Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 337: Late 15th-Early 16th Century South German/Swiss Longsword

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Rare Late 15th-Early 16th Century South German/Swiss Longsword

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,500 - $4,000

Rare Late 15th-Early 16th Century South German/Swiss Longsword

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 845
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 194
Class: Other

This is a solid representative example of a Southern German or Swiss longsword of the late Middle Ages or early Renaissance. Swords such as this example are commonly referred to as "hand-and-a-half swords" or "bastard swords" and commonly show longer blades and a grip long enough for use with two hands or a "hand and a half". The writer believes this example to be from approximately 1520. The long lenticular blade is double edged with a single fuller for a quarter of its length, two grooves to either side of the fuller on the ricasso. There is a faint, slightly different, engraved inscription on each side within the fuller, possibly in an old Latin alphabet, and each fully ends with a cross motif with circled tips which is possibly a maker's mark. There is a similar faint inscription on the right ricasso. The iron guard is made up of slightly concave quillions with fluted ball finials, a large side ring on the right with three of the same finials, and on the left a combination thumb ring and both fore and rear finger hooks. The contoured handle appears to be of hardwood with wire and leather wraps and is fitted with a fluted spherical "scent stopper" type pommel. The overall length is 50 3/4 inches, 41 inch blade, and 6 7/8 inch handle.

Rating Definition:

Good, the blade showing a mix of bright grey patina and deep dark pitting throughout which continues to the guard, and the pommel showing a mostly brown patina with pitting. The guard is slightly loose. The handle retains almost all of the leather wrap which is thin and dry and beginning to come loose. A rare example of a late 15th-early 16th century longsword!

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