Object of the Month for December: The ‘Writhen Hilt’ Sword

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this blog post, Assistant Curator Scot Hurst traces the fascinating history of the Writhen Hilt sword, from the hands of two of the world’s most prodigious collectors of art and antiques to the silver screen.  It would be impossible to even begin writing about this hand-and-a-half sword without addressing the obvious talking point. Our eye is instantly drawn to the beautiful, almostRead more

10 Grizzly and Ghoulish Objects in Our Collection | Halloween Special

With Halloween only a few days away, we uncover some of the more ghoulish items in the Royal Armouries collection, including instruments of torture and punishment, relics of fearsome ancient folklore and macabre depictions of tales most horrid.  1. The Scavenger’s Daughter Invented as an instrument of torture in the reign of Henry VIII by Sir Leonard Skeffington, Lieutenant of the Tower of London, the Scavenger’s Daughter was a ‘chief English sort of torture next after the rack’. By swingingRead more

Deconstructing the ‘Blade Runner’ Blaster

As we eagerly anticipate the sequel of the science fiction cult classic ‘Blade Runner’, we reacquaint ourselves with the iconic ‘Blaster pistol’ with our Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson.  Known to aficionados as the ‘PKD’ (Steyr Pflager Katsumata Series-D Blaster or the ‘LAPD 2019’) the Blade Runner blaster was designed and crafted for Harrison Ford’s weary future detective/enforcer Rick Deckard in the celebrated science fiction movie ‘Blade Runner’ (1981). After decades of fanciful directed energy weapons (lasers, phasers, and energy-based ‘blasters’),Read more

We Live Here | Fortress Collection

We Live Here‘s art captures and celebrates scenes of urban living – the architecture and landmarks of the places we call home. His latest artwork, commissioned by the Royal Armouries, depicts the museum in a unique graphic style. We caught up with him to ask him a few questions about his creative process.  Tell us a bit about yourself. My name’s Jonathan Wilkinson and I have been working under the name of We Live Here for over ten years now.Read more

The Knight is Young | Armours of Childhood

There has been much academic debate as to the nature of childhood and children’s experiences throughout the ages. As few children set down accounts of their lives and innermost thoughts, we often rely on their surviving possessions to build a picture of the worlds they inhabited. Today we share just a few of the artefacts in our collection designed for use and wear by children.  Armours for boys fall into three categories: for war (called field armours), for foot combats (in theRead more

Meet the Blacksmiths | Dangerous Arts

Suffolk-based blacksmiths Paul Stoddart from Kingdom Forge and Daniel Goodwin from Firehound Forge showcased their traditional skills at the Royal Armouries as part of our Dangerous Arts summer. We caught up with them to ask a few questions as they made a one of a kind replica medieval arming sword for the museum. Tell us a little bit about the work that you do. Dan: I’m from Firehound Forge and we’re located over in the West Midlands, we make everything fromRead more