Image of a 14th C Sword with Finger Ring
I remember seeing a number of antique swords with finger rings and modern reproductions of similar swords said to date to the 14th century. At the time, I remember being quite surprised, because I did not associate finger rings as belonging to swords this early in time.

But, sure enough, as I was browsing Manuscript Miniatures, I found a superb example. Assuming the manuscript dating is correct, this image is from circa 1377 to 1400. Notice that the sword in the image is quite unusual in appearance as well; it almost looks to have a hollow ground cross section with fullers, like Albion's Oakeshott sword.

BNE MSS 10134 (2) Grant Cronica de Espanya
Folio 15r
Dating 1377-1396
From Aragon, Spain
Holding Institution Biblioteca Nacional de España

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14thC Finger Ring Resize.JPG

Interesting sword. Looks like a fullered XVIII or maybe XVI with hollowgrind and quite a long fuller. The picture does look like late 14th or early 15th century style...
The dating is fairly firm, as it depicts the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, by whom the work was commissioned.
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Juan Fernández de Heredia (c. 1310 – 1396) was the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller from 24 September 1377 to his death. His tenure was occupied by the "affair of Achaea." He was also a great patron of the translation and composition of historiographical works in the Aragonese language and a counsellor to two Kings of Aragon.

Another probable late-14th century example:
[ Linked Image ]
Great work folks! Thanks for sharing.

We've been working on a laser cut version of the double finger ring guard to mod our current practice blades for Bolognese practice. Great to know this feature existed forty years or more before we had assumed. :cool:
To add to the discussion, here's a depiction of Saint Paul, by Bernardo Daddi, in 1333. When I saw this in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, I couldn't help but photograph it. I thought that having Paul finger the ricasso was a very nice touch on the part of the artist. I'm sure that more knowledgeable members already know about this ( says that it was done in ancient times), but it goes to show that people were thinking about techniques that we might associate with later masters well before the surviving Renaissance manuals that many of us study today.

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I remember reading in "Archaeology of Weapons" that "fingering" has been done since the BC, not constantly nor consistently in every culture through every time period mind you, but it would not surprise me that it would be found earlier than we usually think.
Please note: the original topic of the thread is swords with finger rings, and not fingering the blade.
while looking for something in my computer, I´ve found this interesting "basilard-type sword" with a finger ring. It´s from Hermann Historica, auction No 47, Lot No. 477.
Description says it´s Italian, middle 14th century, and as its total length is 102,5 cm, it would probably classify as a "sword".
I have the whole sheet with more details (and could send it by PM), but it´s too big to post it here.

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