A rare medieval sword, which had been given to the Mamluk rulers of Egypt and then looted from them by the same Crusader king, sold for £163,250 at auction this week, with an entire collection taking in bids over £ 1 million. Bonhams auction house in London held a sale of medieval and Viking swords, with many of them selling for six or seven times the expected price.
The crusader sword was estimated to sell for between £40,000 to £60,000. The Italian-made weapon was given as a gift to the Mamluk sultans of Egypt as part of a gift sealing a treaty. The sword was kept in Alexandria, but did not reside their long. Peter I launched the a crusade in 1362 against the Mamluks and his fleet captured Alexandria. They returned to Cyprus with immense amounts, including this sword.
David Williams, Head of Bonhams Antique Arms and Armor Department, says: “The fascination of this sword is that it has survived some six centuries having been gifted by a Christian King to a Muslim ruler and kept in the famed Alexandrian armory and then taken by force by Crusaders and returned to Europe. It is a remarkable survivor of the Crusader period.”
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