This is a fairly broad, flat blade of medium
length which has a wide but shallow fuller almost running its
entire length. The style of blade can be attributed to the first
of the swords in the Age of Chivalry, c. 1050. This 'Knightly'
sword is derived, via the swords of the preceding Viking and
Migration periods, from the long iron swords of the prehistoric
Celts. There can be some confusion between this blade type and
an earlier (but similar looking blade) of the Viking-age. Specimens
of the 'Knightly' sword would have had Christian inscriptions
marked on the blade. The type is adequately represented in art,
usually as an engraving rather than sculpture and frequently
appears in manuscript illustrations.
The spike-like shaped cross-guard, based on
the Viking Gaddhjalt (spike-hilt), is unusually long but appears
to be a popular choice for this type of blade. As if to maintain
an aesthetic balance the pommel (commonly one of the Brazil-nut
forms) is also wider than usual, a feature often illustrated
by German artists of the Ottonian period (c. 950-1050) and
again on decorated metalwork about 1100.
The three different woods used to make this
sword give a richness to the austere perfection of line and
form. The green/grey of the puriri highlights the dark weathered
line featured near the top of the blade. It would be reasonable
to assume that one of the Knights loyal to William, Duke of
Normandy, would have carried a sword of this style during
the Norman Conquest of Britain (1066-1072).
blade type; double edge with fuller, X*
blade length; 78 cm., 31 inches
overall length; 94 cm., 37 inches
cross-guard; puriri type; 1*
pommel; rimu (heartwood) type; A*
The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, R. Ewart Oakeshott F.S.A.
Arms and Armour Press, Revised Edit. 1981