The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Sword
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • 2nd half of 14th century
  • Iron and steel
  • Length: 75.5 cm
    Width: 3.1 cm
    Weight: 0.93 kg
  • A461
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Thrusting sword, perhaps an early form of estoc, the hilt having a fFlattened oval pommel; straight, narrow crossguard, square in section and tapering slightly towards the ends; the grip missing. The double-edged blade, of hexagonal section, is stiff and tapers to an acute point, much corroded.

    Swords designed primarily for cutting and slashing with the edges of the blade were of little use against the increasingly formidable, layered types of armour which were evolving rapidly in the second half of the fourteenth century, made of padded textile, hardened leather, mail, and increasingly, large plates of iron and steel. Puncturing, stabbing attacks with the point, especially into the gaps in an armour, were much more effective. This sword seems therefore to be an early example of an exclusively stabbing sword, made for battlefield use, as a response to the advancing technology of plate armour.