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Old 3rd January 2018, 09:40 PM   #21
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 490

Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Philip,

Mind you, the soft rubbing i gave it, with a deliberately worn sponge, may hardly be considered abrasive, for what the term means; the 'blueing' remained intact ... only brighter. I wonder whether at the time to mount these sword hilts, the tang ends receive another heat up to make it easy to bend them over the pommels. Such silly thought is due to the fact that these blades were stored in bundles until the moment they neded to be mounted.


Obrigado pelas fotos! Now I see the distinction that collection curators make in the quality of the various blades -- I have always wondered about the fact that it varies, and that some have ricassos that taper at an angle to the tang rather than having a distinct "step" -- so un-European in flavor.

It's not a silly thought -- military armorers who assembled the blades onto completed hilts were wise to heat the end of the tang again before bending and beating it down with the hammer. This would remove any stresses in the metal; also, with blades from disparate sources and qualities, it would be hard to judge from looking at the tangs "as is" whether the hard steel layer that comprised the "heart" of the blade extended all the way to the end of the tang, or if (in the case of cheaper quality blades), a soft iron tang was lap-welded to the billet that comprised the blade itself while it was being shaped into a blade. In the former case, it would be advantageous to heat again because bending steel while "cold" to such an angle might cause it to fracture.

Also, the difference in the surface appearance of your pommel might be explained by the fact that your hilt may have been recycled from a broken sword, and fitted to a newer blade during its service life. My impression from reading about Portuguese martial history is that a lot of equipment, from armor to ships, sometimes remained in use for a very long time.
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