rapier for comment
Hello all ,
since i'm new here an i've got to start somewhere i tought to post this rapier up for comment's.
I found it as a sleeper in untouched condition, lengt is 124 cm or 49 inch.
Welcome to the fórum, Ulfberth :) .
Is this your 'nom de guerre' because you collect Ulfberht swords ? ;)
This is very a nice rapier. Do you have any ideas about its provenance ... not Spanish, is it ?
wel i chose ulfberth with the h at the end to avoid copy rights ;)
nom de guerre... why not, collecting the ulfberht swords is out of the question i suppose... but i kike the mysticisme aroud the name.
The rapier came from the southern of France and could be Spanish or French, i even remember some English look alikes so im not quite sure...yet
rapier for comment
Very interesting Rapier. ;)
This type of hilt dates to the mid-17th c., I would say ca.1650-1670. I don't think it's Spanish at all, or Italian, for that matter. North European, in my opinion.
Concerning your user name, please hang on.:)
Dmitry is right.
The rapier looks completely genuine and definitely 2nd half to late 17th century; it is preserved in virtually 'untouched' condition, its overall appearance suggesting private use rather than 'military'.
It looks quite dry and flaky, wanting a few drops of (olive) oil; applying them to a piece of linen cloth would preserve it for generations to come.;)
Now allow an excursion on ULFBERHT swords, this being the authentic spelling.
Those early knightly wrought-iron blades bear witness of the skills of the Romanesque period swordsmiths (1oth century):
For basic reading cf.
- Ewart Oakeshott's typology:
- Bill Blake's site:
- Alfred Geibig's PhD thesis:
Dr. Alfred Geibig documented his comprehensive research in Medieval swords carrying the reader along all the way.
Striving to achieve that specific style is basic of scholarly works which, by their academic prerequisites, are bound to make heavy reading.
Geibig is curator of the comprehensive historic arsenal collection of Arms & Armor preserved at the Veste Coburg, Upper Franconia/North Western Bavaria.
The Tage des Donners reenactments sheltered by the mighty Fortress of Coburg (the days of thunder actions) are notorious for making any weaponry enthusiast's dream come true employing all kinds of antique arms and equipment. The range of items firing black powder provided includes the esoteric corner of incendiary objects like arrows, grenades, quoits etc.
Andi will testify!;):D:eek:
Though finally quitting the lectorate he still is the contemporary godfather of the Gesellschaft für historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde e.V. founded in 1896, and the inspiring impetus/driving force behind it all. Had it not been for him, our time-honored journal would have literally died 1o-15 years ago. His struggle saved it from years of agony, and breathed new and powerful life into it.
My dear friend Armin König is a friend of Alfred Geibig's.
Compared to their modesty, I'm Landsknecht natured; the archaic Bavarian Bos primigenius taurus believed extinct since 1627.:rolleyes::shrug:
Among other things, I owe Alfred Geibig personal contacts that may help preserve what I defined my lifetime achievement four decades ago:
The Michael Trömner Collection.
Attached find some images of 10th c. swords.
from a chilly 7 degrees centigrade Bavarian night - with the calendar suggesting it is July,
P.S. I guess I will turn on the central heating today ... for the first time in any July I remember ...
I once had the previlege to be authorized to handle a fair number of Viking swords ... ULFBERHT examples included.
It felt like i was committing a sacrilege :o :cool: .
Thanks Matchlock for sharing your knowledge on my war name,
i did some reading in the past myself however not that intensive.
I included some more pictures of the rapier after i cleaned it.
I re-attached the grip wire, not restored because i dont want to open an untouched piece and ruin it :eek:
So in the proces i just used the original left overs of the grip wire that remained, (some were in bits and pieces) and added nothing to it, correction except pine tree glue that i make myself.
The gaurd has been cleaned with verry fine steelwol and then waxed with beeswax and after that rubbed and cleaned of with soft cloth and thus keeping the dark patina
For the blade i choose to go a bit further because i like to be able to see the structures in the mettal, and it is finished of with , yes olive oil !
and here is the end result...
ulfberth ( the bishop ? or the viking ? )
wanted to post picturess after cleaning, but the file was too large, i"ll try again....
thanks for sharing, what make's you thing in the direction of north european ?
Do you mean German or rather dutch or Scandinavian ?
I sommetimes find it hard to determin on sivillian rapiers because they were made to the taste of the swordmaker or owner and are more ore less inspired by military models.
the hilt with the saucer shaped guard and a small curl on the knuckle guard opposite the fore finger is of Norman type 93.
it can be dated about 1635-1660.
David Teniers II - a guard room scene, Six collection Amsterdam
Portrait Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Tyrol, KHM Viena inv. no 8023
a similar hilt in the muse de l'armee, paris cat no J-264
cf Wallace no A677 with the rear quillon dividing into two branches. 1635-1640
thats it right on the spot, should we conclude that is is therefore north italian of origine, or used troughout Europe...
( i'm cleaning a sinclair sword )
At the first half of the 17th century, a radical change took place in the sword fencing style. The French school" escrime francaise" began to supplant the Italian and the Spanish fencing schools.
The main feature of this French school was smooth/loose manner of holding the sword with thumb and forefinger on each side of the the grip.
This manner of holding had great influence on the design of the hilt.
Since the focus of French fencing was merely on the thrust. the hilt was closed by a guard plate. (instead of a complex system of bars)
In order to make the sword more agile it became lighter in weight and shorter in blade length.
This eventually led to THE small word.
This development is attributed erroneously as a french development, however, Dutch paintings Rotius and Van der Hellst show an interest-rich phase in the development of the rapier to the small sword in 1648 and 1649. namely the transition rapier (The transition from rapier to small sword).
There is no historical evidence for this term transitional rapier.
It is not possible to allocate the origin of your transitional rapier, however,
it is not unlikely that your rapier is made in the low countries, Netherlands Belgium.
thank for the outstanding information on the history of this type of rapier !
Nice job stabilizing the wire on the grip, and way too aggressive with the blade. I would have left the patina as is.
Just my $.02
Beautifully identified and described Jasper, as always!!!
Good points on terms such as noted, transitional rapier, and of course there are others I cannot think of off hand. Many of these kinds of terms have entered the arms and armour lexicon rather subtly via discussions and descriptions not necessarily widely published.
Another interesting point made is that developing production centers for arms of other regions may be the source for many variations or 'transitional' types of arms. As mentioned, the Low Countries and centers such as Liege; the emigration of Solingen makers, expansion of foreign influences and developing fashion and stylistic tendancies offer us not only challenges, but opportunities, to better understand these intriguing and often atypical forms.
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