7th - 9th Century Avar Straight Edged Sabre / Sword Jul 11, 2013 6:20:32 GMT
Post by Jack Loomes on Jul 11, 2013 6:20:32 GMT
Sabre is 35.5" overall with a 29.5" straight single edged blade. The final 6" point of the blade is double edged. The crossguard appears to be made of cast bronze with short straight conical quillons. The Tang is slightly curved ending in a hollow cast bronze pommel which is typical of known Avar weapons from the period. Avar weapons with a single straight cutting edge are sometimes known as proto-sabres as the majority of this type are believed to slightly pre date the earliest curved sabres that they inspired.
This sabre is part of a cache of weapons which were found approximately 20 years ago in the Caucasus region, part of what was historically Avar/Magyar territory. The finest example from the cache was sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York by a famous London based dealer (Arms and Armor Notable Acquisitions 1991-2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art Item 40). The most famous sword of this type is the Sword of Charlemagne (Weltliche Schatzkammer, Vienna) which is believed to be of Avar origin and likely dates to the 8th century. During Charlemagne's eastern campaigns his forces are known to have taken examples of Avar weapons back to Western Europe where they were then used as diplomatic gifts. An example of such gift giving can be found in the Frankish Royal Annals which show that Charlemagne once presented an Avar sword to King Offa of the Anglo-Saxons.
The Sabre is in uncleaned excavated condition. The blade has an even unrestored patina with only minor chips to the cutting edge. The pommel and crossguard are complete but the grip has not survived.