Some of the most strikingly attractive swords from the Viking age have hilts with gently curving upper and lower guards and five lobed pommels that represent two beast heads on either side of a bulbous central dome. It might not be unreasonable to classify this type as a version of the Petersen Type S hilt that show some influence from Anglo-Saxon swords with curved guards.
The hilt of the Jarl is influenced by a few outstanding swords from different collections. It is not a direct copy of any of them but is made to be a homage to their character of commanding presence and elegance. The snouts of the two stylized beast heads bite down on the encircling band of twisted sterling silver wire that sits between pommel and upper guard and there are pairs of thin twised wire separating the five lobes. These pairs of wires are twisted alternate clockwise and counter clockwise to produce a herringbone effect.
The hilt components are investment cast in mild steel from original waxes carved by Peter Johnsson, based on Peter's first-hand examination and documentation of period originals of this type. The upper guard and pommel are made in separate peices riveted together, just as were the originals.
Blades of Geibig type 4 (which might also be consider a sub-classification of the Oakeshott Type X) are often smaller than the previous types. They have stronger profile taper wich also carries through in the shape of the fuller. We have chosen to make a version of this type that is larger than the norm.
A beautiful sword found in the River Witham (now on display in the British Museum) is of this unusual size and was the inspiration of our Geibig 4 blade. The type can be dated to the period from mid 10th C to the mid 11th C. Ingelrii inscribed swords may have this shape.
The Jarl is a sword of majestic character. The wide bold blade and the dramatic volumes and shapes of the hilt combines with the glinting of silver in a rich and commanding visual presence. The heft of this sword is agile and seems to invite powerful cleaving blows, sweeping cuts and quick stabs.
The blades are hand-ground from high-carbon steel to a fine satin finish, heat-treated by hand for maximum flexibility and to take a fine edge. These swords are sold sharp, unless otherwise requested by the customer.