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Pommels might have incised or inlaid decorations but this is very rare after about the 11th century.
The equivalent end of a dagger might also be termed a pommel.
Sword Pommel Shapes
The shapes vary considerably. Some examples of types are mentioned below:
- tea cosy - a flat, semi circular pommel. Viking Age Europe.
- lobed - three, five and seven lobes. Viking Age Europe.
- cocked hat - pommel curves away from the hilt and opposite the bend of the crossguard. Viking Age Europe.
- trilobite (three lobe) - very popular in 10th and 11th century Danish swords. This type extends to Spain at the same time
- brazil nut - sideways attached 'nut'. Appears at the end of the 10th century and remains in use until well into the 13th century. Some of these were made of bronze
- disc - flattish iron disc. Appears at the end of the 10th century to be replaced by 'true' wheel pommels.
- wheel - a thick disc shaped pommel (oftimes dished on the side)that replaced the flat disc in the 12th century beginning in southern Europe possibly spreading with returning Crusaders. Some of these were made of bronze or rock crystal.
- ball - solid ball. Appearing in the 13th century and found in use beyond the 17th century.
- trefoil - three circular shapes. Appearing in the 13th century but mainly gone by the end of the 14th.
- pear - shaped as such. 15th century
- kite - shaped as such 15th century
- fishtail - a stylised fish tail shape. 15th century
- cylinder - a cylinder of steel or iron that might be tapered. Found on rapiers from the 16th and 17th century.