Sword

Date: ca. 1400

Culture: Western European

Medium: Steel, silver, copper alloy, leather

Dimensions: L. 40 1/4 in. (102.2 cm); L. of blade 32 in. (81.3 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 11 oz. (1673 g)

Classification: Swords

Credit Line: The Collection of Giovanni P. Morosini, presented by his daughter Giulia, 1932

Accession Number: 32.75.225

Description

The silver-embellished pommel and the crossguard made of copper alloy (rather than steel) wrapped with silver wire suggest that this sword was intended for presentation or for ceremonial use rather than as a fighting weapon. The Latin quotation inscribed on the pommel reads in translation, "here, too, virture has its due reward" (Virgil, Aeneid, book 1, line 461). The inscription (now illegible) on the blade is an early example of the use of etching for the decoration of a weapon. Approximately a century later, acid etching became a popular way to embellish arms and armor and an important technique in printmaking.

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