Benvento


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.

Specifications:

blade type; double edge with fuller, XIV*
blade length; 66 cm., 26 inches
overall length; 84 cm., 33 inches

Woods used:

blade; rimu
cross-guard; red beech type; 7*
pommel; jarrah type; I*

Reference*:

The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, R. Ewart Oakeshott F.S.A.
Arms and Armour Press, Revised Edit. 1981