Andrew Ferrara

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Andrew Ferrara or, more correctly, Andrea Ferrara was a make of sword-blade highly esteemed in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sir Walter Scott notes that the name of Andrea de Ferrara was inscribed "on all the Scottish broadswords that are accounted of peculiar excellence".[1] No historical person of that name can be identified, but Scott reports a general belief that Ferrara was a Spanish or Italian artificer who was brought to Scotland in the early 16th century, by either James IV or V, to instruct the Scots in the manufacture of the high-quality steel blades current in Renaissance Europe.

According to some sources the name of the manufacturer was Andrea dei Ferrari of Belluno, according to others, Andrew Ferrars or Ferrier of Arbroath.[2]

The term came to be used generically as a term for the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword.[3]

Their method of manufacture remains much a mystery, but it is suspected that they were made by interlamination, a process of welding the blade in alternate layers of iron and steel. Andrew Ferrara blades were special in their extreme flexibility. For instance, it is said that Andrew Ferrara, the manufacturer of the blades, always carried one wrapped up in his bonnet. They rarely broke, even under immense force and when used to deal horizontal blows.[4]


  1. ^ Sir Walter Scott, Introductions, and Notes and Illustrations to the Novels, Tales, and Romances of the Author of Waverley, 1833, p. 116
  2. ^ "Chambers 20th Century Dictionary", W. & R. Chambers Ltd., Edinburgh, 1983
  3. ^ Murray, W. H. (1982). Rob Roy MacGregor: His life and times. Edinburgh, Scotland: Richard Drew Publishing.
  4. ^ "The Foreign Quarterly Review - Volume 26", Treuttel and Würtz, 1841

See also[edit]