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Diego de Çaias (active c. 1530-52)

Hunting sword, by-knife and scabbard 1544

RCIN 61316

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This hunting sword belonged to Henry VIII and is decorated with a depiction of the successful siege of Boulogne in 1544 together with an elegiac inscription in Latin. A technique known as Counterfeit damascening is used to create the pattern and uses gold wire pressed into incised lines on a hatched background. The hilt is covered with arabesque decoration of a type also seen on embroidery of a similar date. The title of Thomas Germinus’s pattern book “Morysse and Damashin, renewed and increased, very profitable for Goldsmythes and Embroderars” (1548) draws attention to the similarity in styles of ornament across these two decorative arts.