Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series
(About): The Finest Sword for a Chivalric Horsemaster
When legendary Canadian swordsmiths Darksword Armory set out to create something truly exceptional, you know you’re in for a treat. We are enormously proud to present their Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series, a stunning reproduction of a 14th century knightly arming sword of Type XIV. But this is no mere historical clone: their Elite Series weaponry is hand-forged from a spectacular pattern-welded blend of steels, resulting in gorgeous ‘Damascus steel’. They have an extremely limited run, so don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grace your sword collection with one of the finest speculative historical reproductions forged in a thousand years.
Reproducing The Lost Ancient Arts
Darksword Armory’s expert smiths have spend countless hours perfecting a technique to reproduce a mystical lost steel that hasn’t been forged for centuries. A handful of surviving medieval swords have metallurgical properties that have left archaeologists and metallurgists scratching their heads: they are super-hard, extremely strong and very sharp, and they show a gorgeous shimmering, ‘water-like’ patternation that is distinctly different to the semi-regular patterns of Viking Age pattern-welded swords. Weirder yet, they have microscopic characteristics much closer to steels that were only produced in the Industrial Revolution with far more advanced technology than was available anywhere on earth in the Medieval era. Historians reckon these must be the semi-mythical weapons made from a rare and mysterious steel known as ‘Damascus steel’ – blades which were reputed to be able to slice through other swords at a stroke and which never needed sharpening.
Before you start reaching for the old VHSs of Ancient Aliens, we have some good guesses how medieval peoples managed to produce such incredible steel. The best guess is that South Indian and Sri Lankan metalworkers figured out how to combine two technologies, crucibles and blast furnacing, to create extremely high temperatures that would melt iron in such a way as to allow a much greater amount of carbon to infuse into it. When cooled very slowly, layers of differently-carburised steel form in a random pattern to create a ‘cake’ of steel that was called wootz by its makers. This wootz steel was traded into Europe, often by Islamic traders via the states in the Eastern Mediterranean and Levant. There are many theories as to how the steel became known as ‘Damascus’; it may be associated with the fine blades made my medieval smiths in the Syrian city of the same name, or perhaps the similarity of the steel’s patternation to the watery weave of damask silk.
Darksword Armory have reproduced this amazing material by combining four different grades of steel – 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1, for metal nerds – into a carefully blended pattern-weld, produced by forge-welding, twisting, extruding, folding and cutting, over and over. The result is a shimmering damask in metal that must be seen to be believed – even photographs don’t do it justice; if you think it looks stunning in our catalogue, wait until you see it in person!
A Cut-and-Thrust Blade on the Cusp of the Age of Plate
The blade of our Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series is an elegant masterwork of design from the expert smiths at Darksword Armory. They have painstakingly reproduced a Late Medieval arming sword based on historical originals in the Royal Armouries, Leeds, UK, and the Wallace Collection: it dates roughly to the middle of the 14th-century CE, and is a glorious crystallisation of medieval warfare in flux.
This imagining of the medieval knight sword conforms to Type XIV: it is a highly recognisable style even for those who are new to the world of medieval arms and armaments. Blades of Type XIV are much wider than many contemporary swords, often two inches or more at the forte (where the blade meets the cross-guard) – and they are sharply triangular in shape, with edges that taper evenly from the hilt to an extremely long point. The configuration of the blade gives us some excellent clues as to its usage. They are lenticular in cross-section, resulting in a flat cutting blade, although its long point demonstrates its use as an all-round sword for the Late Medieval ‘cut-and-thrust’ style of single-handed sword fighting. Such a blade was perfectly adapted to the style of warfare of the era: due to the gradual predominance of pole weaponry, spears and pikes, heavy cavalry was beginning to wane in use, and so a knight’s weapons had to be flexible. Such a sword was long enough to be used one-handed from horseback, but was also a deadly weapon in close combat – it is the perfect weapon for a medieval knight, sword and shield at the ready.
The gorgeous Damascus blade of our Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series has been differentially tempered to give a hardness of 60 HRc at the edge, with 48-50 HRc at the core. This means that it is a resilient, functional blade that is thoroughly useable in re-enactment and roleplay, combining excellent edge-retention and hardness with enough flex to absorb the immense forces involved in swordplay.
An Elegant Curved Hilt for Controlling the Battlefield
Like the blade, the hilt of our Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series is hand-forged from the same shimmering Damascus steel, flowing over the metal surfaces like water and lending the weapon an ethereal quality that shifts in the light with each small movement. The cross-guard of the sword is a handsome curve, exactly replicating the downward-angled quillons of many Type XIV swords. These offer excellent protection to the hands whilst providing the opportunity to control an opponent’s blade at close quarters, directing away from the body and locking it in place to bludgeon them with your shield or stick them with a concealed dagger. The hand-grip is a generous hand’s-breadth, wrapped in striking black leather. The pommel is a large wheel-type of Oakeshott Type J – like the other metal fittings, it is painstakingly hand-forged from Darksword’s unique Damascus steel mix, and it is carefully weighted so as to bring the balance-point of the sword closer to the hilt, resulting in a sword that not merely looks like a magic weapon from a fantasy novel, it handles like one too. It is constructed with a full-tang, which is securely peened in place. This means that, as well as being a truly stunning aesthetic weapon, it is also fully functional and battle ready, capable of being used safely in light combat.
A Fleeting Chance at Owning History
Darksword Armory’s smiths say that they seek in all that they do to live up to honourable chivalric ideas – and this deeply special knights sword for sale is no exception. The Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that has been personally signed by Darksword’s founder, master smith Eyal Azerad, and then stamped with the Darksword Elite wax seal. As well, it comes with an upgraded leather scabbard with interlaced sword-belt. The Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series has an extremely limited run: once Eyal has signed the 100th Certificate of Authenticity, the design will be retired forever. If you wish to be one of the lucky 100 sword collectors, then don’t pass up this opportunity to own a piece of history.
(History): The Type XIV Sword:
Surviving examples of this type are rare, limited to a handful of weapons which mostly date to the later half of the 1300s – but depictions of this blade type in art date it much earlier. In The Sword in the Age of Chivalry, Oakeshott points out that a huge proportion of statues and effigies from the first quarter of the 1300s show figures wielding this type of sharply tapering sword, suggesting that it was thought of as the ‘cutting edge’ of sword design – almost all English effigies from this period are shown with a Type XIV sword (or ones that are ambiguous but similar). However, examples appear earlier: an angel in a roof-boss within Lincoln Cathedral wields a Type XIV blade, carved around 1280 CE. Pisano’s magnificent marble carvings on the Cathedral at Lucca clearly show the hilt of a Type XIV sword (extremely similar to our Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series hilt!), and that dates from as early as 1258. This style of sword remained popular for at least a century – whilst in the West it began to be eclipsed by stiffer thrusting sword more suited to splitting weak-points in armor, in Southern and Eastern Europe, plate armor was less prevalent, and so advanced cut-and-thrust swords retained their utility. Captured Westerners’ swords donated by Muslim warriors to the armories at Alexandria are a fascinating source of dateable evidence for the use of these weapons, and some examples of Type XIV swords have been found engraved with Arabic devotional inscriptions commemorating their donation as late as the early 1400s. Thus we can say with a degree of confidence that this sword design appears around the latter half of the 13th century CE, and remains popular into the 15th-century, gradually falling out of favor in the West with the advancement of full plate harnesses whilst remaining a solid choice for knights and warriors in the less heavily-armored East.
We can even see the evolution and refinement of Type XIV within the overall form. For example, Ewart Oakeshott’s personal collection was home to a sword that he dubbed ‘Moonbrand’ or ‘The Household God’, his own favourite sword of all. It was a Type XIV sword dating from around 1270 CE, and it was typical of this ‘early’ type: a broad but extremely thin lenticular blade, widening slightly at the forte, and bearing a spectacularly beautiful quadruple-fuller. The Oakeshott Institute, which continues Ewart Oakeshott’s legacy, have a fascinating YouTube video examining the sword itself! Compare ‘Moonbrand’ with a Type XIV sword made a century later, such as the Aeneid-inscribed sword at the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Dating from c. 1400 CE, it still retains the characteristic broad blade and the curved cross-guard, but it subtly includes important innovations. The blade of this sword is diamond-shaped in cross-section – this means it is a significantly better thrusting sword: less effective in the cut (which requires a greater degree of flex), but much stiffer to dent or puncture the superior armors which had developed in the intervening century. Our Medieval Knight Sword Elite Series is closer in design to the latter of these, visible in its narrower face, and its obvious diamond-cross-section mid-rib between the end of the fuller and the point, situating it roughly as a weapon type from the mid-to-late 14th century CE.
Looking for more Elite Series Swords? We got you covered, here’s one that we particularly love!
Complete the kit! We recommend pairing this sword with the Knight Gauntlets.
- Total length: 39 ½ inches
- Blade length: 32 inches
- Blade width: 2 inches
- Blade material: 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1 steels; Damascus
- Blade hardness: HRc 60 at edge ; 48-50 HRc at core
- Guard and pommel material: 1095, 5160, L-6 and O1; Damascus
- Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.