(About): A Fully Battle-Ready Type XX Greatsword
In the 15th-century, the ruling families of Europe were not what they once were. No longer were they ancient bloodlines ruling by mystical right of birth – rather, they were masters of power-politics, ruling by their wits. But they still maintained the fashion of chivalry, incorporating the imagery and forms of a rapidly receding medieval past into their courts. The Viscount Sword is such as this: a throwback to a past age of imagined glories, wielded by the cutthroat new elite.
The Blade of a New Era
The blade of our Viscount Sword is a stunning Late-Medieval type, in the scale of a greatsword. It has a gorgeous flowing shape, marked by a broad, flat blade, a fairly subtle taper and quite a short point. Its features bely it as a Type XX sword blade in Oakeshott’s classification. The unique shape of our Viscount Sword blade is characterised by a handsome incipient ricasso where the forte of the blade widens slightly as it meets the hilt. This was a feature that was held-over from earlier forms of the medieval greatsword such as the Type XIIIa, which were the Viscount Sword’s ancestors.
As with all of Darksword’s blades, useability is at the forefront of their hand-forging process: they have made a tempered, functional blade from 5160 spring steel, achieving a hardness of 60 HRc at the edge, with a flexible core of 48-50 HRc. It’ll stand up to all of the knocks of roleplay and re-enactment with ease.
A Wickedly Spiked Hilt
The hilt of the Viscount Sword is a fantastic speculative design that has more than a little of the Gothic about it! Historical Type XX swords had a wide variety of hilt types, from simple square-barred cruciforms to complex swept-hilts. The expert designers at Darksword Armory have chosen a striking speculative hilt for our Viscount Sword, consisting of a cruciform hilt with eye-catching sharply-pointed quillons, and a spiked quillon block. The two-handed hand-grip is wrapped with overlapping thongs of black leather to produce a darkly handsome and stable grip surface. The pommel is a faithful ‘scent-stopper’ shape as seen on many swords of this historical era. The metal parts of the hilt have all been forged from mild steel, and it is assembled with a full-tang, peened construction. The end result is a fully battle-ready weapon capable of being used safely in light combat with similarly-hard weapons.
An Elite Sword
For the most discerning sword collectors, Darksword Armory has produced the Elite Series: weapons forged from a resurrected recreation of the mythical Damascus steel of the Medieval era. These are truly special weapons, each bearing a rippling pattern-weld as unique as a finger-print. Only 100 Elite Series Viscount Swords will ever be created, so do not miss this chance to own such a piece of sword-forging history! Each one is shipped with a wax-sealed Certificate of Authenticity signed by Eyal Azerad, Darksword Armory’s master smith and founder – as well as a handsome upgraded scabbard.
(Curiosity): The Last Greatsword
Type XX swords emerged in the 15th-century CE as developments on early High Medieval war swords. Many contemporary two-handed swords had developed as anti-armor weapons designed to compromise and puncture plate armor: long, thin and stuff, much closer to oversized needles like our spectacular Type XVa Black Prince Sword. But the Type XX did not need to deal in such subtleties. They were designed to demonstrate martial superiority by their mere design, harking back to High Medieval notions of chivalry and justice embodied in the sword, capable of delivering enormously powerful smashing blows that would crush as much as cut. Their position as large cutting swords at the end of the Medieval period might hint at their fate: these were likely the last generation of this configuration of sword, and rapidly fell out of use with the widespread adoption of firearms in the second-half of the 16th century. Hence, many surviving examples seem to have been wholly ceremonial – so-called ‘bearing swords’ that would be borne by a squire or civil dignitary to symbolise wealth and power. This is the perfect function for our Viscount sword, the weapon of a Late Medieval nobleman seeking to project an image of knightly virtue.
- Total length: 42 inches
- Blade length: 31 inches
- Blade width: 2 ½ inches
- Blade material: 5160 carbon steel (Viscount Sword) / 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1 steel (Elite Series Viscount Sword)
- Blade hardness: 60 HRc at edge ; 48-50 HRc at core
- Guard and pommel material: Mild steel
- Grip material: Leather
- Weight: 3 lbs. 4 oz.