Choose Category:

Absentee Bids: Leaderboard
Bids: 2422 / Total: £230,352
Country | Highest | Top
Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Migration Period Pattern-Welded Spatha Sword Blade

Print page | Email lot to a friend

Back to previous page

Use mousewheel to zoom in and out, click to enlarge
Gallery loading...

LOT 0353

GBP (£) 5,000 - 7,000
EUR (€) 5,900 - 8,260
USD ($) 6,070 - 8,500

Opening Bid
£4,500 (EUR 5,308; USD 5,466) (+bp*)

Add to Watch list


Please login or register here.
Please use your registered email address to log in

Bid History: 0

A double-edged long sword (spatha) of Osterburken-Kemathen type with parallel-sided blade showing battle nicks; the blade with damask pattern (damask technique B.II.I.2); sturdy tang with a hole to accept a fastening rivet. 34 7/8 in. (701 grams, 88.5 cm).

Acquired 1971-1972.
From the collection of the vendor's father.
Property of a London, UK, collector.
Accompanied by an academic report by military specialist Dr Raffaele D'Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate no.11395-192362.

Cf. Menghin, W., Das Schwert im Frühen Mittelalter, Stuttgart, 1983, item 83, Bavarian grave 42 from Kelheim-Gmünd cemetery, 6th century A.D.; Bemmann, G. & Bemmann, J., Der Opferplatz von Nydam, Die Funde aus der älteren Grabungen, Nydam I und Nydam II, Neumünster, 1998; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking age, Woodbridge, 2002; Miks, C., Studien zur Romischen Schwertbewaffnung in der Kaiserzeit, I-II Banden, Rahden, 2007; for a similar specimen see also Peirce, p.26, sword in the D’Acre Edwards collection.

The swords of Osterburken-Kemathen type were one of the main types used by Germanic and Roman warriors during the Migration Period. What makes this sword a formidable specimen is its pattern-welding. Interestingly, the damascened blade decoration is similar to late Roman examples from Nydam (Bemmann & Bemmann, 1998, nos.389, 390, 422, 428, 433). True-pattern welding became evident from about 3rd century A.D. on the Late Roman spathae recovered from the Danish bogs, reaching its zenith in terms of complexity in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. This is visible in the Germanic cemeteries of late 6th and early 7th century date, where alongside a potentially increasing number of undamascened blades, the pattern-welded sword seems to be dominant.