Throughout these times the armourer's and the gilder's crafts are found in closest union; just as the armourer's craft would often alternate with that of the goldsmith or the silversmith. At Seville, the Ordinance of 1512 prescribed that every candidate who came to be examined must make "a set of horse harness, complete with stirrups, headstalls, spurs, poitral, and the fittings of a sword; and he must silver several of these pieces and blue them with fine blue; and make of iron, and gild the spurs and fittings of the sword. Thus shall he make, and gild, and silver the aforesaid pieces."
1 Armourers' Ordinances of Seville, extant in ms, (quoted by Gestoso; Diccionario dc Artifices Sevillanos; vol. I., p. xxxvi).
Equally severe and comprehensive are the swordsmiths' Ordinances (1527 to 1531) of Granada. The aspirant to the title of oficial "shall mount a sword for wear with ordinary clothes, fitted in black, together with its straps, and fringed and corded hilt; besides a sword gilded a low gold, together with its straps and other parts, all of a single colour. Also he shall fit a velvet-scabbarded, silver-hilted sword, and a two-handed sword, fully decorated, with the knife attaching to the same, one-edged and with a smooth hilt; also a sword whose scabbard shall be fitted with knives numbering not less than three; and a hilt of laceria (network ornament); and another sword in a white sheath, with woven hilt; and another of a hand and a half."1
The Royal Armoury at Madrid contains an excellent collection of these weapons. Among the earliest known to be of Spanish make are two which date from the thirteenth century. One of them (Plate liv., No. 1), with fittings of a later time, is frequently miscalled the "Cid's Colada," and seems to have been confounded with the genuine weapon of that hero which was acquired in the thirteenth century by one of the sovereigns of Castile, and which has probably disappeared.
1 "De mano y media"; i.e. for wielding either with one hand or both. Specimens of this kind of sword existing at Madrid will be described immediately.
The blade of this remarkable sword has two edges and tapers gradually to the point. Part of the blade is slightly hollowed, and bears, extending through about a quarter of the hollow or canal, the following inscription or device:-
This is believed by some authorities to represent the words SI, SI, no, non ("Yes, yes, no, no"); and by others to be a purely meaningless and decorative pattern. The weapon, in any case, is in the best of preservation, and is especially interesting from the fact that engraved blades dating from this early period are very seldom met with. The Count of Valencia de Don Juan believes this weapon to be the same Lobera which belonged to Ferdinand the Third, and aptly quotes the following passage from the chronicle. When Ferdinand, conqueror of Seville, was lying on his death-bed in that capital, surrounded by his children, he gave his blessing to his younger son, the Infante Don Manuel, and addressed him in these words. "I can bequeath no heritage to you; but I bestow upon you my sword Lobera, that is of passing worth, and wherewith God has wrought much good to me." If the Count's surmise be accurate, another passage which he quotes from the work Nobleza y Lealtad, written by the twelve councillors of Ferdinand, fully explains the legend on the blade. "Sennor, el tu si sea asi, e el tu non, sea non; que muy gran virtud es al Principe, o a otro qnalquier ome ser verdadero, e grand seguranza de sus vasallos, e de sus cosas."1
I said that the chiselled and gilded iron fittings to the blade are of a later period. They date from the earlier part of the sixteenth century, and are the work of Salvador de Avila, of Toledo.
1 "Senor, let thy yea be yea, and thy nay be nay; for of great virtue is it in the prince, or any man, to be a speaker of the truth, and of great security to his vassals and to his property."
Armour Made At Pamplona (17th Century, Royal Armoury, Madrid)
The other sword in this collection, and which also belongs to the thirteenth century, has a long, broad blade with two edges and a central groove, thinly engraved with circles (Pl. liv., No. 3, and Pl. lv.). The crossbars are of silver-gilt, engraved with ataurique, curving towards the blade and terminating in trefoils. A shield midway between them bears the arms of Castile upon one side, and those of Leon upon the other. The grip is of wood, covered with silver plates with decorated borders, and the pommel is of iron, also covered with ornamental plates of silver-gilt. Formerly this arm was studded with precious stones, but all of these excepting one have disappeared.
The scabbard is of wood lined with sheepskin, and is covered with a series of five silver-gilt plates, profusely decorated with Hispano-Moresque laceria, studded with various kinds of gems. These gems upon the scabbard amounted once upon a time to seventy-six, which sum, through pilfering or accident (probably the former, since the finest stones are gone), has been diminished by one-half. An inventory, made in the reign of Philip the Second, states that the inner side of the sheath, now wholly worn away, was covered with lions and castles, and that the belt was of broad orange-coloured cloth, with silver fittings.
This sword has been absurdly attributed to the nephew of Charlemagne, who lived not less than half a thousand years before its date of manufacture. The Count of Valencia de Don Juan thought that it may have been the property of a Spanish monarch of the thirteenth century, -perhaps Alfonso the Learned, or Ferdinand the Third, Alfonso's father. Ferdinand, we know, possessed a sword which he delivered with due ceremony to his elder son, the Infante Don Fernando, upon his leading out a force against the town of Antequera. This sword the chronicler Alvar Garcia de Santa Maria described as having "a sheath in pieces, with many precious stones."