Fine Antique Arms & Armour

German Two Handed Sword with Flamberge Blade Circa 1580 Ref: 65.13


Price: £5,950


Item Description:


A large and imposing German two handed sword with flamberge blade dating to the later part of the 16th century. The sword is a handsome and bold weapon, well balanced and retains all of its original parts.


The cross guard span is forged as a flat piece becoming wider and more slender towards the ends and terminating in diamond shaped terminals flanked by backward facing crescents. Two further crescents are forged underneath the cross either side of the ricasso. Two symmetrical ring guards appear front and back which become slightly wider towards their outer extremities. The cross and the ring guards are simply decorated with single and parallel incised lines and a saltire formed from pairs of lines on the outer surface of the ring guards.


The solid pommel is in the shape of a downward pointing cone with a domed top. It is decorated with a series of eight pronounced equally spaced grooves which radiate from the separately formed pommel button to the base of the pommel. The original grip is of wood covered with leather now worn in places. Widest in the centre it tapers towards the pommel and in a less pronounced manner to its base near the cross. It is formed with a waist just below the middle. There is evidence of stud decoration applied to the middle, now lost.


edged blade is forged with a pronounced ricasso forming a secondary grip below the guard. This is decorated either side with parallel lines near the sides with a wavy line imbetween. The ricasso terminates with a small pattern of crescents and dots where the secondary guard, consisting of two backward curving pointed crescents, emanates from the blade, one of which bears the bladesmith's mark consisting of the Greek letter Delta accompanied by three small circles arranged as a triangle. For the remainder of its length the blade is forged with a central ridge and gently widens towards the point.


The blade is of flamberege type. This "flamberge" appearance, where the blade is cut with alternately facing countercurved crescents forming waves running down the cutting edges from the ricasso, 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 long blades and contemporary rapiers. The effect involved hours of quality craftsmanship to create. When parrying with such a sword, unpleasant vibrations may be transmitted into the attacker's blade. These vibrations caused the blades to slow contact with each other due to the additional friction. The unusual cross section of the blade would also inflict wider wounds with a thrust.


The sword is in good original condition. Overall the metal is russet, lightly pitted and the most visible surfaces have been lightly cleaned. The blade length is 46.25 inches (117.5 cm). The overall length of the sword is 67 inches ( 170 cm). Cross guard span 20.5 inches (52 cm).


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