The Gilling Sword
- Dated: 9th century
This sword, first spotted by a nine-year-old boy playing in a stream, is one of the finest Anglian weapons to be found in England. Eagle-eyed Garry Fridd was later awarded a Blue Peter badge for his amazing discovery in April 1976. He was playing next to Gilling Beck, Gilling West, near Richmond, in North Yorkshire, when he noticed a piece of metal close to the stream’s edge.
The two-edged iron sword has a handle decorated with silver which has a combination of geometric and plant designs. Anglian and Viking warriors were often buried with their swords. Archaeologists have discovered a number of these burials in North Yorkshire. Other swords of this date have also been found in rivers and it is thought that weapons of defeated armies may have been thrown into rivers.
Source & Copyright: Yorkshire Museum
- Dated: late Edo Period: 1603-1867
- Culture: Japanese
- Medium: steel, copper, ray skin, silk, wood.
- Measurements: blade length ~ 55cm; tang lenght ~ 12cm
This wakizashi has a koshi-zori blade. The Tang (part of the blase encased by the handle) measures 12 cm. The Koshirae (mounting) has two menuki (handle ornaments), a bird and a crescent, and two seppa (guard spacers) and a habaki (wedge shaped metal collar used to keep the sword from falling out of the saya and to support the fittings below) in copper.
The tsuba is also in copper and features vegetal decorations, while the Fuchi, Kashira and Habaki are also made of copper. The Kozuka (also in copper) is signed with a fishing scene. The Tzuka is covered in ray skin and silk rope. The sheath in brown wood with an enlarged tip, featuring a decoration of small black birds.
- Sidenote: The word “koshi” means “waist.” The deepest point of this type of ‘sori’ is nearer the munemachi (back blade notch). This type is also called Bizen-zori, since Bizen swords generally have koshi-zori. Tachi produced between the Heian and the mid-Kamakura periods are usually koshi-zori.
Source & Copyright: Caravana Collection | Book: “The Connoisseur’s Book of Japanese Swords” by By Kokan Nagayama
Windlass Long Sword
- A 15th century longsword replica by Windlass Steelcrafts
- Measurements: overall length ~ 1155mm; blade length ~ 902mm; width at guard ~ 46mm; weight ~ 1.47kg
The 15th century longsword, often called a hand-and-half, saw a great deal of service as a weapon of war, but was also employed a great deal as a civilian weapon of self-defense.
Coupled with a dagger, the longsword was an excellent defense against robbers, thieves, footpads, assassins and even some of the robber bands that might roam the countryside. A good serviceable point allowed it to be used for thrusting, and a medium weight allowed it to be used easily and carried with equal ease.
This weight also allowed it to be used with one hand with a dagger in the other. But when needed, the longsword could be gripped with both hands for a very powerful cut. Pommel and guard are steel. Grip is wood wrapped with leather and wire. A beautiful and very functional sword.
Source: © Lawrance Ordnance 2010-2012