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Joan of Arc Sword

In the Journal du siège and Chronique de la Pucelle, Jean Chartier, writes about the sword used by Joan of Arc and the circumstances by wich it was acquired: The King wanted to present her with a sword, so she asked for that of Sainte Catherine de Fierbois. "on lui demanda si elle l'avoit oncques veue, et elle dit que non"........

A black-smith was sent from Tours who found the sword amongst several other ex-voto that had been left in a trunk behind the altar. ( From1415 and the beginning of the battle of Azincourt, armed soldiers would come and offer all or least some of their weapons in thanks to Sainte Catherine who had protected them in battle ). It is amongs these weapons that Joan's sword was chosen.

According to the Duke of Alençon, Joan's sword was destroyed in Saint Denis, when she lanced it through the back of a prostitute, most probably after the failed attack on Paris. It seems that Joan was in the habit of stiking her sword across the backs of any prostitutes that she would come across; such incidents being reported in Auxerre by Jean Chartier and this page, Louis de Coutes for the stage of Chateau Thierry. Charles VII showed himself to be most displeased upon hearing that the sword had been destroyed, as amongst Joan's companion, the sword was reputed as a somewhat magical weapon, and therefore its' destruction was seen as a bad omen. We have no clue as to what became of the broken pieces.

-Olivier Bouzy,"Jeanne d'Arc, Mythes et Réalités", Atelier de l'Archer- page 73 et 74

However, one mustn't confuse the real sword wielded by Joan of Arc with the "virtual" sword portrayed in the Arc family coat-of-arms. In Joan's coat-of-arms, the sword is shown with five "fleurs de Lys" (as shown on following page), whereas all texts concerning the sword of Fierbois only make reference to five crosses.

Manuscrit français 5524 de la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris - folio 142

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