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.

Parade Partisan 

  • Dated: 18th century
  • Culture: German
  • Medium & Technique: blued, etched and gilded steel, wooden haft with original steel base spike, silk tassel with alternating blue and gold bands
  • Measurements: overall length 258.45 cm (101 3/4 inches); weight 3.68 kg
  • Inscriptions: AUGUST WILHELM/DG DUX BRUNS EA LUNEB [August Wilhelm, by the Grace of God Duke of Bunswich and Lüneburg]; 1718 HAW II [Herzog August Wilhelm]; PARTA TVERI [Defend your acquisitions]

The partisan was used by the Bodyguard of August Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel [1662-1731].

Source: Copyright © 2014 Cleveland Museum of Art

Combination Lefauchaux Pinfire Revolver and Sword

  • Dated: circa 1800
  • Measurements: overall length 26 3/4 inches; blade length 18 1/2 inches; barrel length 3 1/2 inch round

Manufactured in Paris, France, this weapon combines a short bladed sword with a six-shot pepperbox revolver. The blade has a short double fullers leading to single fullers which run the rest of the length, panels of etched scrollwork on each side.

There also an etched scene of a deer in the woods on the left ricasso and the inscription “ALFREDO HEROUARD/LIMA”, which is the mark of a Portuguese agent and importer. The latter can be found on the right ahead of the revolver barrel.

The barrel runs along the right side of the blade, signed “E Lefauchaux a Paris” on top, with the serial number and a swiveling ejector rod on the front, a hinged loading gate at the rear, smooth hooked trigger and a checkered hammer.

The silver guard and pommel cap are engraved with scroll designs, and the grips are checkered ebony with a silver finished escutcheon. Two identical swords, complete with Herouard retailer mark and sheaths, are pictured on page 194 of “The Pinfire System” by Smith & Curtis.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rock Island Auctions

Hand and a Half Sword with the coat of arms of the Holstein family of Reventlow

  • Dated: 1563
  • Culture: probably North German
  • Measurements: overall lenght 124.5 cm; handle lenght 22 cm; weight: approximately 1.6kg

The dated on the blade is referring to the The Northern Seven Years’ War between the Kingdom of Sweden and a coalition of Denmark–Norway, Lübeck and the Polish–Lithuanian union. The sword was part of a collection of weapons which was sold in Denmark, Gaunö, 1930.

The handle is composed of a wood grip with leather wrap and bell shaped pommel to act as a counter weight. The guard is simple set of straight quillons (22 cm wide) which has also a clam shell guard.

The blade is double edged with part of the reverse side holding an edge. The blade has a single fuller on either side and is inscribed with "NEC TEMERENEC TIMIDE AD 1563" and "INTER ARMA SILENT LEGE". Close to the guard you can also find several marking on either side of the blade and also the coat of arms on one side.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Antiques Armoury

Kindjal Dagger

  • Dating: circa 1800
  • Culture: Caucasian
  • Measurements: overall length 55 cm

The dagger has a wide, straight, double-edged blade with deep, asymmetrical grooves, featuring golden decorations for the first part of the blade. At the forte there’s cartouche with inscriptions. The dagger has the typical grip with wooden grip scales featuring gold-inlaid iron mounts.

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

Hunting Sword (Hanger)

  • Dated: circa 1630
  • Culture: British
  • Medium: steel, wood
  • Measurements: overall length 74 cm; blade length 63 cm; blade width 3.8 cm; hilt length 13 cm
  • Inscriptions: on the blade, obverse; inscribed: FERARA; reverse inscribed ANDRIA
  • Provenance: Gardner Sale, Sotheby’s 20/11/29, lot 20A

The pommel of the sword is made of steel and has the shape of an eagle’s head. The knuckle-guard curves outward at the top under the eagle’s beak and swells at midpoint to an oval cartouche crudely carved on each side as a human mask. The weapon has very short downcurled rear quillon, its terminal formed as an eagle’s head en suite with the pommel.

The large, sharply turned down shell-guard is carved on the outside ‘à jour’ with leaves and tendrils enclosing another mask, turned upward. Two of the tendrils end in grotesque heads are reminiscent of the ‘Babewyns’. The sword has a curved blade with a back-edge and a long narrow fuller against the back. On the obverse of the blade, lies an inscription, ‘FERARA’, and on the reverse ‘ANDRIA’.

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

[ NEWS ] Archaeologists say Anglo-Saxon sword discovery “couldn’t have been better scripted”
By Ben Miller 
X-rays will be carried out on an Anglo-Saxon sword found alongside beads, bodies and more in neolithic Wiltshire
Archaeologists have praised the timing and good fortune of a barrow dig on Salisbury Plain which has culminated in the discovery of 13 Anglo-Saxon graves, adding to around 62 already found at the site during previous excavations.
A surprising Anglo-Saxon burial, found in a crouched position, a range of weapons, including spearheads and shield bosses, and the fourth example of a brooch-bearing woman were among the highlights during five weeks of investigations at Barrow Clump, a Neolithic settlement which later became a Bronze Age burial mound and Saxon cemetery,
“The finding of the Anglo-Saxon sword, by Steve Winterton, couldn’t have been better scripted,” said Phil Andrews, of Wessex Archaeology, who admitted that this year’s excavations had exceeded his “relatively modest” expectations.
“Perhaps my most satisfying moment was the discovery of Lieutenant Colonel Hawley’s late 19th century excavation trench – something we had failed to find in previous seasons.
"Having a cherry-picker on site on Thursday gave us a chance to see the results of our work from above.
"The final burial was lifted on Friday and all recording completed. The last people left site on Saturday and by the end of Tuesday the excavation trenches had been backfilled and we said our farewells to Barrow Clump.
“It proved to be a very good year for beads, particularly glass, with a range of shapes, sizes and colours found with three of the female burials.
“Barrow Clump has always come up with pleasant surprises, and it is without doubt a site to remember for all the right reasons.”
Processing and post-excavation work will continue for the rest of the year, including x-rays of the sword.

Sources: Copyright © 2014 Culture 24 | Photo source © Wessex Archaeology

[ NEWS ] Archaeologists say Anglo-Saxon sword discovery “couldn’t have been better scripted”

  • By Ben Miller 
  • X-rays will be carried out on an Anglo-Saxon sword found alongside beads, bodies and more in neolithic Wiltshire

Archaeologists have praised the timing and good fortune of a barrow dig on Salisbury Plain which has culminated in the discovery of 13 Anglo-Saxon graves, adding to around 62 already found at the site during previous excavations.

A surprising Anglo-Saxon burial, found in a crouched position, a range of weapons, including spearheads and shield bosses, and the fourth example of a brooch-bearing woman were among the highlights during five weeks of investigations at Barrow Clump, a Neolithic settlement which later became a Bronze Age burial mound and Saxon cemetery,

“The finding of the Anglo-Saxon sword, by Steve Winterton, couldn’t have been better scripted,” said Phil Andrews, of Wessex Archaeology, who admitted that this year’s excavations had exceeded his “relatively modest” expectations.

“Perhaps my most satisfying moment was the discovery of Lieutenant Colonel Hawley’s late 19th century excavation trench – something we had failed to find in previous seasons.

"Having a cherry-picker on site on Thursday gave us a chance to see the results of our work from above.

"The final burial was lifted on Friday and all recording completed. The last people left site on Saturday and by the end of Tuesday the excavation trenches had been backfilled and we said our farewells to Barrow Clump.

“It proved to be a very good year for beads, particularly glass, with a range of shapes, sizes and colours found with three of the female burials.

“Barrow Clump has always come up with pleasant surprises, and it is without doubt a site to remember for all the right reasons.”

Processing and post-excavation work will continue for the rest of the year, including x-rays of the sword.

Sources: Copyright © 2014 Culture 24 | Photo source © Wessex Archaeology

Kard Dagger

  • Dated: 18th century
  • Place of Origin: Indian
  • Measurements: overall length: 10.5in (267mm). Blade length: 6.75in (165mm)

Probably from Rajasthan or Central India, this knife categorised as a ‘kard’ has grips scales made of bone. The iron bolster is chiselled, while the scabbard has a silver throat piece displaying a Hindu religious icon, probably Surya Dev, the Hindu Sun god, with attached bells and suspension chains. The chape is again made of silver, with a lion devouring his prey. The scabbard is covered in red velvet, the throat featuing brown leather.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Akaal Arms

Victorian Cinquedea Dagger 

  • Provenance: The William Ashby Collection

The Cinquedea (“five fingers”, in reference to the blade width) was a popular civilian sidearm originating in Northern Italy circa 1525-1550. This is a Victorian example measuring 22 3/4 inches overall, the blade is 17 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide across the base, with ten fullers on each side, arranged in four expanding rows from tip to base, the last two rows on each side are decorated with golden scroll and leafy vine patterns, extending 9 inches upward, surrounding a 2 inch wide scene of a Greco-Roman deity on each side.

One side features Jupiter/Zeus sitting in his chair, lightning clenched in his fist, while Aquila, the eagle responsible for carrying and guarding the bolts, looks on. The reverse shows Pluto/Hades seated on a throne with a scroll in his hand, while Cerberus, the 3-headed guard dog of the underworld, is seated beside him and a cypress tree in the background. The gold decoration continues on the guard and pommel, with a pair of smooth ivory grip panels fitted with cut-through metal disc accents. 

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rock Island Auctions

Katana Sword

  • Dated: 18th century
  • Culture: Japanese
  • Medium: steel, wood, copper, silk

Source: Copyright © 2014 Historical Arms & Armor

European Smallsword

  • Dated: 17th century
  • Culture: English
  • Measurements: overall length 97cm, hilt length 16.5cm

The handle of the sword is composed of a wooden grip bound in copper and brass wire binding. The hilt is made of iron and features a knuckle guard, side ring and an oval shaped pommel. The blade is double edge blade of hexagonal section and has a single fuller on either side.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Antiques Armoury