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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Medieval Oakeshott type Xa Single-Handed Sword

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LOT 0477

GBP (£) 1,200 - 1,700
EUR (€) 1,410 - 2,000
USD ($) 1,570 - 2,220

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£1,080 (EUR 1,268; USD 1,409) (+bp*)

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Medieval Oakeshott type Xa Single-Handed Sword

Mid 10th-mid 11th century AD

An elegant, finely tapering blade with well-formed fullers, running down to within 23cm of the point, the cutting edges in good condition bearing much evidence of use, long (almost 20cm) narrow cross of the type known by the Vikings as gaddhjnlf or spike-hilt, stout tang, tapering and terminating with a beautifully preserved walnut style pommel. 742 grams, 95cm (37 1/2"). Fair 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 a parallel sword in Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002, p.131 (Paris, Musée de l'Armée, inventory JPO 2241); D'Amato R., Spasić Durić D., The Phrygian helmet in Byzantium: archaeology and iconography in the light of the recent finds from Branicevo, in Acta Militaria Mediaevalia, tom XIV, 2018, pp.29-68.

This one-handed sword shows the same walnut pommel of the swords visible on the lost miniatures of the Hortus Deliciarum (D'Amato-Spasić Durić, 2018, p.53), a German manuscript of the second quarter of 12th century. The straight guard with thick straight quillons are typical of the style Xa of Oakeshott, a kind of sword that, with its double-edged blade, combined the cutting and the cut-and-thrust styles. The fullers, like in this case, are very marked and form not less than two thirds of the length.