Art of Swords

Sword
/sôrd/
Noun
1. A weapon consisting typically of a long, straight or slightly curved, pointed blade having one or two cutting edges and set into a hilt.
2. An instrument of death or destruction.

Kindjal Dagger

  • Dated: 19th century
  • Culture: Russian
  • Measurements: overall length 49 cm

The dagger has a double-edged, straight blade with two fullers and central groove on both sides. The silver grip and scabbard have niello decoration of floral and linear ornaments. 

Source: Copyright © 2014 Eaukce Antiques Auctions

Sword with Scabbard

  • Dated: 17th century
  • Culture: Chinese
  • Medium: steel, brass, enamel
  • Measurements: blade length 28 5/8 inches (72.7 cm)

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Cinquedea Dagger

  • Dated: unknown, but made in the 15th century style

The weapon has a double-edged blade of triangular shape, with ribbed section at the tip, and a double fuller in the central part, plus a triple fuller on the forte. The latter is engraved and completely gilded, picturing ordinary life scenes in two cities, one of Classical Time, the other with various spires.

Above the ornamentation there is a floral-patterned frame and decorations with racemes. The iron hilt has some gilding remains. The hilt is of square section with quillons curved towards the blade, flat pommel festooned on the borders, ivory grips with rosettes and gilded and engraved rivets.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Live Auctioneers

Handmade Swords - Vardhllokur (Spirit Song)

  • Maker: Jake Powning
  • Medium: steel, oak, bitch, bronze, silver
  • Measurements: overall length 86.4 cm; weight 1.275 kg

Vardhllokur is a pattern-welded Viking sword with ancient bog-oak grip. The scabbard is yellow birch with Mammen style ornamentation while the hilt is bronze with silver and copper wire accents.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Jake Powning Swords

Handmade Daggers -  ”Panzerstecher” Dagger 

  • Replica
  • Original dated late 16th century
  • Culture: German

 The original dagger is a property of the State Art Collections Dresden, Germany

Source: Copyright © 2014 Arma Bohemia

European Small-Sword

  • Dated: circa 1790-1800
  • Place of Origin: Switzerland, Geneva (blade: Germany, Solingen, early 18th)
  • Medium: hilt: gold with blue translucent enamel; blade: etched, blued and gilded steel
  • Measurements: Overall length 97.00 cm (38 3/16 inches); weight 0.43 kg; blade length 81.00 cm (31 7/8 inches); hilt length 16.50 cm (6 7/16 inches)

This example shows the small-sword at its latest and most refined stage of development. Though highly reflective of French taste, it was probably fashioned in a Swiss workshop under French influence or by a French craftsman working in Switzerland. Worn publicly as an emblem of social rank, this sword was likely custom-made for an affluent individual to use on formal or court occasions.

So-called because of its short blade, the small-sword emerged as the light and quick weapon of choice for aristocratic civilians during the 1700s. Such a sword was traditionally suspended at about mid-thigh from the left side of a belt, the hilt exposed through the opening of the gentleman’s coat.

Highly visible, the hilt invited lavish decoration through precious materials such as gold and enamels, as seen here. Considered a type of masculine jewelry at that time, small-swords featured a variety of hilt styles that went in and out of fashion. Many were decorated to match personal costume, and jewelers worked on the finest small-swords of the day.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Cleveland Museum of Art

Revival Sword

  • Dated: 19th century
  • Culture: Persian
  • Measurements: overall length 97.5 cm, blade 84 cm

The sword has a straight, spear point double-edged blade decorated down its entire length with etched calligraphic text. The iron hilt has a guard in the shape of a stylized dragon head.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Arcimboldo Galleries

The Irish Sword of State

  • Maker: George Bowers (goldsmith, active 1660)
  • Dated: 1660 - 1661
  • Medium: steel, silver gilt; the scabbard of wood, velvet, silver gilt
  • Acquirer: Charles II, King of Great Britain (1630-85), when King of Great Britain de facto (1660-85)
  • Provenance: supplied to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1660

The sword has a broad, straight, flat, two-edged steel blade with etched decoration, and a cruciform silver-gilt hilt, the quillons in the form of a rampant lion and unicorn, a harp at the front of the quillon block and a portcullis above. The wooden scabbard is covered in velvet with applied silver-gilt emblems including a rose, a thistle and the coat of arms of the period 1714-1801.

This sword was used to represent the sovereign when he or she was not physically present, as a symbol of royal authority. This example was used by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland as the sovereign’s representative and was borne by him on state occasions.

It was supplied to the Lord Lieutenant in 1660, although the scabbard dates from a later period. The Irish Sword of State was used until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, and was kept in Dublin until that date. It was added to the regalia in the Jewel House in 1959.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Small Sword

  • Dated: 1670 - 1787
  • Culture: European
  • Measurments: 100.25 cm
  • Provenance: made by Bland, from whom it was acquired

Small sword with burnished steel hilt, vase-shaped pommel, chiselled with pierced scalework and trefoil. Barrel-shaped wooden grip bound with steel wire/foil/silk cord. Straight two-edged blade lenticular section later modified to ‘flaming blade’s used until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, and was kept in Dublin until that date. It was added to the regalia in the Jewel House in 1959.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

European Rapier

  • Dated: circa 1600-1630
  • Culture: German
  • Measurements: overall length 108 cm (3-1/2 ft.)

The sword has twisted iron filigree fuse, terminating with braided rings at two ends. The chiseled wrought-iron mount, pommel, multi-hilt guard, knuckle-bow features foliages and animals decoration. The rapier has a pieced, asymmetric iron bi-valve shell and a straight blade with double fuller and inscription remnants.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Expertissim