Sword 1470-1480 Italian

Sword about 1470–80 perhaps Italian

Steel and iron
3 × 102 × 15.5 cm (1 3/16 × 40 3/16 × 6 1/8 in.), 2 lb (weight)

The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection

Double-edged steel blade of flattened hexagonal section over its length, tapering only slightly from the rectangular-section ricasso to the spatulate, pointed tip.
The blade must have been in extremely corroded condition, as it has been ground down, yet retains deep pitting over its length. Both faces of the blade have a series of letters who meaning or purpose are unknown.

The obverse reads HEDECS; the reverse ADICCA. Both sets have at the lower end a mark consisting of two concentric circles, the center of which has a snake-like squiggled line. Both sets read toward the point. The shoulders of the blade are apparently flat, and the tang of rectangular section tapers slightly to the pommel, through which it projects at the top and is hammered flat.

The single-handed, iron hilt, which was blackened later, is Norman’s type 40, with an inner guard of type 1, and a pommel of type 12.

The hilt consists of a quillon-block with low cusped écusson, decorated with deeply cut lines, and a rear crossguard that is straight for about one-half its length, then curves down toward the point.

The guard is of octagonal section, and ends in a discoid cockleshell base, filed in a shell-like manner, with a pair of circular holes at the base. The forward guard is bent up toward the pommel at a right angle to form a knuckle-guard, and terminates at a point level with the base of the pommel.

The terminal of the forward guard is like that of the rear guard. There is also a set of arms of the hilt, at the end of which is welded a side-ring of U-shape. The only inner-guard provision is a short right-angled downward projection at the ends of the ring. The thick, discoid pommel is en suite with the terminals of the guards. It is rather lenticular in section, and has slightly convex faces. The very base at the lost grip is cut to form a rectangular section and a straight-cut bottom. The file-cuts are placed in three groups of five each radiating from the base.