Irish gallowglass two-handed sword with ring pommel, 16th century
This two-handed sword was modeled on the mighty swords of the elite Irish mercenaries of Scottish descent known as gallowglass (also galloglass or galloglas - an Anglicisation of the Gaelic gallóglaigh / gallóglach, literally meaning "young, foreign soldier"). Between the mid-13th and late 16th centuries, these fearless, heavily armored infantrymen fought alongside the core of the light infantry that formed the bulk of Ireland's armed forces in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Gallowglass originally came from the Norse Gaelic clans of the Scottish Highlands, Argylls and the Hebrides (off the west coast of Scotland), whose Irish ancestors had intermarried with 10th-century Norse settlers. Dispossessed during the Scottish Wars of Independence, they fled to Ireland, where the Irish princes were quick to recognize their worth and, in return for their loyalty and military service, granted them work, lands to settle in and rights to provisions. Many Irish lords also employed gallowglasses as bodyguards. Over the centuries, the Gallowglass ranks also filled with native Irish and "newer" Scottish mercenaries.
The highly skilled Gallowglass soldiers' favored weapons were a two-handed Sparth ax (probably a relic of their Scandinavian heritage) and a large two-handed sword. The sword often had a characteristic ring-shaped pommel, through the middle of which the end of the blade tang ran visibly. This unique open ring pommel was relatively typical of 15th and 16th century Irish swords. Many preserved Irish Gaelic ring pommel swords were found during archaeological excavations all over Ireland and can be admired today in various museums (e.g. in the Irish National Museum - National Museum of Ireland - in Dublin).
Our inexpensive reconstruction of a Gallowglass Sword features a broad, flat, double-edged EN45 spring steel blade with an approx. 15cm ricasso at the base and four fullers on either side (two running about a third of the blade length and two shorter) . The cutting edges are not sharpened. The hilt has an approx. 30 cm long crossguard with approx. 7 mm thick, E-shaped ends, a wooden grip firmly wrapped in brown leather, and ends with the iconic ring pommel that adorns many Irish swords.
This beautiful piece of Scottish-Irish history is supplied without a scabbard.
It is pointed out that this late medieval / renaissance two-handed sword is not suitable for battle, but is designed as a collector's item or decorative object. It also makes an excellent prop, e.g. to complete your costume, and will make your transformation into a proud Irish warrior just perfect.
- Material: blade made of spring steel EN45 (high carbon steel, not stainless), wooden grip with leather cover, guard and pommel made of steel
- Total length: approx. 138 cm
- Blade length: approx. 106 cm
- Blade thickness: approx. 4 mm (cutting edges approx. 1 mm)
- Handle length: approx. 32 cm (handle section approx. 19 cm)
- Max. blade width: approx. 6.5 cm
- Center of gravity: approx. 20 cm in front of the guard
- Ring pommel dimensions: approx. 5.7 cm Ø, 8 mm thick
- Weight: about 2.8kg
The specifications above may vary slightly from copy to copy.
The steel used here is not stainless and may show slight signs of corrosion. We recommend that you care for the blade regularly, e.g. with Ballistol, a universal oil that is ideal for preserving steel goods.
- Stock: In Stock
- Model: 2608
- SKU: 0116341800