Ballinderry Sword, Viking Sword with Scabbard, 9th C. – Steel Hilt
Battle-Ready (Practical Blunt), SK-B
This beautiful, single-handed Viking Age sword is modeled on an bog find dated to the mid. 9th century and classified as a type ”K” according to Petersen’s typology of Viking swords. The original, remarkably well-preserved piece was found in Ballinderry (Ireland) in 1928 and is now on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Its overall construction and appearance, the materials used and the other artefacts found alongside it make it quite clear that the Ballinderry sword was a weapon of high status. It is believed to have belonged to a wealthy Irishman – perhaps a prosperous farmer or a chieftain – but it is not known how the sword ended up in the hands of its Irish owner.
Shape-wise, this one-handed sword is a classic example of a Norse weapon and features the typical features of a traditional Dark Ages sword. But some of its characteristics reveal a more complex history: While the hilt is undoubtedly Scandinavian, the blade seems to be of Frankish origin. It is marked with the name of its maker, ULFBERHT, a Rhineland bladesmith workshop believed to be one of the first sword ”brands” – with about 170 swords dated to the 9th to 11th c., bearing the same inscription +VLFBERHT+ and found throughout Europe (even as far as western Russia). So in the case of this particular weapon, the findings suggest that a blade imported from Germany was made into a sword by a Norse craftsman before eventually making its way (possibly through battle, but more likely through trade) to Ballinderry.
The battle-ready replica we offer here features a hardened 5160 high carbon steel blade tempered to a Rockwell hardness of approx. 48-52 HRC. Just like the archaeological piece, the double-edged blade with broad fuller bears the +ULFBERHT+ inscription. The full tang is peened to the pommel and the blunt, 2 mm thick edges and rounded tip make this great reproduction ideal for combat reenactment, stage fighting or sparring.
The short guard and distinctive multi-lobed pommel are made of steel and both closely recreate the scrollwork motifs and vine-like swirls of the original artefact. Like many original examples from this time period, the pommel is composed of several parts riveted together. The wooden core grip is tightly wrapped in brown leather cord.
This early medieval one-hander comes complete with a brown, gorgeous wood-and-leather scabbard with bronze throat and chape, a wooden suspension loop, and two leather loops. Delivery also includes a carrying belt / hanger made of brown leather (split suspension system with strap dividers). The fittings on the leather loops and baldric are cast in copper and modelled after finds from Birka/Björkö and Gotland, Sweden.
A version of the same sword with bronze pommel and guard is also available in our shop
Learn more about our classification for blunt practical swords
– Blade material: 5160 high carbon steel, tempered
– Rockwell hardness: approx. 48-52 HRC
– Handle material: leather-wrapped wood, steel pommel and guard
– Overall length: approx. 94 cm
– Blade length: approx. 79 cm
– Handle length: approx. 15 cm (grip approx. 10.5 cm)
– Blade width at guard: approx. 5 cm
– Blade thickness: approx. 4 mm (cutting edges approx. 2 mm)
– Point of balance: approx. 17 cm from the guard
– Incl. wooden scabbard with genuine leather cover, leather carrying loops and bronze fittings
– Incl. leather carrying belt / hanger with copper fittings
– Weight without scabbard: approx. 1.1 kg
– Weight with scabbard: approx. 1.5 kg
– Weight with scabbard and hanger: approx. 1.7 kg
Specs may slightly vary from piece to piece.
Our swords referred to as battle-ready or practical are designed to suit the needs of historical re-enactment / stage fighting and to practice swordplay. The extremely brutal impact of cutting edge against cutting edge (or any other hard object) cannot be considered an appropriate use of these swords and may eventually lead to the breaking of the blade. The warranty we offer in such a case only covers material defects (e.g. hairline cracks in the blade or processing faults). It does not apply to damages resulting from a destructive or inappropriate handling of these swords. Please also bear in mind that a practical sword is basically and essentially an item subject to wear and tear.