Original 17th Century Walloon Broadsword with Older Andrea Ferrara Marked Blade

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This came to us from one of the most respected Ancient Arms Dealers in the United States, who happens to reside in New York State. What we have here is an absolutely wonderful 17th Century Broadsword known as a "Walloon Sword", its original design maybe originating in the Walloon section of what we now know as Belgium. In those days it was part of France or part of the Spanish Netherlands. Their work was then considered to best available dating from as early as 1620, but still being made into the 1640's and later, well in time for the ENGLISH CIVIL WAR.

Double edged blade of 39" with one fuller only running about 8" down the center on either side. Inside the fullers there are markings which we are assured are the Maker Marks of the very famous blade maker ANDREA FERRAR, and the blade is very typical of his work. The hilt is of worked iron with a double bow guard incorporating two heart shaped perforated guard shields to protect the sword hand. In most cases these perforated heart shaped guard plates are just absent or even perhaps removed. In this case everything is COMPLETE.

The decorated barley shaped pommel is engraved to match the rest of the iron hand guard. The grip is of wood and is of spirally carved wood no doubt originally covered in leather, no longer present. This Sword is 45" in overall length and is truly magnificent and very early, being prior to the English Civil War. It might even have seen service in the first Colonies in the New World.

In excellent display condition.

History of Swordmaker Andrea Ferrara

Andrea Ferrara was born in Fonzaso in Italy (which is located in the province of Belluno-Dolomiti) and was an active and esteemed producer before and after his staying in Scotland (the ruins of his workshop are still in Belluno in the place called Busighel, near the river Ardo). This confirms the general belief reported by Scott that Ferrara was a Spanish or Italian artificer who was brought to Scotland in the early sixteenth century by James III to instruct the Scots in the manufacture of the high-quality steel blades current in Renaissance Europe.

According to some sources the name of the manufacturer was Andrea dei Ferrari of Belluno, according to others, Andrew Ferrars or Ferrier of Arbroath.

The term came to be used generically as a term for the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword. If the sword was of high quality it was referred to as a "true Andrew Ferrara". Grose says "the common name of the glaymore, or Highland broad sword".

His method of manufacture remains much a mystery, but it is suspected that they were made by interlamination, a process of welding the blade in alternate layers of iron and steel. The blades were special in their extreme flexibility. It is said that Ferrara himself always carried one wrapped up in his bonnet. The blades rarely broke, even under immense force and when used to deal horizontal blows.
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