Sword grip on Simone Martini panel


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge has an outstanding group of 14th c. panels by Simone Martini depicting (left to right) St Geminianus, Michael the Archangel, and St. Augustine.
simone martini.jpg

Looking a bit closer, Michael's grip on his sword seems a bit... hazardous. Do we have any idea what Martini might have been trying to convey through this?

simone martini detail.jpg
Last edited:
Mar 2013
Breakdancing on the Moon.
Yep. Eminently usable grip on arming and riding swords. Used to stabilise thrusts and line up thrusts. As Dan says, later swords sometimes had specific guard features like the above.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
The base of a sword is very rarely so sharp as to cut even with pressure applied.