Join Date: Dec 2004
wootz in Eastern countries and Europe
Wootz blades dated throughout the 19th cent. are seen on Indian, Persian, and Ottoman weapons. Europeans wanted to find out the secret to making the stuff for centuries. A Frenchman succeeded early in the 19th cent, but it never went beyond a few prototype blades. More successful were the Russians -- an engineer named Anossov cracked the secret by the late 1830s and a limited number of saber blades were produced under his supervision at the imperial sword factory at Zlatoust in the early 1840s. Examples occasionally reach the market today but they are not common. Anossov's penchant for secrecy meant that the process pretty much stayed in his pocket, so it died with him. In Russian, wootz is referred to as "bulat", an obvious derivation from Farsi (Persian) "foulad", literally meaning steel but crystalline damask in particular.