Hanwei Sword of Saint Maurice
Powerful, and extremely long (37.25" blade) single handed Oakeshott XI.4 sword attributed to the martyr St Maurice of Turin.
This long and slender single handed sword is a reproduction of the one housed in Vienna that dates from the late 11th to early 12th Centuries. This version of the sword leaves behind the likely later additions to the grip and envisions what an earlier version of the sword may have looked like before modification.
While in medieval legends it was touted as the sword that beheaded the 3rd century Christian Martyr fighting for the Holy Roman Empire under Maximilian in Egypt, the sword itself was made some 1,000 years later and is a fairly typical example of a cavalry sword from that era, with the long shearing blade designed not for finesse but for raw and brutal cutting power. Whether this was an intentional deception or not, it was quite typical for the medieval period that much older events were depicted with weapons and armor currently in use at the time, so it's authenticity was never questioned until much later - and has been in the Real Armenia Museum of Turin since the mid 19th century.
Whatever it's actual origins, it's dedication and name is still associated with the Saint. Certainly a coronation sword of the Holy Roman Empire the hilt is adorned with the Arms of the Empire eagle crest on one side of the pommel and the personal arms of Otto IV (1198-1218) on the other. According to medieval legends, this was the sword supposed to have been the one to have beheaded
The guard is engraved with 'CHRISTUS VINCIT, CHRISTUS REINAT, CHRISTUS INPERAT.' (Christ Conquers, Christ Rules, Christ Emperor) used in an antiphon of the coronation anthem as well as a war cry used in the Third Crusade.
Oakeshott's Type XI swords are slender, mostly parallel blades with a long and thin fuller. This sword is on the longer side of the type with exceptional proportions. A solid wood core scabbard is included.
How to Use
Materials and Construction
Featured positive reviews:
I'm ultra happy with this sword!
The one I got has the guard mounted directly to the blade, instead of having that little strip of leather to make it fit, so I feel more confident about using it heavily on some backyard cutting.
The edge wasn't very sharp right out of the box, but it only took me a few minutes with a handheld sharpener to get it there, and mostly just because of how much blade there is to sharpen. Factory sharpening did most of the work already.
The engravings look great and the battle cry of the Third Crusade on the guard makes this feel like some sort of holy weapon, as if divine intervention would surely pull it into place to catch incoming blows and add force to every righteous blow. The big engraved pommel looks really nice too and helps control the weapon when swinging it around. The engravings really stand out when it's resting in its scabbard. When you draw the weapon, what really stands out is how long and dead straight it is.
This is a very long sword. Something that surprised me was how easy it was to hold out in front of me, to appreciate how long and straight it is, but still how much chopping power it has. The balance point is just right. It's definitely long and it's going to take me some getting used to that, but since it's balanced so nicely it's not going to be hard for me to learn the angles of attack this weapon requires. I definitely notice the lack of horse underneath me when attacking shrubs vines and branches on foot though.
The grip is a little on the thin side; I feel it in my palms after swinging it around for a bit despite having pretty thick callouses on my hands, so that's something to consider. Gloves are a part of proper battle attire anyway and this does fit perfectly and more comfortably in my hand when wearing a glove and gauntlet.
It's very pretty, and it's super deadly. Not really sure what else to say. Great sword. Thank you, SBG and Hanwei.