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Sword

Date:
ca. 1400
Culture:
Western European
Medium:
Steel, silver, copper alloy, leather
Dimensions:
L. 40 1/4 in. (102.2 cm); L. of blade 32 in. (81.3 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 11 oz. (1673 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
The Collection of Giovanni P. Morosini, presented by his daughter Giulia, 1932
Accession Number:
32.75.225
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 370
The silver-embellished pommel and the crossguard made of copper alloy (rather than steel) wrapped with silver wire suggest that this sword was intended for presentation or for ceremonial use rather than as a fighting weapon. The Latin quotation inscribed on the pommel reads in translation, "here, too, virture has its due reward" (Virgil, Aeneid, book 1, line 461). The inscription (now illegible) on the blade is an early example of the use of etching for the decoration of a weapon. Approximately a century later, acid etching became a popular way to embellish arms and armor and an important technique in printmaking.
Inscription: Inscribed on the pommel in latin, in gothic lettering: sunt hic etiam sua praemia lavdi (Here, too, virtue has its due reward), from Virgil, Aeneid, book 1, line 461; on the blade in latin, in large slightly raised gothic lettering, now illegible: DOMIN...TEMPOR[A?]SANCTA MA[RIA?].
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