Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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?].
Giovanni Pertinax Morosini, New York (until d. 1908; by descent to his daugther Giulia Pertinax Morosini); Giulia Pertinax Morosini, New York (1908–d. 1932; her bequest to MMA).
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Bequest of Giulia P. Morosini." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 34, no. 1 p. 16, fig. 1.

Hoffmeyer, Ada Bruhn. "Middelalderens Tveæggede Sværd: En Undersøgelse af dets Udviklingshistorie, Kronologi og Nationalitet, dets Stilling i den Almindelige Vabenhistoriske Udvikling og dets Krigsmæssige Betydning." PhD diss., PhD diss., Tøjhusmuseet, 1954. p. 31, no. 92, pl. XXVIII b.

Oakeshott, R. Ewart. The Sword in the Age of Chivalry. London: Lutterworth Press, 1964. pp. 52–53, pls. 15–16.

Nickel, Helmut. "A Knightly Sword with Presentation Inscriptions." Metropolitan Museum Journal 2 pp. 209–10, ill.

Hoffmeyer, Ada Bruhn de. Arms and Armour in Spain: A Short Survey. Vol. 2. Madrid: Instituto de Estudios sobre Armas Antiguas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Patronato Menéndez y Pelayo, 1981. p. 188.

Reverseau, Jean-Pierre. Musée de l'Armée, Paris: Les Armes et la Vie. Paris; New York: Dargaud, 1982. p. 24, ill. (another sword with comparable date and inscription).

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer, 1991), pp. 14, 64, ill.

Oakeshott, R. Ewart. Records of the Medieval Sword. New York: Boydell Press, 1991. p. 116, no. XIV.1, ill.

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