Primo


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).

Specifications:
blade type; double edge with fuller, X*
blade length; 78 cm., 31 inches
overall length; 94 cm., 37 inches

Woods used:
blade; beech
cross-guard; puriri type; 1*
pommel; rimu (heartwood) type; A*

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