Reputedly a South German river find, with which the hard black patina and lime deposits are consistant.
X-ray analysis at The Royal Armouries, Leeds showed no crack or weld under the sleeve at the base of the blade and it would appear that over time this has fused with the blade; the sleeve was perhaps either a reinforce or a part of the scabbard. The metalurgy of the blade was tested by Alan Williams at The Wallace Collection.
This sword is classifiable as Petersen type X. A sword with a closely comparable hilt was included as lot 46 in the sale of the R. T. Gwynn collection, Christie's, 24th April, 2001.