True two hand swords are very rare and Medieval examples are the rarest. Stone, in his landmark work shows none predating 1515, after drawing on the resources of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Oakeshott, in his last work, Records of the Medieval Sword, which by his account is a compilation of his lifes works, and the definitive work on the subject, studies 234 swords. Of these seven have blades of equal or greater length than this example and just four, less than 2%, are identified as two hand swords. The scarcity is due to the fact that the two hand sword was a highly specialized weapon requiring a very exceptional man to use one effectively. In battle, it was an offensive weapon as well as the entire strategic defense. The swordsman required exceptional stature and musculature to deliver its deadly blows as well as wield it effectively to counter any attack. The proportion of the hilt of this example exceeds any studied by Oakeshott. This sword is related to a group of swords in the arsenal at Alexandria, captured by the Turks between 1365 and 1437. Blade length: 39 3/8

Stock Number: 95-38(GC.A.074)

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