This style of blade, often with a reinforced
and very acute point (effective for thrusting) was designed
to oppose the new plate armour which slowly replaced chain mail
during the period c. 1275-1350. It is a strongly tapering acutely
pointed blade of the double edge flattened diamond section.
The style was favoured in Western and Southern Europe c. 1270-1370,
being particularly popular in Italy even through to the 15th
century. For some reason these swords did not seem to find favour
in Germany. Perhaps the sleek elegant design appealed to the
Italian sense of aesthetics. A fine, well-preserved sword of
this style is held in the Wallace Collection, London and another
is shown on the alabaster effigy (c. 1300) of Sir John de Hanbury,
The cross-guard I have made would undoubtedly
have accompanied this style of blade. Indeed, the combination
guard/blade was found on a sword in the River Ouse at Southery.
The guard's long slender arms tapering evenly inwards from
the tips were either circular, square or octagonal. Here the
arms are octagonal. Disc pommels were one of the most popular
types throughout the middle ages. This one with its widely
chamfered edges was first found on Viking swords in Finland.
But its real popularity seems to have begun in the middle
of the 13th century.
The three different woods I have used serve
to enhance the austere perfection of line and form. It would
be reasonable to assume that a man of nobility would have
owned a sword similar in style to that of 'Medici'.
blade type; double edge flattened diamond, XV*
blade length; 89 cm., 35 inches
overall length; 108 cm., 43 inches
cross-guard; red beech type; 10*
pommel; rimu (heartwood) type; I*
The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, R. Ewart Oakeshott F.S.A.
Arms and Armour Press, Revised Edit. 1981