Medici


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, Staffordshire.

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'.

Specifications:
blade type; double edge flattened diamond, XV*
blade length; 89 cm., 35 inches
overall length; 108 cm., 43 inches

Woods used:
blade; jarrah
cross-guard; red beech type; 10*
pommel; rimu (heartwood) type; I*

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