The Wallace Collection

Swordplay Saturday: A Day in the Sixteenth Century! Image
Special Day Event

Swordplay Saturday: A Day in the Sixteenth Century!

Saturday 15th September, 2012

11:00am - 6:00pm

Price: Admission Free

Ages: All Ages


Celebrate the entire range of sixteenth-century arts and entertainment. Enjoy historical sword-fighting on the lawn, watch the short play 'Work for Cutlers or a Merry Dialogue Between Sword, Rapier and Dagger' and even meet Sir Robert Dudley, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, and Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing female criminal from the Tudor underworld! Families can take part in art activities and armour handling demonstrations, while adults can attend interesting talks or take part in a fiercely competitive Renaissance tavern quiz!

No booking required, suggested donation of £2 per person.




Armour Handling Stall
11am – 4pm
Come and meet a Tudor armourer, archer and mail maker and handle real and replica Renaissance armour!
Front Lawn


Make your own Portrait Miniature!
Create your own portrait miniature based on the beautiful examples on display in the museum,including a sumptuous case to hold it in!
Education Studio (Lower Ground Floor)


Historical Fencing Demonstration
11.30am – 12.15pm, 12.45pm-1.30pm
2pm-2.45pm, 3.15pm-4pm

Join The Sussex Sword Academy and The School of the Sword for a series of demonstrations exploring topics such as the rise of the rapier in the 16th century, how swashbucklers got their name, the science of the sword and the reality of the duel.
Front Lawn


Work for Cutlers, or a Merry Dialogue between Sword, Rapier and Dagger
12pm, 1.15pm & 2.45pm
Join us for a rare performance of this short Jacobean play, which pokes fun at the contemporary debate of the superiority of the sword over the rapier. Each performance will be preceded by a short explanatory talk by Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour
Great Gallery (First Floor)


Meet Sir Robert Dudley and Moll Cutpurse!
1pm, 2.30pm & 4pm
Meet Robert Dudley, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, and Moll Cutpurse, a cross-dressing female criminal from the Tudor underworld.
European Armoury II (Ground Floor)


Masked to the Hilt!
Earlier this summer 20 Year 9 students from Sacred Heart RC High School in Hammersmith worked with the London College of Fashion and the Wallace Collection to make a collection of spectacular masks based on the Noble Art of the Sword exhibition. See and hear about the project throughout the day
Project Presentation
11.15am-11.45am and 1.45pm-2.15pm
Meeting Room (Lower Ground Floor)
Renaissance Catwalk
12.30pm-1.15pm and 2.15pm-2.45pm
First Floor Galleries 


Renaissance Tavern Quiz!
Get your thinking caps on and join us for a fiercely competitive Renaissance Tavern Quiz! Answer questions related to geography, literature, art and celebrity with a magnum of Ruinart champagne up for grabs! Free to enter and each team can have a maximum of 6 people. If you would like to book a table for the quiz please call 020 7563 9527

Restaurant (Ground Floor)


Gallery Talks

Titian’s Perseus and Andromeda
11.15am – 11.45am
Lucy Davis, Curator of Old Master Pictures
Great Gallery (First Floor)


Italian Renaissance Painting
12.15pm - 12.45pm
Lucy Davis, Curator of Old Master Pictures
16th century Gallery (Ground Floor)


The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe
1.15pm – 1.45pm and 3.15pm-3.45pm
Victoria Coleman, Exhibition Galleries (Lower Ground Floor)


The Renaissance in France
2.15pm – 2.45pm
Christoph Vogtherr, Director
16th century Gallery (Ground Floor)


Colourful crockery and Glorious glasses: High end entertaining in the Renaissance
Suzanne Higgot, Curator of Glass, Limoges Painted Enamels and Earthenwares
16th century Gallery (Ground Floor)


*This programme is subject to change