Broadsword, made in Edinburgh

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Postcard of Broadsword, made in Edinburgh.
© National Museums Scotland

Broadsword, made in Edinburgh

This broadsword with silver hilt was made by the Edinburgh goldsmith Harry Bethune, around 1715. The hilt is not of the Highland type, but as the blade has Jacobite inscriptions, it may well have been carried by someone in the Jacobite army.

The broadsword has a half basket hilt. The steel blade is decorated with the figure of St Andrews and 'Prosperity to Schotland and no union' on one side and 'For God my country and King James the 8' on the other.

It was unusual for a Scottish goldsmith to make a sword hilt completely out of silver. It was more common for the decorative attachments such as thistles to be cut out from sheet metal and attached to the basket hilt.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-002-249-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.LA 124
Date: Around 1715
c. 1715
Material: Silver hilt. Inscription: HB; one side of blade: Prosperity to Schotland and no Union; other side of blade: a crown / crossed sceptres / For God my Country and King James the 8
Dimensions: 1020 mm L
What: Broadsword
Subject: Swords (NMAS Classification)
Who: Henry Bethune, Edinburgh (Silversmith)
James VIII
Milne-Davidson Collection
St Andrew
Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Broadsword with a silver half basket hilt by Henry Bethune, Edinburgh, c. 1715, the blade elaborately decorated with the figure of St Andrew and inscribed on both sides
  • Finlay, I. Scottish Gold and Silver Work. London: Chatto & Windus, 1956, p 138. 
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