O.1 Early pattern-welded blade with later Viking Age bronze guard

Use "hot spots" in orange to zoom to Hilt (24 kb), Close-up of guard (59 kb), Area of erosion in pattern-welded blade exposing core (29 kb), Stress crack in blade (36 kb) or Pattern (31 kb); or Overall View (16 kb JPG)

Find place  Unknown, possibly Holland
Collection Private 
 Length Blade: 76.5 cm.
 Date Guard 900 - 950 AD; blade before 800 AD
 Condition Excavated with moderate pitting and erosion, most likely a river find.

This sword reputedly had been "making the rounds" in the Dutch antiques trade before finding its way into its present collection; as such, the details of where it was found have been lost, along with its pommel. Of interest is that the blade is of a type characteristic of either the Migration Period or early Viking Age and generally regarded as having been mostly out of use by about 800, while the cast bronze lower guard is of a type characteristic of 900 to 950, strongly suggesting either that this is an.early blade re-hilted or that our chronology is defective (more details in zooms of hilt and guard). Of special interest regarding the blade is that the degree of erosion exposes the structure of this pattern-welded blade and a stress fracture paradoxically suggests failure of the pattern-welded bands before the steel edge sections.

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 Copyright © 1997 by Lee A. Jones