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 possibly 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.