A Kampfschwert from the 15th century – a reinterpretation of the so called 'Teutonic estoc' from the Princes Czartoryski Collection in Cracow, Poland (Maciej Talaga) - APD 1 (2013)

Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 7–27, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0007, Mai 2013.


The paper aims at reinterpreting the so called ‘Teutonic estoc’ (inventory number: MNK XIV-49) from the Czartoryski Princes Collection, Cracow, Poland. Due to the weapon’s unusual construction it has been necessary to draw up precise documentation - written, drawn and photographic. It has been supplemented with research in historical sources and scholarly literature on the subject.

The results obtained indicate that the researched weapon is not a typical estoc. It seems that it is a specialized anti-armour sword (Kampfschwert in German) designed for fighting against a heavy armoured opponent in judicial combat.

If this conclusion were correct, the ‘Teutonic estoc’ from Cracow would be the only known artefact of this kind to have survived from the Middle Ages. In order to falsify this hypothesis the artefact’s authenticity has been examined. An analysis of Royal Inventory records spanning from the year 1475 to 1792 and younger remarks about the researched weapon in press, private letters and scholarly literature has been conducted and briefly reported hereby. Its results seem to indicate that it is not a hoax.