XV.*14 Late Medieval Cut and Thrust Sword

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Find place  Unknown
Collection Private 
 Length Overall: 99.5 cm. Blade: 84 cm.
 Date 1400 to 1450 AD, possibly later.
 Condition Excavated with mild, fine pitting; the blade remaining solid and straight, and probably lightly acid cleaned.

This type of sword, adapted for thrusting at some expense to cutting ability especially towards the tip, was, we learn from Oakeshott (April, 1987, p. 50 - 51, 53), popular from the late 13th Century to the middle of the 16th Century, coincident with the rise of plate armour. The blade is of flattened diamond cross section with a central ridge running down the center of each face except in the centimeter adjacent to the guard where the ridge expands into a triangle as the blade transforms into the tang. When this blade was new, the edges would have been entirely straight and the blade symmetrical from the guard to the tip from the perspective of the plane of the median ridges (or, for that matter, the plane of the edges). This example shows a waviness and irregularity along its edges consistent with rehoning prior to corrosion and patination. The degree of flattening of the diamond blade cross section lessens as the tip is approached, with the thickness of the central ridge remaining remarkably constant from the guard to at least ten to fifteen centimeters from the tip. This constant central maximum thickness, along with the observation that the facets of the blade are ever so slightly concave rather than completely flat, and therefore hollow ground, suggests that stock removal (grinding) played as significant a role in the shaping of this blade as did forging, if not more. As may be seen in the inlay close-up, the blade has a punched mark of a fleur-de-lys within a diamond upon either face and a latten (brass) inlaid orb and cross on a single face.

Best seen in the hilt close-up, and further described there, the iron pommel and guard show considerably less corrosion than the blade.

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 Copyright © 1997 by Lee A. Jones