Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Massive German Two Handed Sword Circa 1580 Ref: 004.17


Price: £6,850

Item Description:


A massive 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 retaining elements of original blueing in parts of the hilt.


The cross guard is boldly forged in a downward curving crescent of diamond section with flattened diamond shaped terminals. Two forged scrolls have been applied either side of each quillon. Two symmetrical ring guards are forged front and back which become slightly wider towards their outer extremities forming diamond shapes. The multifaceted globular pommel is forged with ten vertically flattened sides and a flared neck below. The grip is of wood covered with blackened leather now aged and cracked in places and of flattened hexagonal form. Widest in the middle where three raised bands have been shaped the grip tapers towards the pommel and to its base.


The imposing German double-edged blade is forged with a pronounced ricasso forming a secondary rectangular grip below the guard. This was gripped by the left hand, the right hand holding the grip near the pommel, when the sword was used in a thrusting spear-like manner. This extends for 7.5 inches (18.5 cm) until the secondary guard, consisting of two pointed triangles either side, protrude from the ricasso. Below this a large and deeply stamped bladesmith'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. This "flamberge" appearance, where the blade is cut with alternately facing counter-curved crescents forming waves running down the cutting edges, 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 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 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 original 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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