Oakeshott Type XIIIa Sword

Oakeshott Type XIIIa Sword

A sword of type XIIIa according to Oakeshott, found in Bohemia, dates from 1480-1510. from a private collection.
A characteristic feature of this type (whose subtype contains most of the surviving examples) is the blade, it is almost straight, with a hilt noticeably longer than that of the usual one-handed sword of the previous types — 8.2 or 11.1 cm.

Subtype XIIIa is the ‘Great War Sword’, with a very large blade, the length of which was on average 81.2 — 101.7 cm and the length of the hilt from 15 to 25.5 cm. the swords preserved to this day can be different, although types I to K predominate.

Crosses, both at archaeological finds and at fine sources, are almost always straight, as a rule, of style 2.

In poems, annals, and inventories, they are often referred to as “Swerdes of Were,” “Grans Espees d’Allemagne,” “Schlacht-schwerte,” “Grete Swords,” “Espees de Guerre,” “Grete War Sword,” and so on. Always indicating large size.

These swords are usually of German origin, as evidenced by the frequency of their appearance in German sculptural images on tombs of the 14th century; they are found almost as often in Spanish tombs of the same period, and sometimes in English.

Those shown in art, as a rule, date back to 1250 — 1370 years; German and Spanish images between 1320 and 1370. However, there is archaeological evidence that very convincingly suggests that one and a half-handed swords were not uncommon in the 12th century.

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