The steel blade of the sword is 991mm long and 44mm wide at its broadest part, the hilt is etched on one side with the figure of St Peter with St Paul on the other. The words “Julius II Pont Max” are etched beneath each figure. The silver-gilt handle is 387mm long with dolphin shaped quillons (arm of the cross guard) making a total width of 438mm. The handle above is decorated with oak leaves and acorns finished with a circular pommel on top. Overlapping the scabbard and beneath the handle are two oak leaves. The sword was damaged in 1652 whilst being hidden from Cromwell’s troops as it had to be broken in half in order to be concealed while being taken to safety.
The scabbard is 128mm long and 50mm wide. It is made of wood, covered in dark red velvet and mounted with silver gilt repoussé work. On the front and at the mouth is an enamelled panel with the Arms of Pope Julius II and above the Arms are crossed keys linked by a tasselled cord surmounted by the papal tiara – the symbol of the Papacy. The remainder of the scabbard is divided into three areas filled with decoration of oak leaves, acorns, dolphins and masks with fittings for the sword belt on the reverse.
The Sword Belt
The Sword Belt is 1499mm in length made of woven silk and gold thread showing the personal Arms of Pope Julius repeated along the whole length. The belt is fastened by an ornately decorated silver-gilt buckle.