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

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LOT 0483

GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 940 - 1,170
USD ($) 1,040 - 1,300

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£720 (EUR 845; USD 939) (+bp*)

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Medieval Oakeshott type XII Single-Handed Sword

13th century AD

A double-edged iron sword of Oakeshott's Type XII, with broad, flat, evenly tapering blade, unfortunately broken at three-quarters of its length, the blade tending to widen perceptibly below the hilt, fullers well defined, extending from below the guard for more than half of the blade's length, the blade's cross-section of straight lenticular design, the style of guard one of the most common of the category, i.e. a not exaggeratedly long and straight, with flattened cross-section, the pommel a thick rhomboid piece, fitted with fastening central rivet. 1.2 kg, 73cm (28 3/4"). 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 Oakeshott, E., The Sword in the Age of the Chivalry, London,1964 (1994).

Usually the type XII presents a broad, flat, evenly tapering blade, generally with a good sharp point and tending to widen perceptibly below the hilt. The fuller is well-marked and occupies two-thirds to three-quarters of the blade-length. It often starts on the tang within the hilt, and may be double or treble. The grip is a little longer than in the preceding types, averaging about 11.5cm. The tang is generally flat with almost parallel sides, or swelling a little in the middle. The cross can be of almost any style, though a short, straight one is most common, like in this case. The pommel, too, can be of any type though the thick disc with strongly bevelled edges (Type I) predominates. Here however the specimen shows similarity with a sword represented in a sculpture from the cathedral of Bamberg, dated at 1250 AD (Oakeshott, 1964 (1994), p.42).