Antique swords
I have a short sword that I am trying to identify.It is very similar to a Roman short sword. The pommel and grip is a brass casting, one difference from the roman's is has a cross on the middle of the cross guard, the total length is 25 1/2", the blade is 20" long. I was told by an elderly gentlemen that is a Popes Swiss body guard side arm sword. It is also listed in the 1927 Bannermens catalog as such. If anyone can tell me any more information as per. identification and it's worth. Or steer me in the right direction I would really appreciate it . Thanks Guy
Hi Guy,

Welcome to the board.

Bannerman was known to cobble together a great many fantasies and describe them as such. They also sold quite accurately described goods as well. A picture (or several) of your sword may be helpful. There were fraternal and theatrical swords with this general description. I do not own old catalog or reproductions of the catalogs from folk like Horstmann, Ames, Pettibone, et al. There is a fairly standard brass hilt displaying a Roman soldier on a gladius type based sword that was sold to fraternal orders. Rather than play twenty questions back and forth, if you can share a picture of your sword, it may go pretty quickly.

It may look perhaps something like this one? Similar have been attached to a variety of blades over the years.

If not, a picture of yours may match up to one f the catalogs such as the Ames Hamilton book, or the catalog reprint from Stuart Mowbray. I own neither but the Hamlton book has the catalog section included.

Value? There have been some similar types malingering on Ebay for a couple of years and more. Usually because of the price listed. Provenanced to a Bannerman catalog may help a little but at the same time, a reason it might not fech much of a price from a serious collector. You never know though.


Does it look more or less like this one?

This model was quite popular in number of countries in the 19th C, including the US, if I remember correctly.
Hi Paul,

It is the French 1816 with the fish scale handle that was adopted by the U.S. as their 1832 artillery sword. Where the French model showed a cockerel, the American was an eagle. There are also various other brass hilted shortswords, some are offered for view at the

The old AOL pages of are currently rebuilding but there ave been some interesting thoughts over the years. Some can still be read via those pages via

The papal swiss guard swords have been discussed at one point or another and i am not quickly finding that, nor a good picture of their current sidearm.



Edit to attach an enlargement of the current wiki Swiss Guard sword picture and as I remembered, not exactly what one would describe in the gladius category but it is a brass handled sword.

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