Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Portuguese navigator sword for comments
I have just bought this one for Christmas. One only picture so far. But unless something goes wrong that i can only notice when i have it with me, this is a good example of a pattern used by Portuguese navigators as from mid XV century. Not the more refined pattern used by nobility and wealthy members but by the basic soldier. Being studied, for one, in modern works like a monograph published by the Navy Museum (author Armando Canelhas) there are only some three dozen examples known to exist, this considering all four classified variants.
Some call these swords 'hilted a la Portuguese', some call them 'crab swords', aparently rank and file used to call them 'Colhonas' (testicles) due to their pronounced rund guard discs and even others called 'African' the more rustic ones, as those might have been produced in Africa by or under Portuguese smtiths orientation.
I have to wait until i can handle it, to try and classify it among the said four types (A to D). So far it has a tendence to be type C but, to fall into such, its round discs would have to be sharpened, consistent with what is written about those being used as a weapon in close combat. I also have to (try and) judge on its grip cover authenticity, but i know now that the way the pommel is peened with its bent tang end corresponds to a true original system found in some of these swords.
The blade has a high probability to be good material, possibly German as often seen in the period.