Oakeshott Type XIX – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

There are a great number of surviving swords of this type, nearly all of them having blade as alike as peas in a pod, and all seeming to have come from the same workshop,. Nearly every surviving specimen bears upon it an Arabic inscription in Nashki script, stating that it was deposited in the Hall of Victories in the Arsenal at Alexandria. Most of these were removed to Constantinople by the Turks, at some time between 1517 and 1935! Now most are in the Askeri Museum in Istanbul, but a few escaped and are in European and N. American collections.
The blades of these Type XIX’s are of a form which until comparatively recently would have been considered not possibly to date earlier that c. 1550, because of their strong, short ricassos and their clean, flat hexagonal section. The ricassos are defined by neatly engraved grooves on each side, coming to a sort of cusp at the lower end against the deep, narrow fuller.
One of these swords which, in addition to a 16th century-looking blade has a single finger-ring below the cross of (style 5), has been published very often, but I have included it here in company with two which as far as I know have never been published. It reside in the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, and its Arabic inscription gives a date (for its deposition in the Arsenal, not its making) of 1432. There is an almost identical one in Istanbul, with a style 8 cross, and a finger-ring. There are also four others in the Askeri Museum with finger-rings, one with curious flat oval pommel with a small circular recess int he middle. One which i have not shown here, in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, is particularly interesting because it bears a date of 1368. This, too, is not the date of its making, which (as an example of a type) can be put back to c. 1350, this giving a very useful early terminus post quem for a very distinctive sword-type.

XIX. 1

Type: XIX
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 36′ (91.4cms)
Pommel-type: J, recessed
Cross-style: 8
Date: 1380-1400
Condition: Very nearly perfect. When I saw it in 1986 it had still a smooth brown ‘indoor’ patina on it, not having had the oils and dust of the Alexandria Arsenal scrubbed off it. A most elegant, hand, sword, well-balanced though the point of balance is toward the point. The shape of these blades, with their gentle taper, is more akin to the old XIIIa blades of the 13th century. This sword is perhaps the supreme, for elegance, condition and quality, of this type.

XIX. 6

Type: XIX
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Madrid, Insituto de Valencia de Don Juan
Blade-length: 32″ (81.2cms)
Cross-style: Late, unclassified, complex
Pommel-type: A
Date: c.1460-80
Condition: Very nearly pristine. The original grip, wood covered with brown leather, survives. There is little very mild pitting scattered over the otherwise undamaged surfaces of the blade. There is a only a little wear on the gold damascened decoration (Hispano-Moresque style) on the pommel and cross. The plain gilding on the arms of the hilt and the two short ‘prongs’ sticking out in front is worn through in one or two place. [sic] there is a lettered inscription on the blade which CATHALDO. (ii). This type of hilt -very well developed for its period – shown very often in art, particularly in the paintings by Nuno Goncalves of grandees at the court of Alfonso V of Portugal in the period c.1450-65.
Publication: Laing, op.cit. vol.I: vol.I; Puricelli-Guerra, Arturo, Armi in Occidente, Milano, 1966, No.25. (This shows a beautiful colour photograph of the hilt and upper part of the blade.) Blair, C. EAA, No.51.

Read more: http://sword-site.com/thread/187/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword#ixzz2bBJygHtK

http://www.alaeswords.com

http://www.sword-site.com

Advertisements

Oakeshott Type XVI – XVIa – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

Type XVI – XVIa

It is possible, indeed, it seems inevitable, to suggest that this blade-form developed as a direct offensive answer to the newly-developed as a direct offensive answer to the newly-developed reinforced mail armour of the period 1300-1350. It is broad enough, and flat enough in section to provide an efficient cutting edge, but the lower part part below the end of the fuller is nearly always of a stiff flattened-diamond section with a strong median ridge, making it suitable for thrusting. Not all have this ridged lower blade, which makes it very difficult if not sometimes impossible to distinguish whether such a blade is XVI, or in fact a XIV; No. XVIa. 1 in this group is a case in point, its lower blade tapers strongly, though it is flat, but it has a very stout diamond-section reinforced point.
They are quite often shown in art. Sometimes, as in the two shown here at (iii) and (iv), from Italian early 14th century paintings at San Gimignano, they can be matched exactly by survivors – except that they are shown scabbarded. All we have to go on is the long, rather slender, tapering blades and long grips. Compare these two for instance, with the photograph of the hilt of No. XVI.2 belwo. A sculptured St. Peter at (v), from a roof-boss at Exeter Cathedral which can be dated to 1328 shows a perfect example of the type, closely matched by NO. XVI.3 below.

XVI. 1

Type: XVI
Find-place: London River, off Westemister opposter the HOuses of Parliament
Collection: Formerly the old London Museum, now the Royal Armouries IX.13
Blade-length: 27″ (68.6cms)
Pommel-type: 1
Cross-style: A long 7
Date: c.1300-25
Condition: River-found. Excellent some pitting and erosion of the edges near the point and below the cross. Compare this sword with the drawing of St Peter fromt he Exeter roof-boss, which was carved before 1328.
Publication: Dufty; Oakeshott, Catalogue of the Second Park Lane Arms Fair, Londong, 1983.

XVI. 2

Type: XVI
Find-place: unknown
Collection: Royal Armouries, IX. 1083 formerly D’Acre Edwards
Blade-length: 32″ (81.2cms) approximately
Pommel-type: J
Cross-style: 2
Date: c.1300-25
Condition: Excavated, almost certainly river-found. Very good though there is a lot of corrosion at the point-end of the blade. The cross is very slightly bent, up one arm and down the other. The metal of the cross is very stout, of square section, and it has always seemed to me when handling this sword that very shallow reverse curvature couldn’t have been made by accident; it must, I think, have been forged that way – though one cannot assume that, in the forging, the bend was deliberate. It is too shallow to have a ‘guarding’ effect like 16th century vertically recurved quillons; bu the process of forging a carefully sharped bar of of iron, with a slot in the middle is tricky business and an inadvertent bend could very easily occur. There is some distortion in the tang, too.
Publication: Dufty.

XVI.3

Type : XVI
Find-place: Unknown, but in Denmark
Collection: Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen
Blade-length: 30&1/8″ (76.5cms)
Pommel-type: T.1
Cross-style: 6
Date: c.1300-50
Condition: River-found? Excellent. The erosion on the edges of the blade is the result of wear and honing, not corrosion. The fuller bears a a near four-letter inscription inlaid in latten. This inscription is similar to that upon the blade of the big XIIIa in the Burrel Collection in Glasgow, shown here above at XIIIa.10.
There is a sword extremely similar to this – its hilt is identical though its blade is about 6″ long, in the Museum at Bern (inv. No.840). That one, however, has no inscription.
Publication: Hoffmeyer; Pl.XXXIId.2 p.34 no.1 Oakeshott, SAC pl.20b


XVIa.5

Type: XVIa
Find-place: ? Germany
Collection: The Royal Armouries. IX. 1084. Formerly D’ACre Edwards
Blade-length: 33″ (83.9 cms)
Pommel-type: K
Cross-style: 6
Date: c.1300-25
Condition: Excavated. ? River found. Good, but considerable erosion of the edges and some deep putting on the blade. The grip, of white wood, is modern, The shape of this sword should be compared with that of No.XVI.1 in this series. The fuller here is very narrow, but there is a distinct rib in the lower half of the blade.
Publication: Dufty, [sic]

Read more: http://www.sword-site.com

http://www.alaeswords.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/167/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword#ixzz2YvJdLvZF

Oakeshott Type XIV – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

This is a very distinctive sword-type which by its incidence in works of art can be given a more than usually precise life-span between c.1275-1340. Its characteristics are a short grip and comparatively short blade which is broad at the hilt and tapers strongly to a sometimes very acute point with a generally flat section fullered in its upper half. Cross tend to be generally quite long and slightly arched, while the pommel-type most commonly found allied to the to these other elements is of Type K, broad and flat with small raised bosses.

Naturally, like all swords, their sizes vary; and we do not have very much hard archaeological evidence to go on, for, in spite of the type’s obvious popularity in the period of its usage, very few examples are so far available for study. Not so their appearance in works of art – sculpture, tomb-effigies, MS miniatures and early Italian paintings. When they are depicted in their scabbards, it is not possible to be certain that they are not of Type XV (q.v below) nut enough are shown naked to make dating secure. They appear only once or twice along with the more usual Type XII’s in the Maciejowski Bible (c.1260) as well as in the Oxford Romance of Alexander, an earlier English MS dated c.1333, where XIV’s are shown along with XIIIa’s, XII’s and XV’s.

XIV.3

Type: XIV
Find-place: Somewhere in Denmark
Collection: Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen
Blade-length: 28″ (71.1cms)
Pommel-type: R
Cross-style: 1, curved
Date: c.1300+ or -20
Condition: Excavated, probably from a bog. Poor, very corroded. Interesting double fuller.

XIV. 6

Type: XIV
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen. Ex collection E. A. Christensen
Blade-length: 33″ (83.9cms)
Pommel-type: K, factted
Cross-style: A curved, sophisticated and elegant form of 1
Date: c.1300
Condition: Perfect. Must have been preserved in a house or an armour or well-cared for. The grip is probably an original.
Publication: Christensen & Hoffmeyer

This is one of those perfectly preserved, sharp and shining medieval swords which are too easily condemned as being ‘too good to be true’. Considering that it was acquired about thirty years ago by a collector and connoisseur as astute and experienced as Mr. Christensen, there can’t be much validity in any doubts about its authenticity. It’s a big sword, as you can see from the dimensions upon the elaborate series of drawing [sic] Mr. Christensen sent me just after he had acquired the sword.
In the catalogue of his collection made before it went on his death to the Danish nation, he dates it at c.1475. (‘Gammelt Jern’, No.66, p.88), but I believe this is nearly two centuries too late. [sic] its whole form – pommel, cross and blade – are so strongly fitted into the classic XIV shape tha I am sure it has to be dated between c.1275-1325. It is an absolutely outstanding sword, and I think the sketches he sent me give a very clear idea of its size, and the rather unusual form of its long, beautifully made double fullers. Unfortunately, the only photographs I have are not very good.

Read more: http://sword-site.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/159/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword

http://www.alaeswords.com/

Oakeshott Type XII – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

Type XII

This is one of the most difficult sword-types to identify, because so many swords which might seem (perhaps by the forms of their hilts) to be of the type are in fact Xs, or even XVIs. In isolating the type, I laid down two totally arbitrary criteria: (1) that the blade should have noticeable taper, and an acute point, and the grip should be quite short, never of hand-and-a-half length, and (2) that the fuller should not extend beyond two-thirds of the length of the blade. This is all very well where these features are obvious; identification is easy enough as the illustrations below will show, but there are so many examples where the fuller is nearly(or quite) three-quarter length, making it nearly an X, or where there is no, as in No. XII. 16 below, or where the hilt is of a clearly early form, as in XII. 2 below, or where the taper is very slight and the point rounded, or when the grip is longer than the ‘standard’ 4″ to 4&1/2″ single-hand length. So many swords have one or other, or even all, of these difficult characteristics that one has difficulty in pinning them down to any of the types.
I mentioned the ‘early form’ of the hilt of XII.2. I must reiterate my firm belief that you cannot date a sword by its type, for most of the types – not all, as you will see – can span the whole of the medieval period. Nor can you use the forms of cross and pommel to date a sword – hardly ever. There are a few, mostly in use in the 15th century, which are dateable to a few decades, and can be identified with a region; but most of the pommel-types and cross-styles span the whole period; besides, within those types and styles there must be an infinity of variation – personal, regional and in some cases plain careless on the part of the cutler who made them. A sword’s cross is a most difficult object to make by forging, and distortion is difficult to avoid.

XII. 2
2. Type: XII
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Schweizerrishes National Museum, Zurich, LM15672
Blade-length: 30″ (76.1cms)
Pommel-type: B.1
Cross-style: Unclassified, Viking. (Petersen’s Type X)
Date: c.950-1000
Condition: Excavated, but good except for a very pitted surface.

XII. 8
Type: XII
Find-place: River Great Ouse, Stretham, NR Ely
Collection: Museum of Archaelogy and Ethnology, Downing COllege, Cambridge
Blade-Length: 36′ (91.4cms)
Pommel-Type F
Cross-style: 2
Date: c. 1150-1250
Condition: River-found, very good. Considerable pitting, especially the last 15″ or so towards the point.
Puublication: Oakeshott, SAC
Considering this sword’s find-place, in the Great Ouse about four miles away to the south of Ely, it could be tempting to think of it as a relic of the fighting around Ely in 1070 when the Conqueror finally took teh Isle by crossing the Marsh over causeway from Stuntney, one-and-a-half miles to the east of the city; but as far as is known it is unlikely that any knight of that army would have been four miles off across the swampy fen to lose his sword at the point, where it was found. It is much more probably one of the (so far, in 1988) seven swords from this river, in a twelve or so mile stretch between Southery to the north of Ely and Upware to the south which )vary in date from c.950-1400) were thrown in deliberately as ‘sacrifices’.
It is very difficult ot date this rather important sword; its blade is almost, if not quite of Xa form, yet I have categorised it as a XII because of it [sic] rather long grip. Taking only the form of blade and cross, one would date it, via Leppaaho’s finds, at c.1100, yet the form of the pommel is generally between c.1260 and 1320. Therefore it can only be suggested that it could be dated, because we don’t yet know of a reliably dated example of the pommel form as early as 1100, to a period of usage somewhere between 1250 and 1350.

XII. 16
Type: XII
Find-place: A town in N. Italy
Collection: Private, USA
Blade-length: 29&1/2″ (75cms)
Pommel-type: J
Cross-style: 5 – or a variant of it
Date: c. 1250 -1300
Condition: good. This was found with two other swords in a a house being demolished in an Italian town. The swords were hidden between two walls, so had been preserved in dry conditions. The gilt-bronze pommel and cross have been severely cleaned, but are in very good condition, the iron under the gilding not having corroded at all. The blade and tang are covered in a rather thick brown patina – though to call it a patina when it is more in the nature of the thick brown deposit is perhaps too polite to it. Beneath this crust, however, the blade seems to be perfectly preserved.
Publications: None
It is difficult to to categories this sword with certainty, for there is no clearly defined fuller in the blade, and its grip is is rather long for a Type XII, thw whole thing being in the proportions of a Type XIII. Compare it, for instance with the No. XIII. 1 in this sequence. However the taper of the blade and the acuteness of the point is more in the nature of a XII, so I have put it under that type. It is a good example of one of the many cases where it seems quite impossible to put certain swords into a typological straight-jacket. The cross is unusual, too, rather heavy, made (like the pommel) of bronze gilded. It has been bent, and though it shows a strong transverse ridge along the middle of both arms on the ‘outside’, on the reverse it is quite plain and flat. This feautre of half-decorated cross is very common, particularly in 15th century hilts.

Read more: http://sword-site.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/127/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword

http://www.alaeswords.com

Oakeshott Type XI – XIa – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

Type XI-XIa

This type is distinguished by having a sledner blade, generally long in proportion to the hilt, with a very narrow fuller running to within a few inches of the point. In classic examples there is a very little taper to the edges, though in well-preserved examples the point is quit acute. However, since so many river-found and earth-found swords have much heavy corrosion at the point, in such survivors the point appears to be spatulate and rounded. In my Sword in the Age of Chivalry I mistakenly added a Type XIb, thinking erroneously that such corroded blade constituted a sub-type. There is, however, a positive sub-type in XIa, where the blade is broad, but the fuller remains very narrow. Examples of these are rare, one of the best being shown here at XIa.1.
As with all of the other types, the form of pommel and styles of cross varies a good deal within the limits of custom and availability during the period of usage – which in the case of Type XI seems to be between c.1100-1175. This statement however, needs to be accepted only with caution. We don’t know what hiterto unknown survivor may rise from earth or river or tomb with a reliable dating context to confound my typology. Or from somebody’s collection, for that matter. So far as I know at present, XI’s have inscription either in iron (as in XI.1 here) or in silver or latten or gold where the ‘handwriting’ matches Leppaaho’s 11th and early 12thc century Viking blades.
The beautiful Xa, in the Wallace Collection (No Xa. 1 in this series, above) is a perfect example where, having only the form of the sword (not its perfect preservation) to go by, it cannot be pin-pointed at all to any certain period between 1050 and 1350. All that can be said is that it is a classic Xa, whose hilt is matched exactly by (a) some of Leppaaho’s Viking hilts and (b) hilts shown in monumental art between c.1250 and 1350. So it may be with Type XI, though at present (October 1990) I would not date any XI beyond c.1125.

XI. 1-2
1. Type: XI
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private. Formerly R.T. Gwynn, Morgan Williams
Blade-length: 34′ (86.4cms)
Pommel-type: B
Cross-style: 1. Long and thin
Date: 1050-1125
Condition: Excavated (near perfect, fine blue-black patina.[sic]
Iron inlaid inscription NISMOMEFECIT on one side and a garbled version, not very clear, of INNOMINEDOMINI on the other.

2. Type XI (Borderline XA, but put in here to compare with 1)
Find-place : Tyrvaa, Finland
Collection: Helsinki University
Blade-length: 32 1/1 (82.5cms)
Pommel-type: B
Date: c.110
Condition: Excavated, near perfect
Publications: XI. 1. An article in the The Ancestor in 1903; VIctoria and ALbert Museum, THe Art of the Armourer, 1953; XI.2 Leppaaho, pl.5.

This beautiful sword has been published and illustrated several times; the first I know of was in a very select and aristocratic magazine, The Ancestor, in 1903. Laking featured it in his Record of the European Armour and Arms…in 1921, and it appeared again in the catalogue of the sale at Christies in 1921 aof the Morgan Williams collection from St Donat’s Castle. Iwas exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in ‘Art of the Armourer’ exhibition; however, for some reason in none of the these publication was any mention made of the nature of the inscription.
There are two other swors inscribed NISOMECECIT, one in the Museum at Stade, the other in Helsinki – illustrated in Leppaaho, Fig. 5.2.
This is a aperfect example of the type, with its long blade and narrow fuller.


XI. 7
Type: XI
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Glasgow Museum Reserve Collection
Blade-length: 32′ (81.4cms)
Pommel-type: I
Cross-style: 2
Date: c.1100
Condition: Excavated. Poor. A great deal of corrosion and deep pitting on the blade, and the hilt as well. The cross has one arm nearly taken off by a avery deep piece of corrosion.

XIa.1
Type: XI.a
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Ex. D’Acre Edward coll. Royal Armouries.
IX.1082
Blade-length: 29″ (73cms)
Pommel-type: E
Cross-style: 1
Date: c.1100-25
Condition: Excavated. Quite good. Surfaces of balde good except for the last 10″ (25cms) or so near the point, where it is very heavily corroded. The pommel and cross are well preserved. The grip is modern. There is a tiny inscription in the balde on one side, the letters SOS. It has been suggested that this unlikely-looking combination of letters is in fact the initial letters of the words SANCTA\, O SANCTA.
Publication: Dufty. Plate 2c

Read more: http://sword-site.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/126/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword

http://www.alaeswords.com

Oakeshott Type Xa – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

Characteristic of this type is a long fuller, like a X, only narrower – but no so narrow as an XI. This is a very fine distinction and may seem unnecessary. In fact, in my original typology of 1960, I had not isolated it; I put all Xa’s into Type XI. It was only when The Sword in the Age of Chivalry was reprinted in 1980 that I decided that there was a clear distinction, and so in a new preface to the book I added my new Type Xa. It may seems a silly distinction, depending only upon the breadth of the fuller, but I think it is better that such a distinction be made. There is no real difference in dating X’s and Xa’s for both types were in use together from c. 1000 on. This is proven beyond any reasonable doubt by a series of swords found in the early 1950s by Dr Jorma Leppaaho, of Helsinki University, in a large group of late Viking graves in southern Finland. These are all clearly dateable to the second half of the 11th century, give or take a decade each way; and the information as to reliable dating, not by the form of blades and hilts but by the style and ‘handwriting’ of inlaid inscriptions, which subsequent x-ray photography of the blades provided, is absolutely crucial to the segregation of types of sword and sword-inscriptions, and their dating. Among these finds, the incidence of X types and Xa’s was about equal.

Xa. 9
Type: Xa
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Glasgow Museum & Art Gallery (Ex.cool. Sir Edward Barry) A.6533
Blade-length: 36′ (91cms)
Pommel-type: R
Cross-style: A slender form of Style 5
Date: c.1050-1100 (give or take a couple of decades each way)
Condition: Excavated, very good. The surface is lightly corroded in a curious mottled way, looking like some kinds of pattern-welding; but since this mottling goes over to the edges, it is most likely to be a rather unusual corrosion pattern produced by whatever organic stuff surrounded it.
The remains of the iron-inlaid inscription (the inlaid strips have gone) is still decipherable. The spherical pommel is very small, which gives the sword an awkward, unbalanced look.


Xa. 17
Type: Xa
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 34&1/2′ (87.6cms)
Pommel-type: J
Cross-style:9
Date: Blade c.110, hilt, c.1450
Condition: Excellent. The long blade is hardly corroded at all, its surface being covered only with patches of shallow staining. There are a few marks of usage on the edges, but not significant. The hilt is of latten, once gilded (a tiny trace only seems to survive on one side of the elegantly modeled rivet-block. The central boss of the pommel is longitudinally ridged. The original grip of ?lime-wood survives, with a a narrow Turk’s head of brass wire (contemporary with the hilt) below the pommel. IN the narrow fuller in the blade, inlaid in iron, are the names +IESUS+ on one side and MARIA on the other. Following the second letter A in this name is an inlaid symbol (also in iron) which though extremely hard to see may perhaps be a rather naturalistic representation of the lily-flower always associated with Our Lady. At some time, an over-enthusiastic owner of the sword tried to enhance, or to make more visible, the letters of these inscriptions and began to engrave round their outlines. He ruined the I, E and S of the IESUS inlays, but fortunately gave up, and left the remainder alone. Had he done all ten letters, it would not be possible to see that they were in face inlaid in iron. This sword was examined in the Royal Armouries on 27 April, 1989, when the metal of the hilt was definitely proved to be 15th century latten. This fine sword provides an absolutely classic example of an old blade still in use, or re-used, three centuries after is making and mounted in a handsome, new, fashionable hilt. The sword is also important by reason of the (so far as I know at present) uniquely used holy names, inlaid in iron. There are INNOMINEDOMINI inscriptions, in iron, in plenty; there is on Viking blade inlaid on each side with the word AMEN, but this is in silver.

Read more: http://sword-site.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/123/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword

http://www.alaeswords.com

Oakeshott Type X – Records of the Medieval Sword – Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum! http://www.sword-site.com

Sword-Site.Com: The World’s Largest Free Online Sword Museum!

http://www.sword-site.com

Extract from Records of the Medieval Sword by Ewart Oakeshott

Most swords of the Viking Age come into this category, and X (ten) has been chose to define the type, rather than 1 (one) because in the definitive anaylitical study of the swords of the Viking Period present by Dr Jan Petersen in 1919. [sic] He classified the latest of the Viking hilt-styles (hose with brazil-nut shaped pommels) as Type X (letter X). Since most of these Viking swords with brazil-nut pommels, as well as those which are rather vaguely called ‘Pilzformige (mushroom-shaped)’ by German archaeologists, all fall neatly into the first category of the typology of swords which I presented in 1960. I began my typology where Petersen left off, with X – number Ten. At the same time I, perhaps unwisely, renamed the ‘Pilzformige’ or mushroom pommel (which it wasn’t, being D shaped in elevation and flat in plan, not like any mushroom or toadstool known to botany) as ‘of tea cosy form’. This, to non-tea-orientated continental students must have made little sense. However, in an English context it is perfect. The laid-down ‘lazy D’ is just like a tea cosy. Those which are flat in plan are like on empty, those of a stouter and more rotund shape are like a tea-cosy with a teapot inside it. In the quarter-century which has lapsed since I named, or mis-named, this pommel form it is pleasant (tom em) to find that in fact the name has been very generally adopted.
So, Type X is the ‘typical’. of there is such a thing, Viking sword with its great variety of hilt-forms and styles; and it goes on into the 12th century. Indeed, one may say it goes on into the 18th century as far as blade-shape goes, but there is no doubt it is seldom found as a blade-shape in any blade made new later than c.1200. Of course, many very old blades continued in use, re-hilted according to changes of fashion, as long as the sword was used.

X. 1-4
Four typical Viking swords, dating beteween c. 750 – 1050
1.Type X
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 80.2 (31&5/8′)
Pommel-type: Behmer’s Type VIII
Date: c. AD-750
Condition: Excavated, but very good. Some very large pits.

2. Type X
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 76 cms (31&3/4″)
Pommel-type: Wheeler’s Type VII
Date: 9th century
Condition: Excavated, but excellent. More corrosion near point.

3. Type X
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 76cms (29&1/2″)
Pommel-type: Petersen’s Type A
Date: 9th – 10th century
Condition: Excavated. Considerable corrosion, especially near to point.

4. Type X
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Private
Blade-length: 80cms (31″)
Pommel-type: Petersen’s Type X
Date: c.950-1050
Condition: Good, excavated. Considerable pitting.
Publication: Catalogue, Sotheby’s, Nov. 1, 1983, London
These four Viking Swords were sold at Sotheby’s in London on November 1st 1983. Lots 100, 101, 102 and 103.

1. A fine pattern welded blade with a hilt of very early Viking form, if not late Migration Period, decorated with closely-set vertical silver wires inlaid in the iron.

2. This is a most interesting and unusual sword. The fine pattern-welded blade patterns are, alternating, the ‘BLODIDA’ (Blood-Eddy) and ‘ANN’ (like rows of mown hay) of the Norse poetry, very clearly defined. One side (shown in the photograph) has a conventional broad shallow fuller, but the other has no fuller, but close alongside the edge (right side of this photograph) runs a very narrow groove, from the hilt almost to the point. The tang of the blade, as you can see, is offset towards this edge of the sword. THe offset tang and groove near the edge are characteristics of back-edged swords, from the Norse Saxes to 19th century sabres, yet this is an otherwise conventional double-edged blade. About 1cm of the point is missing. The cross and pommel are decorated with strips of gold ribbon, engraved with tiny chevrons, inlaid in the iron of the well preserved hilt.

3. This has a a pattern-welded blade with the ‘ANN’ pattern all the way down the fuller. The pommel is extremely flat in profile.

4. A much plainer sword with an undecorated iron hilt. There seems to be traces of iron-inlaid letters in the blade, but it also looks as if it is pattern-welded. Since, as far as we know from surviving example, pattern-welded blades were never inlaid in iron, so it is difficult to reconcile these two possibilities. The blade is rather heavily corroded and I found it difficult to maker out whether it was pattern-welded or inlaid. But it did seem to be both. This is a good example of an aberrant specimen; but when one considers that though some hundreds of surviving pattern-welded blades have been examined, very many thousands, which are not available for study, were made in the centuries between say AD 250 and 850. So who shall say with honesty that ‘no PW blade was ever inlaid in iron lettering, because I have never seen one.”

X. 14

Type: X (short)
Find-place: Unknown
Collection: Ex D.Acre Edwards. Now Private
Blade-Length: 23′ (58.5 cms)
Pommel-type: H
Cross-style: 5
Date: c.1250
Condition: Excavated (probably a river-find). The blade is good with a little corrosion under the patina. The pommel and cross are of copper, maybe once gilt; but when I handled it in 1961 I couldn’t see any traces. There is a cross patee engraved on the faces of the pommel, and each broadly-splayed end of a the cross guard is engraved with a little grotesque figure, a large round head with legs coming from under its chin, enclosed within a circle with tendrils going back towards the ecusson. The figure is so strongly akin to the ‘Babewyns’ in English manuscripts of the period c.125-1320 that it is inevitable that one should suggest an English origin for the hilt. The blade may of course be alot older. There is in the fuller on each side an inscription of three letters, o s o. Comparison with other sowrds (ie. No. XI.1 here) which have to be dated to the 12th century points clearly to a date c.1125-75 for the blade – a good example of an old blade re-hilted c.1270 plus or minus a decade or so.

Read more: http://sword-site.com

http://sword-site.com/thread/118/oakeshott-type-records-medieval-sword

http://www.alaeswords.com