The guard and hilt are embellished with 24 karat gold, and the hilt features a leather wrap and red crystal cabochons. The pommel features the traditional Chi Rho (XP) and IHS monograms of Christ. The guard features the Doves of Peace and Divine Inspiration, and the symbols of the four Evangelists. The polished steel blade is etched with images of Jesus, Mary and the 12 Apostles (Andreas, Simon, Thomas, Matthias, Petrus, Thaddaeus, Jacob Mai, Jacob Min, Nathaniel, Phillipus, Matthaeus, Joha). The sword is 41″ in length with a blade length of 33.5″. It has a handsome red felt lined, wooden display frame measuring 49″ x 15″.The sword was never displayed but stored in it’s original box. It is in like new condition.Unfortunately I have not been able to find the original Franklin Mint documentation.The sword will be shipped in it’s original box.
The Imperial Sword was made for Emperor Otto IV in the twelfth century, possibly for his coronation as King of the Romans in 1198. Its predecessor, the sword of Otto III, is also preserved, in the Essen Abbey treasury.
The first known explicit mention of the sword dates to 1315, in a letter of a lady-in-waiting of Elisabeth of Aragon, wife to Frederick III. It may also be referenced in an inventory of 1246, which mentions merely zwey swert mit zweyn scheiden, gezieret mit edelem gesteyne (two swords, with two scabbards ornamented with gems). The first pictorial representations of the sword date to the fifteenth century, but the first detailed depiction only to the seventeenth century.
By legend, the Imperial Sword was connected with the donation of the sword, lance, and spurs, of Saint Maurice by the Abbey of Saint Maurice to king Henry the Fowler; the actual sword, however, postdates both Maurice and Henry.