Perfectly Balanced Medieval Broadsword Rediscovered After 72 Years
A perfectly balanced Medieval Broadsword went missing in 1943 without a trace, and has evaded enthusiasts and academics for nearly a century. Finally, it’s been found – in a Texas restaurant.
The Harriet Dean sword is one of the last remaining weapons from the arsenal at Alexandria, and it’s one that any medieval weaponry expert would have immediately recognized. So when Howard Dixon of Christie’s Auction house saw it amongst a collection of consigned arms for sale, his pulse began to race. He was in “stunned disbelief.”
Usually Medieval swords show up in less than perfect condition, but the Egyptian climate kept this one perfectly preserved. Once it was determined that the Arabic inscription matched one from a 1937 description of the lost artifact, Dixon knew exactly what he had stumbled across.
The 600 year old sword was given as a diplomatic gift by the King of Crete to the Mamluk rulers in 1419, and through the centuries found its way ito the military museum in Constantinople.
After World War I, Dr. Bashford Dean founded the arms and armor department at New York’s Metropolitain Museum of Art, and purchased many items from overseas museums. During that time he bought this sword and another just like it. The other became entrusted to the museum, but this one he kept, and eventually bequeathed to his sister Harriet. It was later sold at auction and was mysteriously hidden away – until now.
As Dixon describes it, this Perfectly Balanced Medieval Broadsword is a masterpiece of medieval craftsmanship.
“The way it sits in the palm of your hands… A great sword should have poise and balance, and for a relatively large sword this felt special. The blade has been forged by a master craftsman with perfect weight distribution, and the pommel, which acts as a counter-balance, complements the blade. If one had to rely on this sword in battle, it would certainly have instilled a sense of confidence. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with this great sword.”
Welcome back, Harriet.