Here is a very rare and very wonderful example of a Viking sword in original, excavated, condition. This fine example is profusely inlaid with silver quatrefoil designs on both its guard and large “tea cosy” pommel. None of the silver inlay is loose. It is fused firmly in place by the oxidation of the metals and the natural chemical processes that have taken place over time and during burial. The hilt conforms to Petersen’s type X. Nearly all the silver inlay remains intact (difficult to see in photos). The hilt is in excellent excavated condition. The quatrefoil decorations are extremely rare and have not been noted on other examples. At some point, a long time ago, someone made for the sword, a pair of wood grip scales (a mock grip) for display purposes. They were originally pressed in place, then later, held on by a tack of glue that has dried and let go. They are included with the sword.
The broad double edged, pattern welded, blade has a wide shallow, central fuller and traces of the pattern weld herringbone (or chevron) pattern can still be seen. The blade is heavily pitted but extremely solid and stable without superficial rust or flaking. It has a very nice, even, aged black patina. It was probably excavated in the 19th century, if not earlier.
It was obviously the property of a Viking chieftain. Approximately 35” overall.
Provenance: Sotheby’s London, October 26, 1994, lot #103.
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Antique Arms and Armor