The Sankt Annen

(type XIIIa)

The Sankt Annen is a sword of war from the period around 1300.
It was found in Lübeck, North Germany, close to the river Trave and is now kept in the Sankt Annen museum in that city, hence its designation as a sword of the Museum Line (inventory number SA 4190b). Our version of this sword is an homage to the masterful craftsmen who made the swords that have become the iconic image of the medieval knight.

The blade of the Sankt Annen sword is a classic example of a sword of war that was very popular by the end of the 13th Century and throughout most of the 14th Century. These powerful weapons were optimised for devastating cuts in swift and exact manouvers. Their outline may suggest a heavy and pondersous heft, but the balance can be both lively and agile. The Sankt Annen sword is a great example of the character and quality you find in the finest examples of the type.

The blade of the Sankt Annen sword is shaped to combine a lively feel with surprising rigidity that together provide superior cutting capabilities. Like many other swords of this type the blade has an octagonal cross section. This design allows the edge bevels to meet at an angle that is an optimal combination of sharpness and resilience. The shallow fuller stops halfway down the blade followed by a low midrib that runs to the point. We have worked hard to emulate the subltly curved profile and the slightly softened but precise grind of the original.

The pommel is a deep type J that is made partially hollow just like the original. It is not circular but slightly squashed in outline with a flat base towards the grip. On the top is a high pyramid-shaped rivet block that is decorated with filed lines. On each face of the pommel is stamped a small cross. It is evident that the original pommel was forged by a masterful craftsman who could work at speed and yet produce an object of seemingly simple but sublte beauty.

The guard is of style 2 forged into a slight curve. The arms have an octagonal section that gradually blends into a rectangular section in the middle. At first glance the guard may look simple, but it takes considerate skill to make such a guard with the correct form and proportions.

The overall proportions of the sword and all major elements of its design can be defined by a simple geometric layout and it seems it was originally designed by a master of the craft who had a deep insight into the the high medieval design traditions that were shared among architects, engineers and artists of the period. The proportion between hilt and blade is exactly 1:4 and can be defined by a series of 9 interlocked circles, placing the guard at the periphery of the first circle. The proportions of the hilt components and the width of the blade are all defined by a small number of geometric constructions following the principle of the golden section.

Blade length 35 3/4″ (90.8 cm)
Overall length 44 1/2″ (113 cm)
PoB 4 1/4″ (10.8 cm)
CoP 19.75″ (50.1 cm)
Weight 3.4 lbs (1.54 kg)