European Hand-and-a-Half Sword
- Dated: circa 1500-20
- Culture: Spanish or Italian
- Measurements: blade length: 35”
This sword was carried by a knight in full armor. Like many of its period, it is built on a heavy broad blade capable of breaching armor of the weight worn on the extremities and neck as well as the mail and leather armor of the swarms of foot troops whose focus was to unhorse and kill the knight. The blade bears a mark in the form of a crescent on each side. The quillons are turned down and the ring guard is an early use of that feature. The resulting form was used well into the 16th century.
The quillon terminals and pommel are relief decorated in large leaf foliage. The “hock bottle” grip allows the sword to be used with one hand or two. When used with two, the base of the pommel serves as a rest for the second hand. The choice for two hand use is a grave decision, as it abandons the left hand defense, usually a shield, and requires that every attacking stroke be met and deflected with the sword until an opportunity for a strike presents itself. The blade edge shows the effect of a few glancing (deflected) blows.
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