This was one of the shortest and broadest
swords of the Age of Chivalry. It tapers strongly to a sharp
point and has a fuller running about half its length. There
are only a few surviving specimens. A fine example, in pristine
condition, is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New
York. Representations in art are frequent and suggest that the
style of blade was popular c. 1270-1340 in France, Italy and
England. An excellent portrayal of one is in the Angel Choir
of Lincoln Cathedral, datable at c. 1280. Another well-defined
example is on the effigy in the Abbey of St. Denis of Count
Robert of Artois, who died in 1317.
This type of blade marked the end of flat
blades designed primarily for cutting and to oppose armour
of chain mail. Both cross-guard and pommel are typical for
this blade type.
The natural beautiful colours of the woods
used, increasing in redness towards the top of the sword,
serve to enhance the austere perfection of line and form of
the blade. The sword has been named Benevento (a town in Campania,
Southern Italy) as the type was described by Primatus to have
been used in a fight there in 1266.
blade type; double edge with fuller, XIV*
blade length; 66 cm., 26 inches
overall length; 84 cm., 33 inches
cross-guard; red beech type; 7*
pommel; jarrah type; I*
The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, R.
Ewart Oakeshott F.S.A.
Arms and Armour Press, Revised Edit. 1981