SOLD. A Fabulous Rare Norman Early Crusader's Sword With Cross of Christ ✝️ Inlaid Blade Of The 1100’s AD
An original Norman Sword with undoubted Viking influences, (as the Normans were historically Viking) a Christian cross Inlay from the 12th-13th century, 1100's to 1200's. In Ewart Oakeshott’s 'Records of the Medieval Sword', out of 230 surviving examples inspected just 35 of them had crosses remaining on some part of the weapon. This works out to being approximately only 15% of the 230 swords counted and the majority of swords containing crosses seem to date prior to 1300. An iron double-edged sword of Petersen Type X and Oakeshott Type Xa, its tapering blade with narrow fullers and battle nicks to both edges, one side with copper cross of Christ inlay; wide guard of Oakeshott Style 1, sturdy tang and 'tea-cosy' form pommel. Fine condition throughout. Cross guard mobile. The 11th and 12th centuries the Norman knight was possibly the most feared warrior in Western Europe. He was descended originally from the Vikings who had settled in Northern France under their leader Rollo in or around 911 at the behest of Charles the Simple and throughout the following centuries they remembered and built on their warlike reputation. Their military prowess was renowned throughout the known world and resulted in Normans conquering Sicily in 1060 and England in 1066, as well as participating in many important battles in Italy and playing a major part in the First Crusade. Most historians consider the sermon preached by Pope Urban II at Clermont-Ferrand in November 1095 to have been the spark that fueled a wave of military campaigns to wrest the Holy Land from Muslim control. Considered at the time to be divinely sanctioned, these campaigns, involving often ruthless battles, are known as the Crusades. At their core was a desire for access to shrines associated with the life and ministry of Jesus, above all the Holy Sepulcher, the church in Jerusalem said to contain the tomb of Christ. Absolution from sin and eternal glory were promised to the Crusaders, who also hoped to gain land and wealth in the East. Nobles and peasants responded in great number to the call and marched across Europe to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire. With the support of the Byzantine emperor, the knights, guided by Armenian Christians , tenuously marched to Jerusalem through Seljuq-controlled territories in modern Turkey and Syria. In June 1099, the Crusaders began a five-week siege of Jerusalem, which fell on July 15, 1099 . Eyewitness accounts attest to the terror of battle. Ralph of Caen, watching the city from the Mount of Olives, saw “the scurrying people, the fortified towers, the roused garrison, the men rushing to arms, the women in tears, the priests turned to their prayers, the streets ringing with cries, crashing, clanging and neighing.”
From a private family collection; previously acquired from a collection formed before 1990; thence by descent; accompanied by an archaeological report by the military specialist Dr. Raffaele Amato.
See Petersen, J., De Norske Vikingsverd, Oslo, 1919; Oakeshott, E., Records of the Medieval Sword, Woodbridge, 1991; Oakeshott,E., The sword in the Age of the Chivalry, Woodbridge, 1964 (1994); Gravett, C., Medieval Norman Knight, 950-1204 AD, London, 1993; Peirce, I., Swords of the Viking Age, Suffolk, 2002; practically identical guard and pommel of the sword from Hagerbakken (Petersen, 1919, fig.124).
This type usually presents a slender blade, generally long in proportion to the hilt with a narrow fuller running for much of the blade’s length to within a few inches of the point. The tea-cosy or Brazil-nut variants were the most popular forms of pommel for this typology, from the late 10th century onwards (Gravett, 1993, p.5). According to Petersen, this type was not originally of Nordic origin, even if some specimens were forged in the Nordic lands. The sword is found in such quantities that it exists not only over the whole of Nordic countries, but also over the whole of Central Europe. It was a common Germanic type in Central and Northern Europe during the century preceding the Crusades, and it was still the typical Norman sword of the 12th century. 1.2 kg, 33 3/4". Oakeshott co-founded the Arms and Armour Society in 1948 and his first publications are found in the Society's journals. Thus the Oakeshott legacy lives on through his books, articles, and through The Oakeshott Institute. One of the Institute's objectives is "To continue the research of Ewart Oakeshott into the study and classification of swords from the European context, improving our understanding of the materials, construction and stylistic development of these objects." The seminal study of the topic of Viking swords is due to Jan Petersen (De Norske Vikingsverd, 1919).
Petersen(1919): Devised the original hilt typology of 26 types that is still widely used across Europe for classifying and dating Viking swords. Based on about 1,700 finds of Viking swords in Norway this typology remains the most commonly used. Petersen's types are identified by capital letters A–Z. Petersen listed a total of 110 specimens found in Norway. Of these, 40 were double-edged, 67 were single-edged and 3 indeterminate The seminal study of the topic is due to Jan Petersen (De Norske Vikingsverd, 1919). Incredibly swords of this time, providing they stayed within the ancestral family of the knights for whom it was originally made in the 1100s, could still have been used up to and including the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Sword design had not changed a great deal in that time and if an English knight had had a famous ancestor from several generations before using the sword, it is easily conceivable that he would continue to use it in combat into the 15 century. The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. The battle took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, some 40 km south of Calais. Along with the battles of Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), it was one of the most important English triumphs in the conflict. England's victory at Agincourt against a numerically superior French army crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.
After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers perished due to disease and the English numbers dwindled, but as they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais they found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English.
King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.
This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers forming up to 80 percent of Henry's army. The decimation of the French cavalry at their hands is regarded as an indicator of the decline of cavalry and the beginning of the dominance of ranged weapons on the battlefield.
Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories. The battle is the centrepiece of the play Henry V by Shakespeare. Juliet Barker in her book Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle ( published in 2005) argues the English and Welsh were outnumbered "at least four to one and possibly as much as six to one". She suggests figures of about 6,000 for the English and 36,000 for the French, based on the Gesta Henrici's figures of 5,000 archers and 900 men-at-arms for the English, and Jean de Wavrin's statement "that the French were six times more numerous than the English". The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica uses the figures of about 6,000 for the English and 20,000 to 30,000 for the French. £13,500