Choose Category:

Absentee Bids: Leaderboard
Bids: 1894 / Total: £172,738
Country | Highest | Top
Home > Auctions > 6th September 2022 > Migration Period Sword with Jewelled Hilt

Print page | Email lot to a friend

Back to previous page

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

LOT 0352

GBP (£) 8,000 - 10,000
EUR (€) 9,560 - 11,960
USD ($) 9,740 - 12,180

Opening Bid
£7,200 (EUR 8,608; USD 8,770) (+bp*)

Add to Watch list


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

Bid History: 0

A two-edged cavalry spatha with a parallel-sided iron blade and broad pointed tip; evident battle nicks to both cutting edges; the bronze trapezoidal lower guard with a chip-carved gold plate to one face, decorated by a set of garnets in cloisonné style and almandine divided horizontally; the long tang with a rivet for the attachment of the organic hilt; accompanied by a silver-gilt discoid pommel mount, set with six garnets. 35 3/8 in. (967 grams, 90 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.11394-192360.

See Behmer, E., Das zweischneidige Schwert der germanischen Völkerwanderungszeit, Stockholm, 1939; Périn P., Kazanski M., ‘La tombe de Childéric, le Danube et la Méditerranée’ in Villes et campagnes en Neustrie, (Europe médiévale, 8) Montagnac, 2007, pp.29-38; Lebedinsky, I., Armes et guerriers barbares au temps des grandes invasions, Paris, 2001; Miks, C., Studien zur Romischen Schwertbewaffnung in der Kaiserzeit, I-II Banden, Rahden, 2007, pp.191ff., fig.30; Spier, J., Treasures of the Ferrell collection, Wiesbaden, 2010.

The sword belongs to the type IV of Behmer typology (see especially Behmer, 1939, pls.XII-XIII, lett.4a-b and no.1, swords from Berlin and Hermitage). While the Germanic sword types of the Migration Period go back in one way or another to Roman typologies of spathae, the swords of type IV are connected in their origin to the Sarmatian-Alan long sword, brought to the Roman world by the great number of Sarmatian mercenaries and auxiliaries fighting in the imperial armies since the 2nd century A.D.