Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Sword

Date:
10th century
Culture:
European, probably Scandinavia
Medium:
Steel, copper, silver, niello
Dimensions:
L. 37 3/4 in. (95.91 cm); W. 4 5/16 in. (10.95 cm); L. of blade 31 7/8 in. (80.96 cm); greatest W. 2 in. (5.08 cm); L. of grip 3 5/8 in. (9.21 cm); W. 4 5/16 in. (10.95 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 4 oz. (1021 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1955
Accession Number:
55.46.1
Not on view
The richly decorated hilt and pattern-welded blade indicate that this sword was carried by a warrior of high rank, perhaps a Viking chieftain or a Frankish nobleman. The braided copper wires on the pommel may represent an earlier Scandinavian custom of tying a protective talisman to a sword hilt. The pattern-welded blade was forged of intertwined rods of steel and iron, a technique that produced a tough yet resilient blade with a distinctive swirling pattern on its surface. Such blades were treasured for both their practical and decorative qualities.
Orleans, France.
Granscay, S. V., A. Hyatt Mayor, James J. Rorimer, William Holmes Forsyth, Bruno Thomas, Sir Richard C. Jebb, Randolph Bullock, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Helmut Nickel. "The New Galleries of Oriental Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (May 1958).

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 167, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor From the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 11, 64, ill.



Related Objects

Sword

Date: ca. 1400 Medium: Steel, silver, copper alloy, leather Accession: 32.75.225 On view in:Gallery 370

Hand-and-a-Half Sword

Date: ca. 1400–1430 Medium: Steel, copper alloy Accession: 2006.564 On view in:Gallery 373

Cross Hilt Sword

Artist: Blade signed by Clemens Horn (German, Solingen, 1580–1630) Date: 1600–1625 Medium: Iron, silver, wood, copper alloy, steel, gold Accession: 2010.165 On view in:Gallery 372

Rapier

Date: ca. 1540 Medium: Steel, silver, wood Accession: 2010.200 On view in:Gallery 376

Presentation Smallsword

Artist: James Morisset (English, London, active 1768–1800) Date: hallmarked for 1797–98 Medium: Silver, enamel, steel, paste brilliants Accession: 26.145.315a, b On view in:Gallery 376