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German Executioner Sword with Exceptional Provenance, Probably 17th C
From the collection of Fernand Meyssonnier and once featured in the Museum of Justice and Punishment in Fontaine de Vaucluse near Avignon, France, this executioner sword still features its original copper museum inventory tag numbered "180". Broad (2 5/8") 33" blade of lens-section with short central fuller and squared tip, chiseled on one side in the fuller "HUTE DICH THU KEIN BOSES NICHT" and "SO KOMMST DU NICHT INS GERICHT", which means roughly "beware that you have no evil so you do not come to judgement". Straight octagonal iron quillons expanding toward the finials; conical pommel with rounded top and button. Leather-covered wood grip, partially split on one side, but likely the original. Dark patina to metal, with light pitting and rust marking and several nicks in the blade. Overall length 42 3/4", weight 4 pounds 6 ½ ounces.
Fernand Meyssonnier (1931-2008) was an executioner in French Algeria from 1947 to 1961 and executed over 200 convicted criminals by guillotine. He is the author of the book "An Executioner’s Tale" (French Text). His family has been linked to the executioner’s trade since the 16th Century.
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