Kyra. Ravenclaw. Amiga. Compañera. Amante. Multifandom y Multishipper. Escritora y lectora obsesiva compulsiva. Melómana. Hogwarts en mi corazón por siempre. Gleek. Viajando con el Cirque du Freak. Resolviendo misterios en Londres. Cazando con la manada...
This is an 19th century Balkan Yataghan sword with a superb blade covered with fine Islamic calligraphy in thick gold koftgari. The sword has a large Walrus Ivory grip. The gilded copper bolster and grip straps are decorated with filigree work and inset with seven Coral stones. The ricasso is inset with two faceted green stones.
The scabbard is fitted with a large copper repousse chape and locket, the locket is split at the opening and the chape terminates with a monster head. The central area is covered with leather and wire stitched. The blade is profusely covered with Islamic calligraphy in panels with a central sunburst motif, and surrounded by decorative cartouches.
The head is formed of a central spike with a pronounced medial ridge extending from the socket over its length on both sides, a pair of up-turned basal lugs at the head of a narrow indented neck. The latter in turn is developing to form a pair of wing-like blades pierced and indented at the base and with rearward-curled tips and subsidiary prongs.
The weapon is faceted with tubular socket extending to form a pair of long straps (each neatly repaired), and the central portion of the head punched with panels of scrollwork involving pairs of human grotesque profile masks: on modern faceted wooden haft.
The Papal Sword is a long sword used by popes to reward princes and military commanders for their achievements as “defenders of the faith.” The custom of presenting a sword to defenders of Christianity did not occur much before the year 1000. The first papal sword that can be dated with certainty goes back to 1386, when on the morning of Christmas Day, in Luca, Pope Urban VI presented the city’s gonfalonier with a papal sword and cap, both duly blessed.
From the early 15th through the 17th century this tradition of blessing a papal sword and cap was continued. Few Christmases at the Vatican passed without some prince or general being rewarded with this gift. Leo XII presented the last papal sword in 1823, to the Duke of Angouleme for his successful storming of the Trocader. A subsequent sword, which was never actually presented, is still in the Vatican.
Only on one occasion was the papal sword presented to a whole nation rather than to an individual; this was the sword dispatched by Julius II in 1611 to the Swiss Confederation in recognition of the conduct of the Swiss Guard (the pope’s bodyguards). This sword is now in the Landesmuseum in Zurich. If one runs through the list of people who received this gift, the historical and political relations between the papacy and the various other powers in Europe emerges clearly.
The manufacture of the papal sword and cap was entrusted to the best artists and craftsmen of the day. The grip was usually cast in solid silver, engraved and gilded and in some cases the pommel bore the insignia of the pope. The broad, two-edged blade usually had a wide fuller in the upper section. With the name of the pope, the year of the papacy, and sometimes an exhortation to fight for Christendom, in addition to the year of presentation, on the forte itself. The wooden scabbard was mounted with embossed and gilded silver and covered in velvet. The papal gift included a special cap as well; this was a large dome-shaped hat embroidered with the figure of a dove - the symbol of the Holy Ghost - and a girdle.
But the papal sword can also be classified as a bearing sword. For example, the papal sword given by the pontiff to princes who had fought for Christianity was likewise a bearing sword. A typical ceremony in the Venetian republic, from the end of the 16th to the early 18th century, was the presentation to distinguished persons of a broadsword, which then was displayed during public ceremonies as a symbol of powers bestowed upon them.
These large ceremonial swords had a broad blade in the form of an acute isosceles triangle, with a central rib. Venezia (Venice) and Giustizia (Justice), both legible when the point of the weapon was raised upward, were inscribed on the furniture. The hilt was made of cast bronze, gilded and engraved; the scabbard was covered with crimson velvet.
But the presentation sword can also be looked at as a papal sword. These swords of honor are offered by sovereigns, princes, popes, associations, and admirers in general as an award or token of recognition to important figures for their achievements in war or political life. The Italian tradition in this respect is very old indeed: the Church had long rewarded princes, military leaders, and anyone else who had distinguished himself in the defense of Christianity with the gift of a papal sword which had been blessed on Christmas Day.
An example is the sword (Madrid, Real Armenia) given to John II, King of Castile and Leon (reg 1406-54) by Pope Eugenius IV in 1446-7, the earliest surviving example of the papal swords that were presented annually to Christian rulers. By the beginning of the 16th century these swords had succumbed completely to Renaissance styles and were being fitted with silver-gilt hilts there were splendid, but quite impractical, pieces of goldsmiths’ work; for example the hilt my the papal goldsmith Domenico da Sutri on the sword (Edinburgh Castle) presented in 1507 to James IV, King of Scotland (reg 1488-1513), by Pope Alexander VI and subsequently used as the Scottish Sword of State.
Sword used for the coronation of Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor, head of the House of Hohenstaufen) in Rome
The Honors of Scotland
The sword of the Hungarian King Ulászló II
Info sources: Book ~ “The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts: Aalto to Kyoto pottery, Volume 1” - edited by Gordon Campbell | MyArmoury
Measurements: Blade 79.4 cm. Overall length 94,5 cm
In conserved excavated condition with patina characteristic of a river find, the sword comes with a broad flat blade tapering slightly over its upper third. It is formed with a short blunt point, the central part of the blade surface showing distinct pattern-welded horizontal patterns formed in three vertical parallel lines over the greater part of the blade length.
Both “herringbone” (describes a distinctive V-shaped pattern) and wavy linear, and the edges and the area immediately below the point forming a frame forged in a less distinct pattern of vertical irregular wavy lines. It is fitted with pommel of two-part construction, the lower piece elliptical with horizontal medial ridge, the upper part thinner in section.
Both sides are vertically segmented by two shallow recessed panels bordered by a series of very narrow ridges and a pair matching narrow flutes together forming a lobated upper edge while the crosspiece is a modern reconstruction “aged” to match. For a detailed study of swords from German collections dating from the 8th-12th centuries and for their categorisation see GEIBIG, Alfred, Beiträge zur morphologischen Entwicklung des Schwertes im Mittelalter, in Offa-Bücher.
Medium: Steel, pierced and chiseled; iron wire; wood
Measurements: Length of quillon 11 3/4 in. ( 29.85 cm) Length of blade 40 1/8 in. ( 101.9 cm) Length overall 47 1/2 in. ( 120.65 cm) Gr. width of blade 0 11/16 in. ( 1.73 cm) Gr. thickness of blade 0 3/8 in. ( 0.94 cm) Weight 2 lb. 1 oz. ( 936 gm) Hardness of blade 60-65