Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 352: Engraved, Silver Mounted 16th Century Saxon Military Style Estoc

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Attractive, Engraved, Silver Mounted 16th Century Saxon Military Style Estoc

Estimated Price: $8,000 - $12,000

Attractive, Engraved, Silver Mounted 16th Century Saxon Military Style Estoc

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Item Views: 488
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 208
Class: Other

The estoc was a type of sword that came to prominence in the 16th century, its rise in use following that of the increased use of plate armour on the battlefield, which meant that traditional slashing swords became nearly useless. The solution branched off into two very distinct schools of thought; smash through the plate armour with maces, axes, and war hammers; or find and puncture the gaps in the armour with thin, stiff swords, one of which became known as the estoc. This example follows the general pattern of military estocs produced in Saxony during the 16th century, though this particular sword is slightly more embellished than standard. It has a narrow, flattened diamond, tapered blade, that was likely never edged, with a distinct central ridge that carries nearly to the point. There are markings on both sides of the ricasso, mostly obscured by the lightly engraved languet/chappe that has a roped lip. The guard consists of straight, slightly upturned, spatulate quillions with light chevron engraving, a large side ring with central ridge on the right for protection of the knuckles, and a serpentine guard on the left with thumb rest and finger ring for protection of the forefinger and thumb, which provided increased precision in the thrust. The remainder of the hilt consists of a slightly swelled grip wrapped in silver wire secured by silver cusped ferrules and an octagonal faceted, "scent stopper" pommel, capped with silver that is lightly engraved with flourishes of vine in each of the facets. The iron components of the hilt appear to have originally been blackened. It is 45 inches long overall with a 39 inch blade that is 1 3/16 inches wide just above the ricasso. The hilt is 5 7/8 inches long overall. This sword is of the type associated with the Saxon Electoral Armouries in Dresden. A very similar example can be seen in The Royal Armouries (Object Number: IX.1225), and another example showing similar characteristicsis in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Accession Number: 14.25.1049). This sword would pair exceptionally well with the "left hand" parrying dagger in the next lot.

Rating Definition:

Very fine, the iron showing mostly a bright grey patina overall with some scattered patches of mild pitting, some scattered minor parrying nicks in the edges of the blade, and attractive antique patina on the silver mountings with crisp engraving. The majority of the wire on the grip remains tight with a few minor dings. A very attractive 16th century sword that would be a welcome addition to any antique arms collection!

Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot