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Jean-Marc S. 26th April 2012 09:03 PM

Is this blade marking a 'Passau Wolf' (german sword late 16th to early 17th century)?
2 Attachment(s)

Please, is this marking appearing on the blade of a renaissance period sword a so-called 'Passau Wolf' ? :confused:



Matchlock 26th April 2012 11:44 PM

Hi Jm,

How about using automatic focus combined with flash light when taking images? ;)
And, as 'Nando formerly requested: we need to see as much as possible of the whole item. Remember the blade (or whatever part) might not belong ...

Anyway, I passed these on to my friend and will let you know his comment as soon as he is back.


Jean-Marc S. 27th April 2012 06:01 AM


The sword is the one posted here:


Swordfish 27th April 2012 10:38 AM


I am absolutely sure that this is no Passau Wolf, the Passau mark was copied by many manufacturers and dealers during the Renaissance period. Many sword blades of Solingen bear copied wulfs, but this unusual shape was not used in Solingen.


Jim McDougall 27th April 2012 05:26 PM

The term 'Passau wolf' actually derives from the talismanic perceptions used on weapons originally produced in that city, once a prolific blade making center. The stylized interpretations from these early and crudely inscribed or stamped zoomorphic devices became widely adopted, particularly in the burgeoning center of Solingen. The original application of the term was actually 'Passau art' and was with reference to not only the talismanic properties purported to be imbued in the swords, but to magical amulets in other forms as well.

Magical charms, amulets and talismans were widely adopted in the context of arms and armour with thier obvious associations in the often mortal circumstances of thier use. There were many adaptions and stylizations of these 'wolf' figures, and contrary to popular belief, there are no developmental or regional typologies nor chronological linears. It should be remembered that much as with many magical charms, amulets and apotropaic devices, these are often personalized rather than strictly copied.
The geometric 'crosshatching' seen here is an element often seen in various magical contexts of the period, and certain features of this configuration do resemble those seen on the running wolf variations.

While modern perceptions often view these interpretations of magical amulets and stylized symbolism as nonsensical, it is important to remember it is not necessary to believe the explanations given, but it is essential to try to understand what those using them believed.

Jean-Marc S. 27th April 2012 09:46 PM

Thanks Jim and Swordfish for your helpful comments. :D


Dmitry 28th April 2012 12:08 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Your mark looks to me like it could be Passau. Or made to resemble Passau.

Jim McDougall 28th April 2012 04:02 AM

You're quite welcome Jean-Marc! Looks like an extremely nice sword too, and most interesting interpretation of these markings. These kinds of variations are seen in numbers of other markings as well such as the 'anchor'; 'sickle marks'; and cross and orb which are some of the most familiar types.

The chart Dmitry has posted is from Eduard Wagner's "Cut & Thrust Weapons" (Prague, 1967) and well illustrates my point about the absence of linear developmental chronology with these markings, yet shows some of the variations. I believe these 'dated' examples are drawn from examples the author observed and the presumed period of the weapons he saw them on, as often the case in catalogued items. There are no regional classifications nor associated makers noted and essentially these are random examples of this commonly and widely duplicated image.

Jean-Marc S. 28th April 2012 06:46 PM

Thank you all for the comments.

On the blade of this sword, there is a period marking in old german : 'You come to me', and on the reverse blade: 'then I cut you'. There is also a cross and orb marking, which shape is 16th century.

Interestingly, there are two strange deeper linear (and parallel) marks on the blade, perhaps 'two kills' ...


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