Reply To: Wolfsklinge

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Hans Hellinger

That’s a fantastic pommel on that sword! What is the specific “magic” involved here? When I look at the inlay on the blade, it just strikes me as a “Passau Running Wolf” or something similar, but then I’m not too familiar with maker’s marks. So, what’s going on here?

Yes it is the Passau Wolf makers mark, and that is a sword which once belonged to a 13th Century Grand Master of the Teutonic Order but there is also quite a bit more going on here, which I don’t have time to delve into just yet. Stay tuned!

I hope James Arlen Gillaspie has time to explore his ideas about cruciform swords, theology about the sword as a cross, and why so many single-edged blades in the later middle ages have dots or crescents in the blade near the tip. When I was in Graz, I saw that they were still doing that on staff weapons in the 16th and early 17th c.!

As a fencing practitioner, I think the cruciform sword definitely had a very pragmatic purpose – you’ll notice they even include the cross on swords with complex hilts and bells and everything, and there is a very practical reason for that – but in the medieval period things often, I think you could say usually have multiple purposes and meanings.

I too have wondered about those little dots and sometimes holes that you see. Would be glad to learn more about that.