c1780 New World America Espada Ancha with Early Blade


A rare and desirable short sword or cutlass.

It has been fashioned by reworking an old sword and is typical of the Espada Anchas, that were developed in the Americas, due to an acute shortage of weapons. They get their (broad sword) name from the examples that originally came from Spain and were used in the New World and along the Spanish Main.

Only 1 or 2 voyages a year from Spain were sent to support, supply and expand colonialization efforts took place. As such the supplies needed by the occupying Spanish Conquistadors (both naval and military forces) in general and specifically weapons and armour were always in very short supply. Additionally, as Spain lost interest and wars the supply to its colonies dwindled until becoming non-existent.

Therefore, whenever body armour, sword or cutlass became damaged or needed repair it was then parted-out and re-worked, re-hilted, or re-bladed locally so as to make a usable weapon. In many cases new locally handforged hilts were easily made and attached to existing retained blades. The actual dates of various pieces of an "espada ancha" can possibly span hundreds of years as these weapons were cared for and prized. And today these swords are also highly prized as the represent a unique aspect of the colonization of the Americas and the American Colonial period. This example appears to have been last re-worked very late 1700's to early 1800's based upon the iron hilt and leather used to cover it. The leather has been carved to improve the grip. The blade has a dark grey tone of age. There is a touch mark on either side of the blade, but it is not clear enough to read.

Size: 73 cm (28 ¾ inches)
Weight: 477 g