Sword of Heroes

'Sword of Heroes' is a Pattern Welded Short Sword in the Anglo Saxon style produced in early winter of 2000. It is hand forged of two twisted core rods with spring steel cutting edges. This blade formed the centre piece of a short television segment that originally appeared on 'Discovery.ca' in November 2000. This feature was produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, as part of their continuing effort to relate their collection to the work of artisans employing traditional techniques.



Note: the red lines on the overall view shows the approximate sections covered by the details - which are direct scans at life size.
(There is consider overlap on the views)
Right and Left refer to the sides of the blades as you would hold the sword in a guard position.

The sword is in the form of a gladius, the primary weapon of the Roman Legionary, with the distinctive 'wasp waist' shape. It is about 22 inches long and 2 1/2 across at its widest, total length (with hilt) of 28", weight about 2 1/ lbs. The blade is formed of two core rods, each with a total of nine layers (wrought iron, mild steel, L6). Each cutting edge is formed of a separate piece of spring steel. The sword is completed with a plain forged steel cross guard, natural antler slab hilt that holds a cast in place pewter disk as the pommel weight.

A close up of the centre patterning
High contrast black and white zoom in

This sword is part of my ongoing series of replicating the processes of Northern European Migration Era swordsmiths. The concept behind the piece is this: With the retreat of the Romans in the 400's, cast off or duplicate Roman military equipment was commonly used by the Britons The theory was 'If we LOOK like Romans, we can FIGHT like Romans'. Thus the blade shape is in the Roman style. The invading Saxons would have introduced a new technology, that of pattern welding. (The finest example of the method is seen in the sword from Sutton Hoo, likely forged in Denmark some time in the early decades of the 600's). The sword thus represents what was 'cutting edge' technology in the 500's during the Saxon Invasions. The use of L6 alloy (with its nickel content) is a reflection of the occasional use of meteor iron in early medieval blades. Taken together this sword has the elements that might combine to create a legendary chieftain's sword.

'Sword of Heroes' was purchased in January 2007.

The price for a similar sword blade (two layered cores with spring steel edges) is roughly $1500

If you are interested in commissioning a blade like this, please e-mail me.

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The two close up images by Garth Markewitz
All text 2002- 2005, Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge