Saber / Sabre of the Steppe May 12, 2014 5:12:01 GMT
Post by Jack Loomes on May 12, 2014 5:12:01 GMT
Editor's Note: See how truly random the 'sabering' of this sword type can be. The sword maker would have intended for this sword to be straight. Due to the narrow profile of the sword, and the nigh impossibility of achieving an even heat with a fire or forge before the advent of modern temperature controlled hardening this sword took on a set. This was much more common for nomadic peoples whose sword making infrastructure was impermanent. While a maker from a non nomadic society would have started again, nomadic makers did not have the luxury of time and so bent swords were pressed into service. What was found however, was that bent swords had characteristics of their own that could be useful. In the centuries after this sword was made this accidental discovery came to be sought intentionally in swords, ultimately giving us the scimitar and the katana (this style spread through China to Japan). In this artifact we truly see the physical embodiment of the experssion: 'necessity is the mother of invention'.
I am very sorry to say that measurements are not available for this sword. There is only one other sword on Sword-Site that I cannot provide measurements for and it, like this sword, are so important to the history of the sword I have included them anyway. I have requested measurement for this sword, but as yet, I have not been able to obtain it. If you have access to its length or any other data please message me.
Probably 9th/12th Century
This is a sabre of the earliest European type, introduced from the East by the nomadic people of the Steppes. The best-known, and most elaborate, example is the so-called sword of Charlemagne (or Attila) in the Imperial Treasury at Vienna, but many similar to the present one have been excavated in South Russia and Hungary
See Laking, vol. 1, pp. 94-96; J. v. Kalmár, 'Säbel und Schwert in Ungarn', Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde vol. 14, 1935-6, pp. 150-55; W.A. Sweitoslawski, Arms and Armour of the Nomads of the Great Steppe in the Times of the Mongol Expansion, Lodz, 1999, pp. 47-51
For another very similar example see Christie's London, Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria, 16 July 2003, lot 138