Late 17th century – German. Original found in the Medieval Crime Museum (Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum), in Germany.
The Executioner sword was a symbolic and ‘facilitator’ of judicial law. Many courtrooms displayed executioner swords on their walls. Their presence however was not solely symbolic, since it had a concrete purpose in the decapitation of the condemned. The blades of Executioner swords were typically engraved with vivid imagery of torture and punishment.
These swords generally featured broad, flat blades that end not in a point, but as a distinctive flat edge. The blade is heavily decorated as many executioner swords would be; and while in some cases the sword would be inscribed with the executioner’s name, in this case the inscription translates as “I spare no one” – a brutal message for criminals facing the executioner sword’s edge.
Beginning in or around the 1400’s, the practice of using swords for executions for capital offenses across Europe began to become more commonplace. It was only in the mid 16th century that specific swords would be used for this purpose as opposed to weapons of war. It is possible that the distinctive design of the Executioner’s Swords was created to distinguish them from combat weapons – this was a weapon of justice, not of war. The last execution using an Executioner’s Sword took place in Switzerland in 1868, after which mankind moved on to more “humane” methods of execution
Stylistically, Executioner’s Swords resembled broad, flat bars of metal more than actual weapons. This was due to the broad, flat blades that end not in a point, but as a distinctive flat edge – pointed tips being unnecessary as the Executioner’s Sword would never be thrust. They could vary in length and would usually have long handles suitable for a two-handed grip and maximum force being applied to the blow. By necessity, the swords were kept sharp – far sharper than would be practical for battlefield weapons as they would generally only need to do simple, carefully aimed blows to the back of an unarmored neck.
Faithfully crafted after a later historical model that survives in the Medieval Crime Museum (Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum), the ‘German Executioner sword’ is an imposing and powerful piece. Hefty, yet carefully balanced for its intended purpose, the 2.5 wide blade delivers powerful cutting blows. The blade is individually hand crafted from 5160 High Carbon steel and acid etched with stunning complexity, as the original compelling design.
The Executioner sword is an impressive, elegant yet macabre piece. imbued with powerful symbolic meanings, the Executioner sword is a beefy, vibrant and assertive piece which will sure be the focal point of any collection !
Blade: 5160 High Carbon Steel. Dual Tempered HRc 60
48-50 at the core
Total length: 44.5″
Blade length: 35″
Blade width at base: 2 1/4″
Weight: 4 lbs
Photograph of the German Executioner Sword:
Medieval Crime Museum (Mittelalterliches Kriminalmuseum), in Germany.
Trevor Martin –
The sword i got was exactly as depicted nicely made aesthetically beautiful. , however it seems that during the quench starting id say about 8 in from the tip. the sword was twisted slightly and bent. This makes it have an awkward swing it likes to turn in the hand. Overall well made but i am sad it arrived to me this way.
Richard (verified owner) –
I got to say i am impressed with this blade. After ordering i was having some buyers remorse but after holding it in my hand and seeing the great quality. This sword is a beast, a very nice, well crafted blade. I read complaints the etching was bad but mine is good. Very clear and pronounced. The entire thing is solid, no rattle or looseness. The only thing that kinda took me back was when i noticed the 3 triangles at the tip of mine do not go all the way through the blade. After thinking about it I actually like it better that way. As far as functionality i have no doubt this blade could dish out and take some punishment. Honestly i bought this as a wall hanger/conversation piece and i doubt it will ever see much abusive testing. It is not designed or balanced for combat and i already own a ton of battleswords if i want to practice. It did cleave right through the box it came in, nice clean cut. It also passed the flex test no problem although i should add it is a pretty rigid blade. The only thing i do not like about this sword is its sheath. They should have made the tip of the sheath squared off. Not a huge deal since i dont plan on ever carrying it anyway so i still give it 5 stars. If you are looking for something different this is a cool sword.
Michael Wills (verified owner) –
This sword is absolutely beautiful. It’s wonderful to look at and hold, though I recommend doing so with gloves. The fittings picked up a light rust after 4 days of ownership, strangely enough, but the blade itself is fine.
Eyal Azerad –
Very strange. Please make sure to keep your swords in a environment that is not too humid. Surface rust can be removed quite easily, luckily. You can view our sword maintenance guide. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to do. I would also recommend putting a small amount of light oil afterwards to keep it from rusting. The maintenance guide is found at the following link.
Jared (verified owner) –
It’s a little sharper on one side, but it’s a beautiful blade. The only problems I have are with the scabbard. It took some elbow grease to take the sword out the first time, and ever since I took it out it didn’t want to fully go back in. I had to force the sword back in the scabbard. However, after that the sword appears to go into the scabbard fine. A little on the difficult side, but it works. The last thing is that I have no idea how to tie the scabbard, is there any resource on how to tie it in the blog section that I’m not seeing?
All in all, I’m very pleased with this blade! 5 stars well deserved!