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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Medieval Longsword with Heraldic Pommel

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LOT 0487

GBP (£) 1,500 - 2,000
EUR (€) 1,760 - 2,350
USD ($) 1,960 - 2,610

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £1,350

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £1,350

Medieval Longsword with Heraldic Pommel

Early 14th century AD

An English or German iron longsword of Oakeshott's Type XIIIA, a Bastard sword (sword that can be used also with two hands), cross style 1, pommel type H, long tapering blade whose cutting edges run nearly parallel to the tip; just below the hilt, before the edges begin their virtual straight running to the point, the blade is swelling slightly in width; the narrow fullers extended for two-thirds of its length; the lower guard is simple and straight; the grip is longer than usual type XIII allowing for the off-hand to be used for extra leverage and power; the pommel is highly decorated with two different inlaid, from one side a shield divided by a Saint Andreas' cross, 4 spheres inserted in each quarter; from the other side another shield with inside a Greek cross over a Saint Andreas cross, some corrosions on the edges but scarce evidence of traces of fighting nicks, both cutting edges are well preserved in their complex. 1.3 kg, 94.5cm (37 1/4"). Fine condition.

From an important private family collection of arms and armour; acquired on the European art market in the 1980s, and thence by descent.

See Oakeshott, E., Records of the Medieval Sword, Woodbridge, 1991.

Our specimen is a good example of Grans Espées d’Allemagne possibly being from Germany, the area of most common origin and greatest use. This type was also widely used in Spain and probably also in France, where unfortunately many gravestones have been destroyed by the French revolutionists. This sub-type of XIII Oakeshott typology is generally the same shape as Type XIII, only much larger. It is important to note that some great swords classified in the early publications of Oakeshott like XIIIa actually belong to the type he classified as XIIa, not included in his original typology, but mentioned in records of the Medieval sword. Both the typologies show similar proportion, but the blades of XIIa swords taper to a more acute point.