A Knightly Sword with Presentation Inscriptions

A Knightly Sword with Presentation Inscriptions

NICKEL, HELMUT (Curator of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 2 (1969)


Though inscriptions on medieval swords are com-mon enough, most of them have religious or magic protective meaning; presentation inscriptions are exceedingly rare. The only example antedating the fifteenth century hitherto known is the famous poem on the blade of the sword of Konrad Schenk von Winterstetten in the Historische Museum in Dresden:

CHVNRAT . VIL . VERDER . SHENKE HIEBI . DV . MIN. GEDENKE VON . VINTERSTETEN . HOHGEMVT LA . GANZ . DEHAINE . IISENHVT (Konrad, most worthy cup-bearer, with this you might remember me, of Winterstetten, noble-spirited, leave whole not a single iron hat.)

This engraved inscription in powerful Middle High German rhymes gives us the name of the receiver and his titles, by which it can be dated between 12I4 and 1243. The sword is of gigantic dimensions with a total length of 141.6 cm. (55%inches), a blade length of 109.9 cm. (43% inches), and a weight of 4.352 kg.of Art)

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