Ceremonial Swords

There are five swords now kept in the Tower. The largest of these is the Sword of State, with a blade about thirty-two inches long. The grip and the pommel are of gilt metal, and the former bears designs of the portcullis, fleur-de-lys, and harp, whilst on the latter are a thistle, orb, and other emblems. The scabbard itself is covered with crimson velvet encircled with gilded metal plates bearing designs in high relief.

Three other swords are of considerable interest. One of these is called "Curtana," another the "Sword of Justice to the Spirituality," and the third the "Sword of Justice to the Temporality."

The most curious of these is "Curtana," or the "Sword of Mercy", also known as the sword of Edward the Confessor. Its blunted point is supposed to be typical of the quality of mercy. The Jewelled Sword of State is considered to be the most beautiful and valuable sword in the world. It was made for George IV., at a cost of 6000, and presents a mass of jewels of all colours set in gold.

At the Coronation this sword is borne by the Keeper of the Jewel House as one of the military emblems, and is offered by the King in homage to the Church.

The Spurs are of solid gold, richly chased in flowing patterns, and have straps of crimson velvet embroidered in gold. They are known as St. George's Spurs, and are one of the emblems of knighthood and chivalry, and with the sword help to mark the military character of the Sovereign.

At the Coronation these spurs are presented to the Sovereign, and immediately deposited on the Altar, being afterwards redeemed by the payment of some handsome fee.

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