15th C., Metropolitan Museum of Arts
This 15th Century Gothic Medieval Sword is a perfect example of the wide and pointed swords being forged during the later part of the middle ages. Plate armor, at its peak in functionality and design, provided outstanding protection for those who could afford it. Dispatching those fortunate few by battle ready sword required a strong, acute point that could probe the gaps in armor and split the mail rings often worn beneath. But not everyone on the 15th century battlefield was so well defended. Contemporary artwork reveals that the average infantryman was likely to wear no more protection than a helm (usually a variety of sallet) and brigandine (a cloth or leather vest lined with small iron plates). He was susceptible to thrusts—which might not debilitate—as well as cuts that could immediately debilitate by amputation, decapitation or the severing of ligaments and major muscle groups.
Clearly, the combat environment witnessed during the later part of the middle ages favored a compromise blade design that could both thrust and cut. The type XVIIIc medieval sword, used for brutal cutting at the base of the blade, was particularly useful against the full plated armors emerging during the Gothic period. Whereas the base of the blade broke through armor and cut through mail, the fine tip of the battle ready sword pierced and delivered the final thrust, effectively killing the opponent.
This 15th Century Gothic Medieval Sword is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. A similar battle ready sword is also on displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum. Typical of type XVIIIc medieval swords, our 15th Century Gothic medieval sword boasts an excessively wide diamond shaped blade. According to Oakeshott, Type XVIII and its subtypes were "the most widely used swords between c. 1410 and 1510 all over Europe".
Original Model of this piece:
Total length: 44"
Blade length: 34"
Grip: 7 3/8"
Blade width at base: 3.5"
Weight: 3 lbs. 7 oz.
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