Rare Medieval Type XVII Broadsword, ca. 1400, Not Excavated!


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This is what is generally known as a Type XVII sword, based on the typology of author
and expert R. Ewart Oakeshott. This type sword was prevalent from roughly 1350 to
1425, which would place it in use during the Hundred Years War between England and
France. It features an acutely tapering 29″ blade of flattened hexagonal section with broad
central full-length fuller, with a pair of star-shaped maker’s marks stamped on each side.
The crossguard is a simple one-piece straight bar of rectangular section tapering toward
the ends. Crossguard is the type classified by Oakeshott as 1a, a type most commonly
found on the Type XVII swords. The pommel is a faceted “scent stopper” shape as
classified by Oakeshott as Type T, one of the more prevalent pommel styles found on
Type XVII swords which first appeared in the late 14th C. Grip is wood with leather wrap.
The wrap appears old and has some small losses, but it is not dry and flaking as one
might expect if it were the original. Also, such leather wraps, if original to a sword of this
age, generally are worn very thin and often become almost integral with the wood
beneath. Overall length is 36 1/4″, which is smaller than most Type XVII swords, but still
very typical of swords of that period. It is very well balanced and can easily be handled
with either one or two-handed grip. Though simple in design, it just feels right. Exhibits
genuine age, the blade showing lamination and all metal surfaces with scattered light to
moderate pitting and an even age patina. These early swords are almost impossible to
find when not excavated