Long sword


South Germany or Tyrol, c. 1500

Steel, partly gilded, leather

L. 124.5 cm

Assigned from the Royal Collections of the House of Wittelsbach

Inv. No. W 872.1

Gallery 18

Arms and Armour



The elegantly proportioned sword is considered one of the most beautiful swords of the Middle Ages. The Virgin Mary with Child is depicted on the flat side of the disc-shaped pommel and 'O maria bit vir uns' (Oh Mary, pray for us) is etched on the outer rim. Nearly identical swords can be found in various depictions of knights by Albrecht Dürer from around 1500. The sword could be held with one hand, but if the situation required it, the long handle could be grasped with a second for reinforcement. The sword was originally from Ambras Castle near Innsbruck and probably belonged to someone from the immediate environment of Emperor Maximilian I.

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