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The swords illustrated below I once put into Type XIIIa, but this was a mistake; they have to go into a new sub-type of XIIa, because the blades taper too strongly for a XIIIa style, and are too acutely pointed.
When I worked out my typology in 1958, I did not know of the first of these (XIIa. 1) and because I had then come across no others which would bne made into a ‘Great Sword’ subtype of XII, I forced it into Type XIIa.
Thirty years and many publications later, it may seem strange to admit a careless mistake and to correct it; but it’s never too late to improve one’s work and I believe absolutely essential to admit, and correct, one’s own errors. So here, thirty years on, I present Sub-Type XIIa.
Collection: The Burrel Collection, Glasgow
Blade-length: 36″ (91.4cms)
Date ? 1300-50
Condition: Excavated. Good. Some scattered deep pitting.
Find-place: Alexandria, the Arsenal
Collection: The Royal Armouries, H.M. Tower of London. IX.915
Blade-length: 35&1/2″ (90cms)
Pommel-type: A variant of Type K
Condition: Almost perfect, except that the grip is lacking. There is an Arabic inscription incised in the fuller just below the hilt, which has been translated as ‘Inalienable property of the treasury of the marsh province of Alexandria, may it be protected’. There is a smith’s mark on the tang.
This was sold in 1960 in the D’Acre Edwards sale at Christies, where I tried for it myself, and ran Sir James Mann up a a good deal, but of course he beat me.
Publication: Dufty, Plate 4d
Oakeshott SAC, Plate 29, where is is erroneously classified as of Type XVIa, instead of XIIa.
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