Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Victrix 3rd December 2017 09:31 PM

Spanish sword
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I would be grateful for any comments on this sword which looks like a Spanish espada de conchas although it was found in Italy. The sword’s overall length is 108cm, with the blade 91,5cm long and 2.5cm wide at the forte. The grip is covered in brown leather. The S-shaped quillons and knuckle guard have characteristic trumpet like ends, which is repeated on the pinhead shaped pommel. Both sides of the ricasso are stamped with a cartouche containing what appears to be a fleur-de-lis under a crown, which is supposedly the mark of Juan Martinez of Toledo. The sword is fairly plain but has a decorated guarda de polvo at the bottom of the conchas. The blade is fairly wide and flexible, with a rounded tip. It has a distinctive central fuller. Could it be a Solingen copy of a Toledo blade?

Hotspur 4th December 2017 04:47 PM

Some previous discussion with more photos



Victrix 4th December 2017 05:14 PM

Grateful for any constructive comments in this forum regarding this sword. Anyone recognize the style, time period, marks, etc?

fernando 4th December 2017 06:38 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hello Victrix,
Let us see that comments on your sword are technicaly constructive as you wish. However be sure that members participation yes, is certainly constructive.
I gather that you know for yourself that Juan Martinez has no longer lived in the time this sword was produced. So the mark in the ricasso is either from a different smith or a simulation; or even a Toledo (TO) mark applied by German smiths, from where your blade might have come.
This 18th century Cavalry sword model, traditionally called Boca de Caballo, basically so due to its horse mouth aspect, has a comprehensive description in the following article:

By the way, you certainly have a copy of the Palomares Nomina; a work on the marks and names of Toledo sword smiths ...


Victrix 4th December 2017 07:35 PM

Many thanks for that, Fernando. I guess I was just curious if someone recognized the distinctive trumpet ends on the quillon and the pommel head? Or the distinctive pin head shaped pommel, or the fuller? I believe Naples and Milan were part of the Spanish crown in old days. Also the concha shell guard on one side seems quite large compared to similar swords. The blade could be older than the sword, but the fuller looks slightly Germanic to me I must admit. I’m curious about the rounded tip which makes it unlikely that this sword was used as a rapier although the tip is quite flexible like a spring rather than rigid. So many questions in my mind.

Many thanks for the article on the Spanish swords. I will try to run it through the google translator.

Victrix 5th December 2017 12:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Same, but different? :shrug:

fernando 5th December 2017 03:04 PM

Originally Posted by Victrix
Same, but different? :shrug:

Both atypical, in any case. The example you selected from Calvó's work is mentioned as having details of extreme sumptuosity, brass guardapolvo engraved with trophees and all. Blade with faded inscription, with signs of being German.
Military swords of this model would have more simple features, with Royal initials in the blade.
On the other hand, your example would also be civilian, with its guardapolvo. You will also notice that its quillons have a much broader S shape. Could it be that neither hilt nor blade are Spanish ? :o.
And by the way, none of these swords have rapier features; why should they have ?

Victrix 5th December 2017 04:59 PM

The style looks very Spanish to me, but the sword on the left might be slightly older (more bold curves)? The missing link to the Pappenheimer??

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