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German Two Handed Sword Circa 1580

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Price: £6,500

Ref: 004.17

Item Description

A massive German two handed sword dating to the second half of the 16th century mounted with flamberge blade stamped with a bold armourer’s mark. The sword is a handsome and imposing weapon, well balanced, and retaining elements of original bluing to parts of the hilt.

The cross guard is forged in a downward curving crescent of diamond section with flattened lozenge shaped terminals. Two forged scrolls have been applied to either side of each terminal and midway along each quillon. Two symmetrical ring guards are forged onto the quillon block front and back which become slightly wider towards their outer extremities forming diamond shapes. These are infilled with trefoil fleur de lys shapes. The multifaceted globular pommel is forged with ten vertically aligned sides and a flared neck below. The grip is of wood covered with blackened leather and of oval hexagonal form, widest in the middle where three raised bands have been shaped, after which it tapers towards the pommel and the grip base.

The imposing German double-edged blade is forged with a pronounced ricasso forming a secondary rectangular grip below the guard. This extends for 7.5 inches (18.5 cm) until the secondary guard, consisting of two pointed flukes either side, protrude from the blade. Below this a large and deeply stamped blade-smith’s mark is present resembling a double axe-head in raised relief inside a panel and is probably of a Solingen smith.

For the remainder of its length the blade is forged in flattened lenticular section and tapers slightly to its point. The blade is of “flamberge” type, cut with alternately facing counter-curved crescents forming waves running down the cutting edges. This creates a more imposing appearance, and also takes weight from the blade, to make it lighter and more dexterous in use. The term means “flame blade”, and is found on both two handed sword blades and contemporary rapiers. The effect involved hours of quality craftsmanship to create. When parrying with such a sword, unpleasant vibrations were transmitted into the attacker’s blade which caused the blades to slow contact with each other due to the drag effect initiated. The need to be prepared for this effect could put an opponent at a disadvantage. The unusual cross section of the blade would also inflict wider wounds with a thrust.

The sword is in good condition. The blade length is 52.25 inches (132.5 cm). The overall length of the sword is 69 inches (175.25 cm). The cross guard span is 17 inches (43 cm).

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