Saint Ferdinand III Sword Letter Opener


4 in stock

Description of the Product

Saint Ferdinand III was the King of Castile from 1217 and King of León from 1230, unifying both kingdoms under his crown. He continued the work of his grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the Reconquista against the Moors. He re-conquered, among others, the towns of Sevilla and Cordoba, whose mosque he transformed into a cathedral. His son, Alphonso X the Wise, is believed to have possessed this sword too. He was one of the great cultural promoters of the middle ages. In one of his books, "Las Siete Partidas", he described the four values every sword should bear: Good Sense, Strength, Prudence, and Justice.

The original of this sword dates to the 13th Century and is in the collection of the Real Armeria in Madrid. Stylistically the sword is clearly spanish, and the mozarabic/mudejar influenses, mixtures and amalgamations of arabic and european styles, are clear. Arabs ruled southern Spain for centuries, and the ornamental style of byzantine art is still clearly visible in many parts today. The sword ties into the history of the reconquista of Andalusia by these two kings to whom it has been attributed.

The original sword is gilt in silver and decorated with detailed filigreework. The pommel and the downward turned quillions are in the shape of trefoils, common in the Andalusian mozarabic style. The same type of ornamentation is also seen in the illuminated Cantigas, a collection of medieval musical poems from that time, attributed to Alfonso X the Wise. The arms of Castille and Leon confirm that the sword is a royal one. These together give credence to the claim that the sword has indeed belonged to San Fernando, or he gave it to his son Alfonso.

Made by Marto of Toledo. Overall length 26 cm
Silver Finish hilt. Stainless Steel Blade.

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- Robert Iulius

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