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Old 29th August 2017, 05:15 AM   #1
Bryce
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Default European Wootz?

G'day Guys,
I am a sword collector based in Australia. My main area of interest is British Napoleonic era swords. Last year I acquired a sword which has a feature I haven't come across before and I am hoping that someone here may be able to shed some light on it for me. The sword is a British mameluke-hilted sabre with what is known as a "quill-point" blade. "Quill-points" are pipe-back blades which feature a prominently raised false edge. They were popular among British cavalry officers in the 1810-1820 period. This particular sword appears to fit into this period.

What is unusual about this sword is that the blade is made of steel which is meant to look like wootz. I have seen other swords of this period with mechanical Damascus blades and also blades which have been etched to resemble wootz, but never anything like this. Unfortunately there are no markings on the sword or scabbard to help identify who made it. It is difficult to get good photos of the patterns in the blade, but I am hoping that someone here might be able to tell me what sort of steel this is.

Cheers,

Bryce Davies
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Old 29th August 2017, 07:11 AM   #2
Robert
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I moved your thread here as I believe that you will have a better chance of finding the answers you are looking for here instead of the Ethno forum. Though I know little to nothing about these this in my opinion is a beautiful sword.

Best,
Robert
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Old 29th August 2017, 09:28 AM   #3
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Very interesting blade indeed! Thank you for opening this very interesting thread!

However, I seriously doubt the European origin of the blade and I am inclined towards Turkey or the Caucasus area.

I will certainly follow this thread with much interest.
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Old 29th August 2017, 12:01 PM   #4
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Hello Bryce,

your blade looks like a 19th ct. British or German Pipe-back blade.
The blade seems made from Syrian Sham-Wootz.


Roland
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Old 29th August 2017, 10:27 PM   #5
kai
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I don't know - this would be the most active/bold sham I've seen...

I was thinking about shear steel which can resemble sham, too. Again very bold though!

It seems that the corrosion is not really following the pattern which seems odd for any type of patterned steel, isn't it?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 30th August 2017, 10:57 AM   #6
Roland_M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
It seems that the corrosion is not really following the pattern which seems odd for any type of patterned steel, isn't it?

Regards,
Kai


It depends on the way how the blade was stored, within the scabbard or not, dry or wet conditions, oiled or not. In most cases the front of the sword is most corroded.

The pattern is of importance for the corrosion if we have a rough grain with openings. If we have a fine grain without openings, the corrosion sensivity is much lower.

I think this beautiful sword is a Oriental contract work for a European customer. I know, that deeply curved Persian or Ottoman swords has been very popular in the armys of Napoleonic time. Proven officers often had been rewarded with mameluke sword types.


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Roland
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Old 30th August 2017, 09:55 PM   #7
Bryce
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G'day Guys,

Thanks for your feedback. This blade type seems to have been particularly favoured by British officers serving in India. I was thinking that this sword was a special order from an officer who had served in India and had seen wootz blades and wanted something with the same look. I have read that European swordsmiths were trying to recreate wootz blades around this time. Maybe this is an example of their attempts?

Most quill-points are relatively straight. This one is slightly more curved than normal. Below is a photo comparing it to a more regular heavy cavalry example.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Last edited by Bryce : 31st August 2017 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 31st August 2017, 01:37 AM   #8
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You said there are no marking on the sword or scabbard that would tell you who made it. Is that typical of these?
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Old 31st August 2017, 03:44 AM   #9
Bryce
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G'day Helleri,

Most British swords of this era are marked, but there are many that aren't, so not unusual.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Old 31st August 2017, 01:45 PM   #10
ALEX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I don't know - this would be the most active/bold sham I've seen...

I was thinking about shear steel which can resemble sham, too. Again very bold though!

It seems that the corrosion is not really following the pattern which seems odd for any type of patterned steel, isn't it?

Regards,
Kai


Agree with Kai. Sham and shear steel can be very close in appearance. This one appears to be shear steel, of European origin.
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