We are excited to formally introduce a new product, the Leeds Castle Sword - Type XVIIIc Longsword. We have been working on the design details of this sword for a couple of years and it is finally ready. We are very pleased with how it has turned out. To celebrate the release of this sword we are going to be giving away the very first production piece in a super fun contest, learn about how to win a FREE SWORD here!
The Arms and Armor Leeds Castle Sword, type XVIIIc
This is a reproduction of an iconic example from the group of swords that were given as tribute to Sultan al Mu’yyad Shaykh by the king of Cyprus at the end of the 14th Century. They came to light at the beginning of the 19th century in the west, when the pieces were sold off from the St. Irene Arsenal, where they had been moved after the fall of Egypt to the Ottomans in 1517.
The original sword exhibits attributes we admire greatly from these large medieval swords. It is the longest and among the lightest of the surviving swords. The broad Oakeshott Type XVIIIc blade has gently curving edges in the last third of the blade that come to an acute point. The diamond cross sectioned blade has significant distal taper, which results in the thin and fearsome foible that characterizes these swords.
The hilts of several swords in the group are very similar, with straight guards of hexagonal cross section often with the ends slightly down turned and a wheel pommel. There are a couple of styles of wheel represented in the group, and the one here is a chamfered wheel with flat hubs. The grip is a tapering oval in section and has a mid-riser placed approximately halfway up the grip.
The fullest discussion of these swords comes from the 2003 Park Lane Arms Faire Catalogue in which Clive Thomas describes the swords as extremely wide and very thin, two characteristics that make them terrific hewing weapons. He went on to argue that “ ...these are essentially cutting swords; photographs do not really do justice to the sheer breadth of some of these blades which, combined with their greatly flattened sections were optimized for cleaving lightly armored opponents.”
While we think this sword is quite able in the thrust, there can be little doubt that the light and thin blade was primarily designed for cutting. This large sword is actually quite light at 3.6 lbs, even though it is the longest of the swords from the "Castle of Arms" at Alexandria, Egypt. For comparison, the related sword from this group at the Met weighs 3lbs 11oz and has a shorter blade.
The point tracks easily, it cuts with devastating efficiency, and moves with grace through cuts and guards. In many ways, the Leeds Castle sword is the epitome of its type, maximizing width, length, and handling to the functional limits.
Based on Original: Circa 1400 Italian, On display at the Royal Armouries, Leeds UK, Property of Leeds Castle Foundation
Overall Length: 46.1"
Blade Length: 37.8"
Blade Width: 2.9"
Grip Length: 6.6"
$51.00 domestic shipping
Don't forget to visit the contest page and enter to win this awesome sword!
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.