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    Sale 5426

    Antique Arms & Armour

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 39

    A VERY RARE VIKING SWORD, THE BLADE WITH ULFBERHT INSCRIPTION

    CIRCA 950

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE VIKING SWORD, THE BLADE WITH ULFBERHT INSCRIPTION
    CIRCA 950
    In excavated condition (the upper half of the blade missing), the blade of late pattern-welded construction with a wide shallow central fuller, one side cut with the inscription 'Vlfberh+t' in characteristically large capitals originally inlaid in contrasting iron, the reverse with traces of a further inscription, fitted with robust guard of rectangular section, and one-piece pommel of so-called 'tea-cosey' type.
    18 1/8in (46cm) blade


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    Viking blades bearing Ulfberht inscriptions have been found across Europe, Scandinavia, Britain and Russia. It is held that the name is either that of a long-lived family manufactory or a group of closely associated workshops, the possible origin being Frankland, in the area of modern Solingen. One hundred and twenty-two examples were identified by Alfred Geibig in his highly detailed survey published in 1991

    For a synopsis of Geibig's work and a further analytical study of the subject see Michael R. Gorman, Ulfberht: Innovation and Imitation in Early Medieval Swords, catalogue of the Sixteenth Park Lane Arms Fair, London, February 1999.

    The present sword is classifiable as Petersen type X

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Literature

    David Edge and Alan Williams, Some Early Medievel Swords in The Wallace Collection and Elsewhere, Gladius, tomo XXIII (2003), p.194 (sword P2), figs. 5 and 6