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.

Sword and Scabbard

  • Dated: circa 1750 - 1850
  • Culture: Bhutanese
  • Medium: steel, silver, gold, copper alloy, wood
  • Dimensions: overall length 34 inches (86.4 cm); blade length 26 1/8 inches (66.4 cm)

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Broadsword

  • Dated: unknown
  • Medium: steel

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Swiss Long Dagger 

  • Dated: early 16th century
  • Measurements: overall length 55.3 cm

The dagger features a slender blade of flattened diamond section tapering to a narrow point, struck with a mark on one side, and a small hunting horn formed with a short ricasso. It has an iron hilt of characteristic type, and a guard formed with a pronounced ridge over the base, extended very slightly in a lip over the base of the blade and coming to flattened rear-swept points. The pommel is made en suite and fitted with modern wooden grip.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Hermann Historica

Tanto Dagger

  • Measurements: overall length 12 1/2 inches (31.75cm); blade length 6 3/4 inches (17.14cm)

The dagger has a tempered along the edge, tip and spine, and fitted with an ivory collar, spacers, and tsuba. The collar is decorated with a wrap-around scene of a small dog and a pig playing with a ball of string, while the top spacer is decorated with a scene of a dragon in flight, and the tsuba is square in profile, with a carved-through, a 3 dimensional scene of a dragon flying in clouds.

The fuchi and kashira are also carved with a dragon themed in ivory, a 2 line signature on the former, with a leather grip wrap and a pair of golden dragon menuki. The tang is signed “Nagahiro Saku”. The weapon has a carved hardwood saya, with a 3 symbol signature and a red inked ivory stamp inside the kogatana slot, carved ivory cloud inlaid panels, raised carved hardwood clouds and dragons with gold eyes, and a contrasting hardwood tip with a carved wraparound scene of a dragon in flight, with ivory inlaid claws and ivory, ebony and gold inlaid eyes.

The blade shows evidence of having been shortened from its original size. It has a square cut at the base eliminating some of the smith’s signature, and a second mekugiana which runs into the decorations of the blade. The temper line is wavy and well defined up to the tip, with the right side engraved with a trident, showing a ribbon wrapped around the shaft, and the left shows a single untranslated symbol over a pair of fullers. The tang is signed with 4 symbols on the right and 7 on the left. Equipped with a brass collar and a shirasaya-pattern hilt and saya.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rock Island Auctions

Katar Dagger 

  • Dated: 17th century
  • Place of Origin: Thanjavur
  • Culture: Indian, Thanjavur
  • Medium: steel
  • Measurements: overall length 15 7/8 inches (40.3 cm); width 4 1/2 inches (11.4 cm); weight 22.2 ounces (629.4 g)

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Small Sword

  • Dated: circa 1720
  • Culture: French
  • Medium: steel

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

Spanish Dagger

  • Dated: circa 1700
  • Measurements: overall length 53 cm

The dagger has a long, straight, single -and false-edged blade with a deep, rear groove and a cross-shaped stamp at the tang. The iron hilt features an oval knuckle-guard (remains of gilding), decorated with double line, straight quillons. The dagger has a vase-shaped pommel and a grip with brass wire binding.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Czerny’s International Auction House S.R.L.

Topoke Sword

  • Dated: early 20th century
  • Culture: African
  • Place of Origin: D. R. Congo, Africa
  • Measurements: overall lenght 16”; blade lenght 11 1/4”; pommel lenght 2 1/2”  

Often attributed to the Topoke, Lokele or Tetela peoples of Zaire, the sword has a wood handle wrapped in copper wire. The solid iron pommel is quite heavy and has brass inlay on one side. The blade features intricate lines chiseled into the surface. The swords of this size and quality were used for battle, but many of this type - with the iron pommel - were also used as status symbols and currency.    

Source: Copyright © 2014 Erik’s Edge

Katar Dagger

  • Dated: 17th–18th century
  • Place of Origin: Thanjavur
  • Culture: South Indian, Thanjavur
  • Medium: steel

An odd, yet very beautiful variation of a Katar dagger with an European blade.

Source: Copyright © 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Handmade Swords - Viikinkimiekka XI

  • Maker: Jarkko Niskanen
  • Medium: steel, iron, coper, silver, willow wood, moose antler, wool, linen, brass
  • Measurements: overall length 87.5cm; blade length 70.5cm; weight 1165g

The Viking sword has a pattern welded blade with edges of 0.6% carbon steel. The guard and pommel are made of iron and covered with copper and silver inlays. Decorative patterns are carved into silver. The grip is made of salix caprea (willow wood) and moose antler, while the scabbard is also made from willow wood filled with linen/wool. The fittings are made of brass with the strap bridge and decorative panels made of moose antler. 

Source: Copyright © 2014 Jarkko Niskanen