EAA Research Consultant
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Outstanding history David ! and its great to look further into so much of this that is connected to the weapons that took part in it. This is exactly what I believe the study of weapons and thier development and history is about.
It is true that the weapons attributed to key historic and heroic figures are indeed important icons that carry tremendous power in promoting national pride and often patriotic fervor. The 'Spear of Longinus' is another great example of this concept of power symbolized by a weapon as an icon.
Actually, though there is a great deal of PR work that seems to have been involved with many weapons of such legendary stature, but I often wonder if there is not a degree of actuality in many cases. The weapons on display in museums of course are often restored or at least receive maintainance for thier preservation.
I am not sure on the Tizona or Colada swords, but in the case of the Boabdil sword which has elaborate mounts that may be end of 15th century, but also may be early 16th. Some references claim the blade is probably Berber, yet note it appears pattern welded. As always, I disclaim any great understanding of metallurgy, but whatever the case is with the blade, the fact that it seems to have been remounted with a more elaborate hilt to better represent the stature of this extremely important and heroic figure.
It would seem quite possible that the blades on these weapons might have been from the period claimed, and remounted in accord with more current fashion in a well meant show of respect. This is as least the concept I believe most commonly held with weapons held in high esteem in many cultures, and I know that many weapons were remounted many times in thier working lives.
There were apparantly tests on the blade of the Tizona sword, but it seems unclear on the actual outcome. On one hand it is claimed the blade is 11th century, and the other the same 15th-16th century attribution that seems to correspond to the Boabdil sword and Colada. Whether there is intentional deception involved, or simply stubborn refusal to let go of what is believed without regard for scientific or scholarly analysis is hard to say. It would be good to see some serious study in examining all of these swords, and if anyone is aware of any such case, I hope they will let us know here.
All best regards,