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At the apex of the pommel is a modern tang button of brass.
Both the guard and pommel are decorated with classical ornament in relief.
10) The representations of the Labours of Hercules on the colossal sarcophagus in the Palazzo Torlonia, Rome, (11) a popular source of inspiration for Renaissance artists, (12) includes a depiction of the Twelfth Labour, which, like that on the bronze in the V&A and the pommel of the Wallace Collection sword, involves the figure leaning on his right foot and club, with the apples held in his left hand (now missing from the bronze).
A bowl or deep dish can be seen resting on the ground next to the female figure on the pommel.
The reverse or 'rear' face of the pommel presents slightly different challenges.
The seated figure is worth considering even though he does not appear on the Wallace Collection sword, since he is found on another, now dismounted pommel of precisely the same style in the Museo Stefano Bardini in Florence (Figs.
The triumphant warrior is also found in the right niches of both faces of a third closely related pommel in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence (Figs.
Like the bollock dagger, the form of the grip and pommel of the Wallace Collection sword, having a gradual taper down towards the guard, appears to be intended to suggest an erect phallus, if perhaps in a slightly less obvious manner.