Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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urbanspaceman 29th September 2017 11:28 PM

The Hollow Blade part 4
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And finally part 4.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a photocopy of the last remaining copy of the book in the public library service here on Tyneside, so although the scanning is poor in places it is still a valuable document regarding the Shotley Bridge sword-makers.
The remaining work on the subject is by Richard H. Bezdek called Swords and Sword Makers of England and Scotland and this is in current production including a perfect pdf download for a very reasonable price.[IMG]

urbanspaceman 30th September 2017 11:39 AM

J Hunter Edinburgh
Originally Posted by
A BRASS HILTED OFFICER'S SWORD, LATE 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY with double edged blade retaining traces of a brief inscription within a short fuller and stamped with the running fox of Shotley Bridge on each side (pitted), brass hilt comprising double shell-guard engraved with the owner's name 'Sir H, Liddell Bt', knuckle-guard, an additional pair of scrolling bars joining the knuckle-guard to the shell front and back, and spherical pommel (button chipped, quilon removed), and wooden grip with later copper wire binding, in an associated brass-mounted lather scabbard, the locket inscribed 'R.S.' on the front and with the maker's name '[B
J. Hunter, South Bridge, Edinburgh[/B]' (worn) 80cm; 31 1/2in blade Sir Henry Liddell (before1660-1723) gained the title of 3rd Baronet Liddell and was M.P. for Durham City, 1688-98, and for Newcastle 1701-5, and 1706-10.

Hello Ibrahiim.
I had a look in Bezdek's book and I found four J. Hunters operating in Scotland. It looks like the scabbard was made between 1560 and 1580 then was re-used. We could probably find out what RS stood-for if we cared-to but there is no-one amongst his ancestors.
I gather there was no maker's mark on the hilt. It may have been an old hilt with his title added or he may have had a new one made. I can't say 'for his new blade' because this man never did any fighting (other than in Parliament) so the wear of the blade was not down to him or any of his descendants; one of whom was father to Alice of Wonderland fame. It was obviously all old when he acquired it - apart from his title on the hilt - and may have been assembled by various folk over the years.

Sword slipper James Hunter 1538–1548 Perth

Cutler James Hunter 1780–1810 Edinburgh
Sword slipper • Made midshipmen’s dirks and cold stream guard officers swords.

Armourer James Hunter 1560–D1580 Edinburgh
Sword maker • Master Armourer, 1570.
• When he died, he had 62 swords and 125 blades in stock.

Armourer James Hunter 1598–1608 Dundee
Sword maker • Son of David Hunter.

urbanspaceman 30th September 2017 11:44 AM

Of course, the brief (and faded) inscription may not be Shotley Bridge and the fox could have been from anywhere in the past - including Hounslow - if he bought it in London, or Solingen then hilted in Scotland in the 1500s; so the sword and hilt and scabbard may well have been contiguous.

urbanspaceman 30th September 2017 06:02 PM

recent photo
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I took this last week when I was out at Shotley Bridge.[IMG]

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 30th September 2017 06:57 PM

Thank you for the excellent additions to library ... I am on page 50 of your first copy and how interesting it is... There are many interesting features which I need to compile ..

As a matter of interest the sign on the Crown and Crossed Swords is a relatively new one ... Apparently the old one was removed in about 1965 and this new one was the replacement and quite different to the original. The previous sign being more the crossed sword form, flatter and of the basket type... :shrug:

urbanspaceman 30th September 2017 07:42 PM

Crossed in time
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Hello Ibrahiim. Yes, that is how I always think of the sign, so I must be recollecting old images of the village; can't say I'm much impressed with the replacement. I was in the adjoining bar, which is dreary and forlorn, (a typical old English village pub) and the barmaid mentioned guests, but I have to confess the hotel did not look like it was doing business; the main front door hasn't been opened in some considerable time, and the insides of the big windows were dirty. There's plenty of money thereabouts, so it could do well as a typical rural gastro-pub with the right chef and manager, but that's not the way it is at present. Sad.
However, I am certain Mr. Richardson and Mr. Bygate would be happy to know their work lives on in the right circles. Actually, I must check to find out if Bygate is still alive - he may not be dead, as it was only 17 years ago when that book was published and he was not that old then.[IMG]

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 30th September 2017 09:05 PM

I think that was the adjoining place and is mentioned in a document I saw about architecture in the village as being quite different in construction to the original Crown and Crossed Swords which was to the right. That could make that The Commercial Public House ...Possibly now absorbed... I think the Menu Sign to the right of the door has the original style of Crown and Crossed Swords on it?

It will take me a while to absorb the brilliant pdf work you have added and I have to say what an important set of documents these all are. :shrug: Thank you.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 30th September 2017 09:35 PM


A BRASS HILTED OFFICER'S SWORD, LATE 17TH/EARLY 18TH CENTURY with double edged blade retaining traces of a brief inscription within a short fuller and stamped with the running fox of Shotley Bridge on each side (pitted), brass hilt comprising double shell-guard engraved with the owner's name 'Sir H, Liddell Bt', knuckle-guard, an additional pair of scrolling bars joining the knuckle-guard to the shell front and back, and spherical pommel (button chipped, quilon removed), and wooden grip with later copper wire binding, in an associated brass-mounted lather scabbard, the locket inscribed 'R.S.' on the front and with the maker's name

As is commonly mixed up with the fox/wolf;...This description comes with no picture of the weapon thus it is suspect as being confused between the two animals. I think the weapon is stamped with the Passau Wolf NOT the fox. Clearly the wolf or running wolf which has several all stick like images of wolves was the Passau wolf famous on Solingen blades but reproduced in other schools of sword making excellence as a blade of quality mark. It is very different in structure to the running fox.

As will be seen ... The Running Fox was never done by Shotley Bridge...whereas the Passau wolf was... After all many of the sword smiths there were originally from Solingen. It remains to be seen if Shotley was importing a load of blades regularly from Solingen if the Passau wolf marks were all done at Shotley Bridge or already on the blades when they arrived ...or both! If Shotley was not stamping the Fox who was? It would appear that Samuel Harvey is in the frame at Birmingham...anyone else?

urbanspaceman 30th September 2017 10:17 PM

Cry Wolf
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Hello Ibrahiim. The image on the sword sold in auction last year (see post #25 of this thread) with first-person confirmation of probity i.e. an Oley blade from SB, is definitely a Samuel Harvey like fox not a Passau/Solingen/early SB wolf. I am waiting to hear from the auctioneer as to whether the vendor (an ex SB resident) will commune with me.
here's the other half, and the original half, of the pub.[IMG]

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 30th September 2017 11:37 PM

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Then it is not a Shotley product. It is however a Birmingham one. It is a Samuel Harvey. Nice picture by the way... Thanks.
The stick like construction of the Passau Wolf mark was a favourite of Solingen and often used by other sword schools of manufacture to signify a quality blade much in the same way that Andrea Ferrera was struck on blades throughout history. Swords emanating from Shotley Bridge often sported this mark...but never the bushy tailed Fox.

Jim McDougall 1st October 2017 05:03 AM

This discussion is going great! and Keith, you have brought up some very good questions on some of the blades which may well have comprised some colichemarde blades as these were often of three edge section. While the blades termed 'colichemarde' had a wide forte and to considerable length near center....the foible was dramatically narrow for speed and thrust.

You asked what marks etc. were to be found on these types of blades, which is indeed important to see if perhaps any were produced at Shotley Bridge.
As has been noted, this type of blade, much favored by duelists, seems to have appeared sometime around third quarter of the 17th c. and given way to the typical three edge (hollow ground) blades for small swords around 1720s, but in the civilian sector.
Military officers continued their favor of these, most of which seem to have produced on the Continent, and have decoration and engraving by various outfitters and furbishers. Often these were jewelers and goldsmiths, as was typically the case with most small swords.

It would be interesting to see if any small sword blades, regardless if colichemarde or other types of blade bore any mark or inscription to Shotley Bridge. As I have mentioned, the Hounslow enterprise seems well represented in many of the reference sources, however in those listing examples, only few have Shotley blades shown. Of those seen, I have not seen any small sword or colichemarde to Shotley mentioned or shown.
It would seem that they should be as a list of Shotley makers from Hoppe (Hooper) and the Oleys through the 18th c. to 1808 is listed in Aylwards
"The Small Sword in England".
Yet, in illustrations and text, no example is shown or described, despite the Oley's noted as proprietors and 'bladesmiths'.

If this was they case, why is no blade marked to any Oley?

To the WOLF/FOX:

In the considerable research I have done on these markings, which concur with Ibrahiim's notes here, I have found that the conundrum of these curious images cannot be conclusively asserted. What does seem clear is that the 'running wolf' (called the Passau wolf for its believed origin) was used in Solingen by the 16th century. These often incredibly stylized (sometimes indiscernible) 'animals' were placed on a single side of the blade and typically chop type marks filled with brass or copper.

These were not standard by any means, as they were placed by workers of varying degree of skill (certainly not artistic) and often resemble the prehistoric cave type figures almost. Thus they could never be assigned to a particular maker, nor even period or any sort of chronology (as Wagner's chart implies). They were simply and arbitrarily placed on a blade as a kind of imbuement of quality.

As the Hounslow operations ensued in the early years of the 17th century, the Solingen makers who went to England undoubtedly used these simple marks, and in the almost stick figure manner a tradition in Germany . Meanwhile many blades there were imported from Germany and fitted to the developing hilts of Hounslow form.
The reputation of the Hounslow blades was well known, and while the operations ceased by 1650s it seems, the blades continued to have long working lives as heirlooms and rehiltings, even well into the 18th c.

With the advent of the Hollow Blade Co and Shotley Bridge in 1685, it seems some of the Hounslow families were involved. Though there is a great degree of doubt on the production of 'hollow blades', there were a number of military type blades and hunting sword or hangers it seems. Some of these indeed have the German wolf (no doubt brought forth by the German members) of the stick type image with Shotley Bridg inscribed.

As noted, no Shotley Bridge blade as far as known ever used the 'fox'.

The Shotley Bridge entity is said to have continued after the collapse of the very dark Hollow Sword Co. but no swords marked with the wolf or Shotley Bridge markings are known beyond the first years of the 18th c.

The wolf as a blade marking had been long gone from Passau, but at this point it seems to be gone from Solingen as well.

By the 1750s, Birmingham was determined to redeem its value as a blade and sword producer, and the maker Samuel Harvey began to use the canine figure once again, certainly recalling the now fabled 'running wolf' character but now with a British twist was a quite discernible running fox with its distinctive plumed tail. He placed his initials SH within.
It was noted however that on occasion, the fox did not have initials (though some had only an H). It now seems that at least one other Birmingham may have used the fox, but no initials.

In a short time, it seems these 'foxes' ceased, and only Harvey's name appeared on the blade in various configurations.

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 12:17 PM

Hollow blade marks
To simplify matters in my postings, I want to refer to the tri-form blades - be they colichmarde or otherwise - as history has done and call them Hollow Blades; which, unfortunately, is a poor term, as a hollow in a blade can mean a fuller or simply mean a hollow ground edge re. sharpening techniques; but nevertheless...
So my question is this: of the English hollow blade short-swords in existence today, do they feature any blade markings? If so, can anyone tell me what those markings are?
Coming back to Shotley: I've been considering the issue of a three-wheel grinding machine, inasmuch as I cannot find any evidence that they brought one with them; the declaration cited in the Charter by Sir Stephen Evance only states that they used such a machine in Solingen - not that they brought one with them. However, let's be realistic here: even if they didn't bring one with them, and it seems reasonable to suppose such an enterprise was impractical, they would certainly not be at a loss to manufacture one in Shotley Bridge once they got settled. So, the top and bottom of it all is that they could have produced innumerable hollow blade short-swords, if that was what was demanded.
But! The three original smiths who arrived in SB in 1685 had to be supplemented by an additional nineteen families two years later; so if the first three had no experience of the specialist grinding machine - which is not unlikely, considering they had been in England since the Hounslow days - then the new arrivals certainly did. Yet bringing nineteen families and no grinding machine indicates that the original enterprise of producing hollow blade short-swords was abandoned almost immediately as a result of the inevitable enormous demand for military blades.
Having established a company and acquired Crown approval the Company changed hands rather quickly, and two members were removed and new names introduced: such as Sir Stephen Evance; this was the transition from producing Hollow Blades as a primary enterprise to the beginnings of the dubious business practices thereafter.
At the SB end, I think that being exclusively able to supply hollow blade swords might have been of some prestige, but there is no way that it could compare fiscally with arming thousands and thousands of soldiers. Although, according to the Cotesworth documents, they were being screwed for every penny, to the extent they couldn't pay their bills; mind-you, that is a common enough excuse amongst workers throughout history, and considering Oley's wealth later on, at worst purely temporary.
This is why I am interested to learn what markings were on the hollow blade short-swords here in England at the turn of the century, is it not almost certain that they came from Germany. (When did they begin producing them in Klingenthal? It must have been decades earlier. Did we not import from there?) The statement made to the courts when Mohll was on trial was that the blades found in the river were of a type only produced in Shotley Bridge. Who says? How did they know? Why were the blades not Solingen products? After-all, the ship was coming from Rotterdam. Was that purely to evade a smuggling charge? Very grey area!
The more you delve into this business, the murkier it becomes, unless the obvious is not that obvious after-all.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 1st October 2017 06:08 PM

The more you delve into this business, the murkier it becomes, unless the obvious is not that obvious after-all.

Salaams Kieth,
Do you realize you used a very interesting phrase above...Delve ! This is old dig!! and I believe the German miners who came to England at the time were the ones initially digging at one site...They must have named it after the German word. In Delves Lane. About 5 miles from Shotley Bridge.. at Consett the nearest town.

From one of your pdfs~
Of course, the steel had to be of the highest quality, and certainly the swordsmiths would try to ensure this, by overseeing the various processes rigorously. In the beginning the Germans seem personally to have sought out and extracted the ore from sites along the Derwent and in
the surrounding countryside. One area where they almost certainly dug (or delved) was later known as the Delfts; later still this gave rise to the name of the road leading to the site (now part of Consett) - Delves Lane, at that time of course open land. Local lore also said there was a seam near Hownes Gill, known as the German Bands Seam, worked by the Oleys.ll.

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 07:50 PM

word perfect
Hello Ibrahiim. I do stuff like that all the time, then wait for someone to pick up on it; and no-one ever does (till today!).
I've realised most folk don't read and digest anymore; I think it has something to do with writing becoming the major form of communication, instead of vocally conversing.
Now that my seem oxymoronic, but texting and emailing reduces the majority of writing to bare-bones and abbreviations.
It never fails to amaze and irritate me that, despite planning my missives carefully, and proof reading at least twice, people often don't get the message.
At first I thought it was my poor communication skills - till I realised the truth: 'haste!'
Often, when someone is faced with a screen-full of words, they speed-read and assume; which means that half the time, much of importance gets missed.
However, it does not surprise me that folks on this forum read and ruminate.
Delightfully, both you and Jim regard brevity as unnecessary... me too.
We are all on a permanent learning curve here; otherwise, what's the point?

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 08:53 PM

Shotley Bridge foxes
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From the Royal Armouries in Leeds[IMG]

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 08:55 PM

Note the orientation of the image on the blade.

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 09:07 PM

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One of the above is definitely number 11 but minus the crown, and that's a variation on the wolf right? Not a fox.
I'm suspicious of the Hunting Hanger as it doesn't say Shotley or Bridge, and the animal looks more like a lion; I wonder if the RA have got it wrong and it's not an SB blade?

Jim McDougall 1st October 2017 09:31 PM

Keith, that is excellent....the orientation of the fox in the second image, which surprisingly a 'fox' NOT the running wolf of German character. If this can indeed be proven SHOTLEY, then this would dispel the idea that the fox simile of Birmingham never occurred there.
The other Shotley blades are clearly marked to that place along with the German running wolf.

This hanger with running fox is curiously similar to the Birmingham use of that image, which as I described earlier, in my opinion was quite plausibly a keenly placed simile of the British fox used in the manner of the famed running wolf of Germany.

As I mentioned, in Shakespeare, one instance ( Henry V, Act IV, scene 4; "..thou diest on point of fox". The term was used to describe a well made sword, of course probably Solingen blade rapier.

With Birmingham struggling to regain their market share against the long emplaced German domination, it would seem remarkably clever to use the fox in place of the highly esteemed German running wolf, and in its character.

I came across another case of these markings, surprisingly in an American hanger c. 1755-83, in Neumann p.88, 81.S ("Swords and Blades of the American Revolution", 1973). The blade seems clearly of the German form which also became produced in Birmingham c. 1755. It must be remembered of course that America was at this time a British colony, and though the blade is described as German has the running wolf..but on both sides of blade, and with a star.

Germany, as I mentioned, was not as far as I know using the running wolf this late. Further, it was not on both sides of the blade, only on one, and typically latten (brass) filled.

This example has the same fuller as the Birmingham blades, but has been shortened to about 20" from the usual 27". Obviously it has been rehilted with brass guard and antler hilt in British manner.

While I cannot see the mark, whether fox or wolf, the dual application is atypical, as is the star of some type.

We have seen that makers in Birmingham intended to capitalize on the German use of the wolf, and while Harvey's fox is well known, it seems almost certain that other makers may have used variations of either wolf or fox.
That may account for the blade on Keith's sword, which has the canine figure on both sides, however degenerated or poorly applied on one. Also that use of a star MAY have been applied in tandem with the wolf on some blades made by some yet undiscovered maker there.

urbanspaceman 1st October 2017 10:00 PM

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Just to wander off Piste again: is this an indication of a re-hilt?

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 1st October 2017 10:10 PM

Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
From the Royal Armouries in Leeds[IMG]

The Fox Bushy Tail... is not a Shotley stamp...Birmingham. The twig constructed wolf is Solingen and also done by Shotley. (hardly surprising since the sword makers, were as we know, mainly from there) The chart shows several different styles of twig constructed Wolf but none can be relied upon to date swords every school was capable of knocking up a simply designed stamp like those...One Mallet and a chisel!

As noted by Jim the mentions of Fox by William Shakespeare must have been reference to the Solingen mark since he died in 1616...well before the Birmingham Samuel Harvey worked at Sword making in Birmingham 1748 til 1778.

Jim McDougall 2nd October 2017 01:00 AM

I have always wondered on the Passau/later Solingen wolf, which seems to have its origins in Passau quite early in around 14th century I believe, need to recheck that history. But the point is, these chop marked images are notoriously individual, invariably as a matter of fact.

They were clearly not makers marks or stamps, but suggestions are of course that they were originally some sort of guild mark. Yet they seem to be almost regularly applied, but using chisel, not stamped.

I recall once trying to find any blade which could be proven to the same maker or shop with matching wolf marks. I don't think there ever were, but once there might have been....still need to retrace notes.

The chart showing variations with years is from Wagner, "Cut & Thrust Weapons", Prague, 1967. Eduard Wagner was a museum curator, and appears to have compiled these examples from sword blades he had seen or catalogued, but that is just my presumption. There has never been any sort of pattern or consistency to any of these, so chronological development, as implied in the chart, is completely implausible.

It is almost as if the chiseling of the 'wolf' was an imbuement, and its artistic value irrelevant, but temporally observed as perhaps talismanic as much as indicative of quality. Possibly the worker who emplaced the mark felt a certain individual embellishment as a kind of personal touch.
We have seen this in many well known markings, which sometimes have deviations or nuances which might signify different family member or workshop or possibly even a heraldic kind of placement. We can only speculate as we search records, public listings and genealogical data, and evaluate examples on weapons as they are discovered.

I think the Harvey use of the fox was brilliant, and well placed in the history of this canine marking phenomenon, and the lore of swords and blades.

Still working on the problem of the Shotley blades. It seems that the Hollow Sword Blade Co. was of course a front to syndicate a bank for some very dubious ventures. The Bank of England held the monopoly on banking, so the idea of setting up sword making in these regions was somewhat under those auspices. With the advent of the political struggles that were then developing, one cannot help thinking that a supply source was intended with Jacobite leanings.

As far as finding small sword blades which are English, there are surely references which do list makers, but most attention seems given to the hilt makers which were often jewelers, goldsmiths and various outfitters.
What is most significant on the listings of Shotley in Aylward is that it refers to 'sword cutlers', and of these, the Mohl's were listed as GRINDERS and proprietors, and the Oley's listed as BLADESMITHS and proprietors.

It seems that the idea of bringing in forged and incomplete blades was indeed taking place, as we see from Mohl and his captured shipment from Rotterdam. Holland was a point of departure for blades from Solingen as the Netherlands were key international arms dealings. Many German smiths from Solingen, so the blades may well have been made there. There are profound similarities in the character of Dutch and English swords of this era.

We need to check "European Court and Hunting Swords" Bashford Dean, 1929, as it has thorough listings of many swords which perhaps might have some clues toward the blades. I don't have copy at hand unfortunately.
Auction sales catalogs such as Bonhams, Christies and others are goldmines of such detail as well.

As noted, we are not noted for brevity here, but sharing as much data as possible presents opportunity for solid thinking in solving these age old mysteries.

urbanspaceman 4th October 2017 10:39 AM

Royal Armouries.
I've contacted the Blades Curator at the Royal Armouries in Leeds to enquire into the provenance of that hunting hanger with the curious fox stamp (post 75). It's listed as Shotley Bridge and I would be fairly surprised if they have got it wrong, but it's not beyond the bounds of possibilities. Just waiting to hear back from him. It's such a singular image that it may well be a one-off created for the occasion. Waiting patiently.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 4th October 2017 04:25 PM

Salaams Kieth, The trouble with this animal is that it does not resemble a stick drawn wolf nor does it look like a fox... I wonder if it is a copy of the running fox mark done by who knows? We wait to see. :shrug:

urbanspaceman 4th October 2017 08:15 PM

odd fox
Hello Ibrahiim. Yes, indeed, my thought exactly. The first thing to confirm is that it is a Shotley blade; assuming it is, then our imaginations can run amok, because - unless there is a known history - it could amount to anything. Someone went to some trouble to engrave that image though; it's not your Neanderthal stick drawing is it?
I am also looking into other marks used by the SB smiths because I can't imagine that if they were turning out the numbers of blades thus far indicated for the military, that they would be bothered chiselling Shotle Bridg et al on every blade when a tang stamp would suffice.
I'm also beginning to wonder if they ever used the Passau wolf/fox at all, or if the unfinished blades came out of Solingen already marked. How much work is done on an unfinished blade? Would it remove the marking?
There's still so much shrouded in mystery; clearly, SB sword owners are not reading this forum.

Jim McDougall 5th October 2017 03:46 AM

Keith , I'm glad you are contacting the RA as I would really like to hear their explanation on this one. I think you're right, there is no way they could have put out significant volume of blades and stamping or engraving all of them.
As it is, it seems only a select number of blades were so marked, and as you point out, could they have been already forged and stamped in Solingen prior to export?

In the top sword in #75, this is a Walloon type sword as thought to have been from Shotley Bridge in latter years of 17th c.
The 'wolf' seems in the proper orientation in the blade center, and the somewhat irregularly stamped letters for Shotley Bridg placed as they arrived in Newcastle. It seems that the running wolf in Solingen was always upside down, and typically in latten (brass filled) .

The second sword looks to be a hanger of mid 18th c. which of course aligns with the Birmingham works and Samuel Harvey's use of the fox. While this rendering looks atypical to the other known examples of Harvey's, it is known Dawes (perhaps others) might have also applied fox marks.

If this example could be irrefutably provenanced to Shotley Bridge it would be monumental as in my view, the fox was used by Birmingham to in effect mimic the German running wolf, in the 1750s. So why would German smiths in Shotley use a fox on a hanger blade? and when they were presumably fashioning blades for small swords? In fact, it is a puzzle why the only reference found to Shotley sword cutlers is in Aylward (1945) in the list he shows which transcends 18th c. to 1808, with about 10 names.
Possibly more will be found in Southwick, or Annis & May, both volumes listing sword makers, but cant get to my copies for a month.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 5th October 2017 06:05 PM

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Salaams Jim and Keith, Slightly to one side ...That odd grindstone that I was tod was leaning against a wall on the river...I never found it. but...have a look at these .... what are they....? They are from the Shotley Mill shown. look at the striatians in the stone grinder faces....

kronckew 5th October 2017 07:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams Jim and Keith, Slightly to one side ...That odd grindstone that I was tod was leaning against a wall on the river...I never found it. but...have a look at these .... what are they....? They are from the Shotley Mill shown. look at the striatians in the stone grinder faces....

they are millstones for grain, the striations are grooves to allow the milled flour to work it's way out and fall down into a large funnel and then into the flour sacks underneath. the cylindrical wooden structures surround the stone and have an opening for adding the grain into the centre of the upper millstone which is adjusted in distance from the lower one depending on how fine the miller wants the flour. bit like a huge coffee grinder. the stones would wear and require regrooving , the propped up ones were likely spares. after they are too thin to reuse, they get sold to architectural salvage junkyards who resell them to trendy yuppies for inclusion as features in their homes and/or gardens.



solingen knife/sword makers used a vertically mounted stone. no occupational health and safety laws back then:

Jim McDougall 5th October 2017 07:41 PM

Hey Wayne! thank you for joining us here on this, and especially for the great insight on these huge wheels. In many of the references I have checked, the mills were converted from grist mills for corn and perhaps others.
Could these same wheels be used for the functions required in metal work, or are the surfaces changed in some way?

This might explain the accessibility of wheels for the makers.

kronckew 5th October 2017 07:45 PM

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Hey Wayne! thank you for joining us here on this, and especially for the great insight on these huge wheels. In many of the references I have checked, the mills were converted from grist mills for corn and perhaps others.
Could these same wheels be used for the functions required in metal work, or are the surfaces changed in some way?

This might explain the accessibility of wheels for the makers.

see my updates above. much different stones driven at higher rotational speeds... the water driven mill wheel of course could be a power source for a variety of blacksmiting tools, grinders, drop hammers, bellows, etc. lots of open belting and gearing to grab the unwary.

Ibrahiim al Balooshi 5th October 2017 07:57 PM

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Thank you for the excellent detail in your reply... I was just looking at a French sword factory and the English Reeves factory and realised the same ... The grindstone outside next to the river I was told about must have been a grain grinder and was adjacent the grain mills. I place a more ancient water wheel driven wheel arrangement for interest. Many thanks. :shrug:

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