Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Old 26th November 2007, 06:09 PM
EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Hello Freebooter! and thank you for coming in with us on this important and developing work on trade blades and thier inscriptions and marks. You are 100% right, the book by Evans is a goldmine on markings, and I had forgotten that great resource, which I unfortunately do not presently have access to.
He is indeed a terrific researcher, and I remember communicating with him for some time years before he wrote his fantastic book, when he was writing a periodical article titled "Cold Steel". Each bayonet he focused on typically included markings etc. but the plug bayonets, his personal favorite, were of course the examples that carried contemporary detail, and eventually led to the book.
Fernando thank you for adding to the notes on this important resource. I think that possibly posting illustrations of the particular examples being discussed from the Evans book would be outstanding (I gotta work on getting my copy back!!!) and Freebooter, it would be so very much appreciated if you could help with these!!
Thank you for the note on the marking we were discussing Fernando.....the ANCHOR! That would make sense, and the flayed arms on the base does correspond to the shape of anchors in a sense. Since there is a relation to these and merchant marks used often used by traders, it adds to the plausibility of the term. I was incorrect in my comment on this not appearing on blades considered associated with Ayala, in retrospect it seems I do recall seeing something like that on the JESUS MARIA blade I mentioned. The blade had been recovered from a shipwreck in a large grouping of blades that were apparantly being sent to Spain's colonies, and was in pretty rough condition. In close up's I do recall seeing the mark though.
Thank you very much Fernando, for posting that great blade, which gives us a good view of these often exported rapier blades (Excellent close ups on these markings BTW ! It is important to note the serifs on the letters which emphasize the lettering style...and is that a cross near the ricasso?).It seems these were actually even exported after they had essentially become obsolete with the advent of the shorter, heavier smallsword blades in the 18th century. It is known of course, that Spain held strongly to thier sword traditions for much longer than many countries, as thier superb swordsmen maintained that tradition. It is puzzling though as it seems the cuphilt swords that were mounted in the colonies and Caribbean usually had the much heavier broadsword blades, rather than the rapier blades. Possibly the officers looked for replacement blades for thier swords ?
I hope we will see more examples of this 'anchor' marking that seem to occur usually near the fuller, particularly those with central fullers as broadswords and rapiers.
Thank you Jens for adding those Danish examples from the book! It does show that the German blades were used quite widely. If I am not mistaken, German swordsmiths even went to open workshops in Sweden, Russia as well as England as has been noted with Hounslow and Shotley Bridge. I am not sure if they went to Denmark.
Thank you so much guys for these latest entries!
All best regards,