European (possibly Scandinavian)
Steel, copper, silver
L. 37 3/4 in. (96 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955 (55.46.1)
The skillfully decorated hilt and blade indicate that this sword was carried by a warrior of high rank, perhaps a Viking chieftain or a Frankish nobleman. The braided copper wires on the pommel may represent an earlier Scandinavian custom of tying a talisman to a sword hilt. The pattern-welded blade was forged of intertwined rods of steel and iron, a technique that produced a tough, resilient blade with a distinctive swirling pattern on its surface.