EARLY LONGSWORDS WITH BRAZIL NUT POMMELS
Probably one of the most interesting groups of swords among the classic medieval swords, are early longswords with brazil-nut pommels.
It may come as a surprise that their number among known examples is quite large. There are about 20 documented swords from this group, including the archaeological context and data (not all of them are included in the diagram, they will be supplemented). In addition, there are several more such swords of rather dubious authenticity (their presence in the diagram is comparative, some may be authentic)
Swords from this group have mostly similar features and dimensions.
These are heavy swords with broad blades and huge pommels.
Their handles have a grip length in the range of about 125-175mm.
Total length in the range of 1060-1200mm, with the tips of the blade usually damaged or filed.
This is also one of the special features of the blades of these swords: the rounded tips seem to be an original feature. This suggests that these swords are used almost mainly for cutting / slaching.
The pommels of these swords, although we include them in the group commonly known as 'brazil-nut pommels', have little to do with this term.
These pommels are listed by me in another typology diagram, and they represent mainly the Type 6 ('Boat') group with 6 subtypes, and some exceptions in Type 2d.
All examples of this group of swords have long, simple and straight crossguards, in several subtypes.
This appears to be an important and numerous group of swords, despite its absence from the sources. Some problems with dating may result from typological details and signs that occur over three centuries. Therefore, the safe dating of most of the swords would be the 12th century, although as far as their general dating range is concerned, the range: 1150-1300 can be assumed as the most reasonable.
It would be wrong to conclude that these are typical early longswords, just with the pommels of the older type. Because these swords have very distinctive features that identify and distinguish this specific group.
Most often, these swords are found in the areas of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, which leads to the possibility of linking their production with centers in present-day Germany or Hungary.
Among the many examples in this fgroup that share many common features, we also have unique swords: 1 sword with a different type of blade, 1 sword with a hexagonal section, 1 sword with triple fullers, 1 bronze pommel.
Maciej Kopciuch - Swordmaker. 2023.