This magnificent sword was surely made to order for a wealthy and probably titled owner. It is a hand and a half broadsword made for use in one hand or two, depending on the situation. It is related to a group of swords dating to the early 17th century, mainly decorated with animal head pommels and quillon terminals. The use of human heads is less well known, but several examples exist. A notable example, evidently related to and possible by the same artisan is in the collection of the Historsche Museum, Dresden, #VI/341. Features distinctive to both examples are the form of the ears and the wedge shaped rolled collar. The base of the 32 3/4" double edged blade is decorated with a scrolling tendril from which three flowers bloom, growing from a fruit. The reference is obviously to the cycle of birth and renewal a popular theme offering hope in troubled times.