Antique Swords

Antique Swords

Antique swords make up a very special group of antiques. On the one hand, they are military pieces that should never be missing in a good exhibition of antique weapons. On the other, their beauty and magnificent presence make them items of great decorative potential. Within the term "antique swords" we find many different pieces, each with its ...

Antique swords make up a very special group of antiques. On the one hand, they are military pieces that should never be missing in a good exhibition of antique weapons. On the other, their beauty and magnificent presence make them items of great decorative potential. Within the term "antique swords" we find many different pieces, each with its own name, configuration, function and style. From the imposing old sabers, which used to be part of the equipment of cavalry and infantry corps, to the antique knives made so famous by bandits, period blades continue to arouse a remarkable fascination that increases with the passage of time.

Although many of them have not yet reached the century of antiquity, we can consider old swords the bladed weapons manufactured and used until the end of World War II (1939-1945). This war was dominated by firearms, leaving bladed weapons in the background. However, for centuries they were the most important armament carried by armies, even after the appearance of firearms (which even came to be incorporated in the form of bayonets).


While many military uniforms include sabers and daggers in their equipment, after World War II this practice became regimented, with virtually no practical function. However, we know that Japanese soldiers carried knives called gunto, similar to the famous katanas. The officers of the elite corps of the Nazi army also carried different types of daggers. In this warfare, edged weapons were used in close combat and as a complement to the rest of the armament; for this reason, they were usually short weapons such as daggers or knives. It is worth noting the famous figure of Jack Churchill, a British captain who fought in the war with a bow, arrows and a double-edged sword known as "Claymore" Churchill was captured by the Germans (he made a spectacular escape) and survived World War II, dying in 1996.


Brief history of ancient swords


The first bladed weapons in history date back to the Bronze Age, when the first daggers were forged. It was not until 2000 B.C. that the technique of metal forging led to the development of the first bladed weapons. to the first ancient swords, as we know them today. Then the blades were made of bronze, which made them more fragile; in the 13th century B.C. the first iron swords began to be created. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, bladed weapons evolved and models such as sabers, machetes and spadone, large and heavy weapons that were wielded with both hands, appeared. In the Modern Age these weapons become lighter; rapiers and other similar ancient swords appear, incorporating protective measures in the hilt. The development and use of edged weapons continued until World War II; from the end of this conflict, they are used mainly as a complement to dress and parade uniforms.


Types of antique edged weapons


Under the name "edged weapons" we can distinguish the following types:

  • Ancient swords:
  • Antique sabers: long, curved and single-edged.
  • Antique machetes: halfway between sword and knife, they are single-edged and less than 60 cm long.
  • Ancient rapiers: also known as "rapier swords", have a long, pointed blade and are wielded with one hand.
  • Antique daggers: flat-bladed, usually two-edged and pointed. Shorter than the sword and longer than the dagger.
  • Antique daggers: short weapons (between 20 and 30 cm long) and pointed for self-defense. There are different types, among which are the almarada and the stiletto.
  • Antique pocket knives: have a blade hidden in a hilt formed by two sides or "cachas". The blade is attached to the hilt by means of a shaft that allows it to be unfolded and hidden.
  • Antique bayonets: pointed bladed weapons that were placed in the muzzle of the rifle or carbine for close combat.
  • Antique halberds: Wooden spears with a metal tip fitted with an axe-shaped blade.


Antique swords, as well as the rest of the period bladed weapons, make up a universe that exudes fascination. Their details, their quality and their fearsome appearance make them fundamental pieces in any collection of military or war antiques.

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