•14th C Type XVIIIc Longsword
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: 37.2"
Blade Width: 2.9"
Guard Width: 10.9"
Grip Length: 6.6"
Weight: 3.6 lbs
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 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 most thorough description 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 designed to excel at 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 of medieval swords.
Shipping Domestic US 51.00 (multiple sword shipping discounted)
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