, ill.
Nickel, Helmut. "Zusätzliche Bemerkungen zum Problem der Klingenmarke ‘Gekröntes Pi’." Waffen– und Kostümkunde: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für historische Waffen– und Kostümkunde, Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 40, ser. 3 v. 23, no. 2 pp. 101–109 (marks discussed).
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.