An exceptional Spanish Colonial ‘Espada Ancha’ horseman’s sword. The ‘Espada Ancha’ was a very distinct type of sword which evolved from Iberian prototypes of the 17th and 18th centuries. ‘Espada Ancha’ swords were produced exclusively by Spanish colonial craftsmen in what is now the American Southwest and Mexico from the last decades of the seventeenth century well into the nineteenth century. ‘Espada Anchas’ were ‘The’ sword of soldiers, officials, rancheros, and high ranking civilians.
For information and illustrations of ‘Espada Ancha’ swords please see, “Spanish Military Weapons in Colonial America 1700-1821″, by Brinkerhoff & Chamberlain, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, PA, 1972, pp 74-77.
Early ‘Espada Anchas’ featured long blades of Spanish broadsword form intended for use by mounted men. Around the middle of the eighteenth century the long blades began to go out of fashion and many ‘Espaada Anchas’ had their blades cut down and re-worked into the short-sword form usually seen in collections today. Due to continuous usage in often difficult circumstances, good ‘Espada Anchas’ are quite scarce. Early long bladed examples, especially deluxe silver mounted examples are rare, especially when accopmanied by their original silver mounted scabbards.
This extraordinary ‘Espada Ancha’ retains both its original double edge 36″ blade and its original silver mounted scabbard. The blade has excellent form and fine balance. it is of fine quality however its lack of decoration and evidence of hand forging and finishing indicate it was created in the New World in the 1740-1760 period.
This sword’s hand forged iron hilt is of classic ‘Espada Ancha’ form. Its large scallop form guard is overlaid in heavy silver. The knuckle guard is of classic form convex on the right side with silver wide headed rivets and decorative filed notches at corners and in the center . The reverse side is flat displaying the inner ends of the silver rivets.The upper cross guard finial ends in a stylized snake’s head with silver rivet ‘eye’. The flat pommel is octagonal in form. The sword has a well proportioned silver mounted octagonal horn grip.
This ‘Espada Ancha’ remarkably retains its original silver mounted leather scabbard. The upper silver mount retains the original heavy silver mounting fitting – ‘Espada Ancha’ swords, especially long bladed types, were mounted on their owner’s saddles rather than on their persons. Both upper and lower silver mounts clearly show their soldered seams. The overall design and workmanship of the silver mountings on this sword are a textbook example of early country metalwork in Spanish Colonial America.
Condition: This rare ‘Espada Ancha’ is in excellent original condition. The blade displays light wear, appropriate manufacturing marks , and retains a lovely natural steel patina. The hilt retains its dark untouched patina with dark patinated iron and completely intact silver inlay & mountings having excellent old surface. the horn grip retains original surface with proper aging and deep patina. The scabbard is in fine original condition. the leather with appropriate aging and good stitching, the silver with fine old surface.
This beautiful, impressive, and excellent original example of the historic American Southwest / Spanish Colonial ‘Espada Ancha’ is a rare example of the best-of-its-type. It would be a prime addition to any private or public collection.
Dimensions: overall length 47 1/2″, blade length 36″ , width 1 1/2”
Price: $1650.00 – SOLD