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

Description

The skillfully decorated hilt and 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 talisman to a sword hilt. The pattern-welded blade was forged of intertwined rods of steel and iron, a technique that produced a tough, resilient blade with a distinctive swirling pattern on its surface.

Related