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To have a deep understanding of the European sword, it’s necessary to understand their properties and construction. It is one thing to simply copy an existing sword. It is another thing to truly recreate it. This sword is proof of what an art form true recreation is.
To narrow a medieval sword down to an exact century is rarely straightforward. During the middle ages, steel production was a costly business. Often times a handful of iron nails could buy a man a night's lodging. Consequently, items were constantly recycled, and kept in service as long as possible. In this respect, swords were no different. The blade was considered to be the heart of the sword, and it was not uncommon for a blade to be remounted in the latest fashion of the time. In this way a sword's active life of service could span generations, even centuries. The pommel of this sword is 10th century (the end of the early medieval period) other characteristics of the sword date it to the High Middle Ages (c.1001—1300), although such modern knit-picking over timelines would have been quite irrelevant for the medieval owner of a beast such as this. It would have been his companion, the protector of hearth, house and homeland – a treasured item.
Measurements and Specifications:
One really cannot appreciate the attention to detail given to this work until one sees it firsthand. The smallest detail has been attended to in the course of this sword's creation. The pommel and guard are forged from mild steel and have been finished with a very attractive, yet practical gloss finish. Both components have been installed and secured perfectly. The guard has been closely fitted to the blade's tang, thereby firmly securing the two components. The tang slot in the pommel has been filed to an exact fit. The pommel is then tightly fitted to the tang without the need of further wedging. The end of the tang is not hot-peened over the top of the pommel - a detail that compliments the overall line of the sword.
While various forms of grip construction have been found on originals of this type, this sword features the design considered to be the most common for the period. The grip is set into place only after the guard and pommel are secured. The grip's core is fashioned from Terminalia bellirica: a strong wood, yet is elastic. These features make for a strong core that will resist shrinkage and cracking. The core is fashioned in two halves that are hollowed out to accept the tang. It is then secured over the tang with glue. A binding of fine cord is then wound around the core. The importance of this feature is two-fold: The cord adds support to the core and it also provides a firm gripping surface that does not abrade the hand unnecessarily. The final feature of the grip is its vegetable tanned leather covering. When finished, this method of construction results in a grip that is strong and durable, yet also aesthetically pleasing.
The sword's blade is a classic cutting design of the period. This design will be found on swords from the Viking age up through the 13th century. While capable of thrusting, it is a dedicated cutting design. The blade's fuller is cleanly defined and runs nearly to the point. The blade features excellent edge geometry and is sharp. To say this blade is large would be an understatement. The blade is very wide at the base, almost two inches. While there is a fair amount of taper to the blade it is still nearly an inch and a half wide at the tip. This is a blade with definite physical and visual impact.
The sword's scabbard is impressive as the sword itself and warrants discussion. Its core is fashioned from the same wood as the grip. The core has been beautifully shaped and tapered. The zinc-plated chape has a prominent knob upon it that protrudes 1.5cm. Although this is a feature found in later-era scabbards, its usefulness in securing a frog is such that only the most unyielding medievalist would find fault in its inclusion.
At just over 1.6kg and not even a meter long, this sword cannot be considered a lightweight; however, its weight belies its true handling characteristics. While handling this sword you will appreciate the mass distribution. The blade features a lineal distal taper, something that is very important in terms of mass distribution: which in conjunction with profile taper, as well as size and weight of hilt components, provides for an excellent distribution of mass. This allows for a sword that is massive in size, and heavy in weight, yet features excellent dynamic handling characteristics.
I was also able to do a bit of cutting with this sword, using the traditional Japanese cutting medium of rolled, wet straw mats. I performed various cuts, both with the tip and at the centre of percussion. All cuts gave good results, at least on the giving end. I doubt if you'd think so on the receiving end. The blade exhibited good edge retention and flexing throughout these exercises. No loosening of the hilts components was encountered. This is no surprise, since the sword is assembled in the historic fashion. You would literally have to destroy the hilt components to get them apart. This sword would have given outstanding service in the sword and shield fighting of the period. It is also an outstanding example of how all of the mechanical details of a sword's construction must work together to achieve an effective outcome. Things such as weight and balance mean nothing by themselves. When a sword is properly constructed, it can feature weight, mass, and dynamic handling all in the same package. Here is the proof.
Note: The video attached to this product is an independent review and was not commissioned by the Medieval Shoppe. The depictions therein of the product being used against gel heads etc., are for the purposes of experimental archaeology and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the weapon in its historical time period: this being a point of interest to collectors and amateur historians. Neither the video producers nor The Medieval Shoppe condone the use of the items depicted as implements of violence and they are not sold as such.
This sword is for big men! You cannot lead this sword, it leads you! If you have big hands then this is a sword for you! My only criticism of this sword was the tiny chip in the blade. Not real impressed about that but i'll sharpen it out. Feels good in the hand and is easy to weild. Good weight distribution all over for a sword of this type. The scabbard is well made. The grip is very comfortable with or without gloves. It should serve well in the sheild wall! Andrew on 24th Aug 2018