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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

Francis Bedford (1815-94)

Works of Art Exhibited at Marlborough House, 1854: Cellini's Sword Hilt 1854

Albumen print | 18.6 x 13.5 cm (image) | RCIN 2800192

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Photograph of a hilt of a sword, featuring elaborate silverwork. The sword is decorated with scenes from the Old Testament Book of Samuel. The oval pommel is decorated with men in armour surrounding a bare-chested David who holds the severed head of Goliath. The grip is decorated with full figures of men in armour with dogs at their feet. The crossguard is decorated two figures. On the right is the personification of time and on the left is a winged figure. There is an oval medallion in the centre, showing a male pouring liquid from a jug and two other male figures watching. C-shaped arches decorated with figures of tied-on satyrs are on both sides of the ricasso. The guard is completed by a pierced shield, decorated on its edge by an oval medallion depicts Davd slaying a lion. The medallion is held by two figures on either side.

Based on the superb silverwork, the sword was originally thought to have been completed by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-71).

The sword is held by the Royal Collection Trust (RCIN 62994) and is currently on displayed in the Queen's Guard Chamber, Windsor Castle.
  • Creator(s)

    View person page

    Francis Bedford (1815-94) (photographer)

    Benvenuto Cellini (1500-70)
  • 18.6 x 13.5 cm (image)

  • 'Cellini's Sword Hilt'

  • Commissioned by Henry Cole. Later acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Great Britain
          • England
            • Greater London [England]
              • London [Greater London]
                • City of Westminster
                  • Marlborough House [London]
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Engineering & Technology
        • Military engineering
          • Arms (weapons)
            • Side arms (weapons)
              • Swords
      • Agriculture and related techniques
        • Animal husbandry
          • Dogs