The Black Prince Sword
The English Prince Edward of Woodstock, “The Black Prince of Wales”, is well known to scholars of art, history, literature and theater for his chivalrous and occasionally non-chivalrous actions. Although eldest son of King Edward III, The Black Prince was never crowned king – Dead before his father, the crown passed to his son Richard instead.
Since the 16th C. Edward of Woodstock came to be popularly dubbed as “The Black Prince.” A name more recognized for Edward’s legacy, possibly issued from his black (blued) armour. This title may also have come from his temper, lack of mercy and derision towards the lower classes, in spite of his chivalrous beliefs.
The popularity of Edward III’s sword was surely affected when a medieval sword, discovered during the mid-20th century, was identified by Ewart Oakeshott as the sword of the Black Prince. Thought to have been stolen from Edward’s tomb centuries earlier, The Black Prince sword became one of the most recognizable artefacts of 14th Century. Simply yet elegant in form, the Black Prince sword reflected the
aesthetic direction of favouring clean crisp lines.
With the progress of the full plated armour of the mounted knight, blade smiths began manufacturing longer two handed sword blades that were stiff instead of flexible, with a diamond cross sections that would reinforce the tip. These swords, engineered to thrust through the gaps in armour, revolutionized medieval warfare techniques during later part of the middle ages. Previous sword types, engineered with an emphasis on cutting, were unable to inflict more than percussive damage against the armoured knight. Hence, the advent of the type XVa longswords became the most essential part of the medieval Knight’s arsenal. The stiff diamond shaped hollow ground needle tip blade was not only capable of powerful cuts, but offered exceptional advantages with their keen ability to pierce through the ever developing plate armour. With its diamond shaped hollow ground cross-sectional blade, the Black Prince sword is representative of the changing role of the sword on the battle battlefield.
From the 14th C. onwards, the sword began to be used not just as a battlefield weapon, but as a civilian weapon as well. Starting in Germany and then Italy, sword masters such as Johannes Liechtenauer (late 14thc) and Fiore dei Liberi (c.1340-1420) trained students in the use of the sword, not on the battlefield but in the judicial duel against unarmoured and armoured opponents. With the type XVa We see the development of a true cut-and-thurst sword and one of the most successful sword types in Europe. In a period where art, status and functionality was of prime importance, the XVa longsword was a coveted weapon of war and social status.
During the preliminary steps of the making of the Black Prince sword, we set out to create a medieval sword worthy of the aristocracy. We set to design the sword with minimalist and clean lines while preserving the historical character of the guard and pommel . While great importance was bequeathed to the elegance and symmetry of the fittings, considerable attention was set on the blade’s performance, flex and balance. These elements easily made the Black Prince sword a favorite among our customers. Not only for its exceptional handling characteristics but also for its elegance and simplicity.
Being an historical piece, we carefully examined the original in April 2016 at the Royal Armoury in Leeds, England. While creativity was kept to a minimum, given the historical character, we wanted the sword to have a deep hollow ground diamond shape blade specifically designed to penetrate plate armour with searing strength.
Its resilient hollow ground blade provides this sword outstanding thrusting force and an extraordinary balance. Making the Black Prince sword a light, superbly responsive and very well balanced medieval weapon. While being a two handed sword, the Black Prince sword combines the cutting capability of its predecessor while the added benefit of being a devastating thrusting weapon against the heavy plated armour of the day. Specifically engineered for armoured combat, we wanted the Black Prince sword to have superb handling capabilities, an exceptional response and a very good PoB (point of balance). Despite its long blade and size, the Black Prince is an exceptionally easy sword to handle for both experienced and amateur sword enthusiasts.
The sword is a very responsive sword that feels ‘alive’ and light in the hand. Easily wieldable even in novice hands, the Black Prince sword’s characteristics make it a medieval weapon of choice for all collectors. The sword is perfectly balance for swift movement and powerful delivery in both cut and thrust.
Authentic in every detail, the Black Prince sword is individually hand forged from 5160 High Carbon Steel and Dual hardened to a Rockwell of 60 at the edge and 48-50 at the core.
Refined yet of elegant simplicity, the Black Prince sword is in a class by itself. Light, responsive and classically styled, the Black Prince sword delivers what it was designed to do ! Backed by our commitment and reputation for forging some of the most durable swords in the industry, the black prince sword is faithfully crafted from the original and stands as a legacy to the perfection of sword making at the crowning of the 14th century.
Photograph of the original sword:
The Black Prince Sword
Type XVa, 1370 A.D.,
Customer Feedback regarding the Black Prince Sword:
-“Eyal, I have received the most magnificent weapon in my collection the other day (The Black Prince Medieval Sword). It took me a few days to let you know because I was to excited to type. A truly beautifully hand made sword and a fine scabbard and belt.I have named it Grey Owl and it will travel with me to Valhalla when the time comes . Thank you for your fine craftsmanship!”
– Lee O. ~ TN, USA.
5160 High Carbon Steel, Dual Hardened to a Rockwell of 60 at the cutting edge
48-50 At the core
Fittings: Mild Steel
Total Length: 50″
Blade length: 39″
Blade width at base: 1.75″
blade thickness: 1.48 mm
Weight: 3 lbs 2 oz