Unlike the two horned helmet which is strongly associated with the image of Viking, their swords are less distinguished and well known only to a narrower circle of people interested in the Norse culture and history. Although, there were attempts to classify the Viking swords in the beginning of the 20th century, there are not many swords left from that period of time. And there is a reason why.
According to archaeological findings, Vikings preferred axes, short knives and spears, or used both sword in the one hand and another weapon or shield in the other. In addition, they were costly to make during the Viking age and were of great value, so they were owned mainly by the privileged members of society of high status. The swords were heirlooms, they were given names (Leggbir – leg-biter, Gramr – fierce, Nadr – viper, or animal names) and were handed through generations from fathers to sons. Due to the numerous crucibles these swords went through, they were found by archaeologists mostly in a poor condition, broken or damaged.
Derived from the Roman spatha sword, typically, the Viking sword can be described as double edged with a sharp blade, long (almost 1 m or about 40 inches) and rather wide. The swords were well-balanced, quick in usage, and light, despite looking rather heavy. The hilts were decorated with jewelry or runes. The design could help to find out the status of its owner. Norse sword could be recognized by the hilt with a distinguished lobed pommel, flat or decorated with inlay. The inlay could be also made on the blade itself, which was quite an intricate and time consuming work, meaning the blacksmiths became the real artists with their own technique of mixing the materials, method of forging and sharpening the blades. Like any other artists, the inlay makers left their ‘signature’, which could be found on the sword’s blade. The most famous we know is Ulfberht which was later imitated by numerous frauds.
The sheath of the sword was made of fabric or leather often ended with a metal chape on the tip, which could have some pattern or runes on it.
In our online shop you can find the beautiful sterling silver necklaces in the shape of a Norse sword including our pride – Ulfberht sword pendant to denote the best blacksmith of the Viking time.
Today the collectors have a wide choice, as you can find the companies producing the stellar replicas, identical to the museum Viking swords: Albion, Windlass, Darksword, Kris Cutlery, Hanwei and Cold Steel are not all in the list of the producers of excellent quality copies.