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Old 31st May 2006, 06:39 AM   #1
Valjhun
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Default Interesting cutlass on ebay

I was intrigued by this sword. At the first sight looks a wonderfull 17th century cutlass, BUT on a closer look gave me too much doubts for bidding on it.

6632664016

Firstly the guard, looks damn silver , however to shiny compared to the rest of the sword. Looks like just one of thoose 19th century english dishes.

Definetly not a victorian piece.

Kilij style blade looks quite nice. Has anybody seen thoose markings before?

The hilt is what one would expect from a 17th century sword. The construction also. Everything looks correct and nice to me exept that guard...

I was intented seriously to bid, but the seller from abroad, the low feedback, the private auction, ecc. drove me away from that. Did I made a mistake not bidding on it?

If original 17th century, someone bought a treasure for peanuts...
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Old 31st May 2006, 04:42 PM   #2
ariel
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Tough call.
This is a style of South European swords: from Tyrol and Styria , to Venice, to Croatia...
You can see similat in Jan Sach's book " Illustriertes lexikon der hieb-& stich-waffen" Karl Muller Verlag, 1999 and , especially , in "Ubojite Ostrice" , Gornja Stubica 2003, often sold on e-bay under "croatian arms and armor" or such. They all are dated 16th (sic!)century,have flat and often curved quillons, heavy iron hemispherical pommel, very ofted shell guard and , also very often, the hilt complex is decorated with simple incisions.
If this is the case, you should be unconsolable: you missed a treasure!!!
On the other hand, I suspect that a lot of such weapons may be professionally made copies. I do not like the careless spine of the blade, the strange marking ("2"?) absence of wear on the blade, "scratchy" quillons and the obvious heaviness of the sword (5 lbs is a hell of a weight for a fighting sword!). On yet another hand (we are transforming into Shiva ), the wood does show a lot of age and the presence of leather is encouraging
I guess the only way would be to handle it and see whether the blade is properly tempered, well balanced or is a dead, heavy clunker, and many other things.
We shall not know it: the sword went to somebody else. From now on you will wake up at night, in the personal hell of all collectors who think they missed their Dream Blade. I've been there many times and you have my sympathy and empathy. You have us as a support group .
The big question: what if the new owner decides to put it on the market? Will you buy it?
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Old 31st May 2006, 04:48 PM   #3
ErnestoJuan
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Haha ,

Very funny Ariel especially the "support group" mentioned.

Valhjun, you are right you did not buy this, the seller has a "Feedback: 97.1% Positive " .

I avoid anything lower than 99.7 % positive like the plague..

Last edited by ErnestoJuan : 31st May 2006 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added text
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Old 31st May 2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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The 97% rate is due to the fact that the seller got 2 negatives from the same buyer. We do not know the details of that transaction and cannot pass judgement.
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:03 PM   #5
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This is not the sort of thing I know much about but these are the things that make alarm bells ring for me.

For a heavy slashing weapon the guard seems in the wrong place.

The quillions and the bars on the guard look just a little too rough and hastily made with hammer marks.

The hammer marks on the swords back near the hilt are a little unnerving. These too seem in the wrong place to assist cutting with a hammer, if being used as a survival tool .

I could well be wrong but it is not just paranoia, constructs are out there.

Just always have in mind a fool and his money is soon parted .
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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5 lbs? The description says 3.5, which is a reasonable weight. The fuller runs right to the guard - could this be a cut-down and remounted kilij blade, perhaps one that broke in half? The dings along the spine could have been the result of hammering a twisted or bent blade flat again. It is hard to tell if they extend the complete length of the spine, or are just near the forte. Another encouraging thing (well, for the seller, not for you, Valjhun ) is that the fuller does not appear to be ground, and it follows the curve of the blade.
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:22 PM   #7
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No doubt that the blade is real and has come from an old weapon. I do not like the pride of the hammer marks on the pommel either. Even if this was made by a tribal village blacksmith it is crude. The bars came from a big lump of expensive metal. Even the crudest African knives I have display more aestheticism.

Last edited by Tim Simmons : 31st May 2006 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bowditch
The fuller runs right to the guard - could this be a cut-down and remounted kilij blade, perhaps one that broke in half?


It could be but also it is typical for many such weapons. Here is similiar one (picture below), thought a little better example.

Not judging about it's quality or authenticity, I would like to notice, that I held many strange weapons of weird constructions and many later alterations. In 19th century many collectors repaired their 'toys' in ways you could get creeps on your back thought these are real antique weapons too. Beside I'm starting to believe you're trying to prove that everything what was crude and poor couldn't exist and I'm sure (again writing this in a little separation to this ebay item) that our ancestors used many low qaulity weapons too. The truth is, that such weapons are great rarity, because were much often in use then better examples, and it was easier to damage them. Beside there had to be many bunglers in 17th century too.

IMHO I would be very careful with this one from ebay too, I don't like some of the features mentioned here already, thought without wielding it I would be careful with final judgement
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:48 PM   #9
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The first of the two marks looks like a 'W' or 'M' on its side, tried to 'Goggle' it and was surprised that there appears to be no lists of maker's marks....

It does look a 'bitsa' sword.
However, if these alterations etc. happened over a period of time, then IMHO it is an interesting sword with, perhaps an engaging history.
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Old 31st May 2006, 06:51 PM   #10
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Very good point not every combatant has lots of money. The example you show is not just a little better it is very nice, the sweep of the quillions balanced superbly by a lovely pommel.
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:01 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that lowly peasants 'recuited' into the armies of bygone days were often only armed with agricultural tools. I personally would prefer to use a similar sword featured ...than a poorly made sythe or pitchfork.
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:05 PM   #12
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I do not think this goes that far back .
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:12 PM   #13
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Agreed, but the premise is there. Lets face it, weapons were design to kill another human being.
As I mentioned before if this sword evolved over a period of time, no matter how crude the alterations, it still was for its intended use. I think there is some sort of 'honesty' and 'directness' for a weapon that is crude but functional.
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Simmons
No doubt that the blade is real and has come from an old weapon. I do not like the pride of the hammer marks on the pommel either. Even if this was made by a tribal village blacksmith it is crude. The bars came from a big lump of expensive metal. Even the crudest African knives I have display more aestheticism.


AHA! You said "crude," twice no less!
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Old 31st May 2006, 07:59 PM   #15
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I did, I did!! I hang my head in shame , but I did say even the ####### African knife has more aestheticism
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Old 31st May 2006, 09:09 PM   #16
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So, how about a poll:
Please estimate the likelihood of the original cutlass being an authentic (even if restored) weapon and not a 20th century copy.
Please give a numerical value from 0% to 100%.
I suggested this approach, and I should be the first one to "put my cock on the block" (a South African expression I learned from my friends. Please notice complete absense of urological implications: it refers to a poultry specimen of male persuasion. nobody believes me?)
My number: 30%
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Old 31st May 2006, 09:39 PM   #17
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Actually, my totally un-scientific but gut reason for thinking this is "genuine" (in the sense of having been made or cobbled together for actual use, rather than created as a copy) is the fact that it looks so weird. I would expect a copy/replica/forgery to look more like something ... well, real.

The big hole in my flawless logic is that it could be something someone made a year ago for the hell of it, either completely or from an older blade (broken or otherwise).

But, at the risk of my male poultry, I am sticking to my attribution as a roughly-done re-hilting of a broken kilij-like sword. 100%. Of course, being only somewhat knowledgeable about one particular type of Asian swords, I am perfectly safe in expressing outrageous opinions about completely unrelated swords, because no one would seriously think I know what I am talking about, so I have no credibility to lose!
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Old 1st June 2006, 05:48 AM   #18
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Wth a protective hand over my crest I am going 80% late 19th early 20th creation, to me it has an air of fantasy about it. The cleaver is wavering

Last edited by Tim Simmons : 1st June 2006 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 2nd June 2006, 08:10 AM   #19
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Many Thanks to all of you.

I realised that buying it for that price it would be a mistake.

Great post SenSei, you're the funniest master around

Quote:
from Tyrol and Styria , to Venice, to Croatia


And what is the exact middle of the thoose countries, prijatelj?

I've also thought that it was from here at the first look... Rehilted kilij blade speaks in its favour. There were a lot such ottoman weapons, rehilted and reused in that part of world. But the guard DOES look strange. That shell is verry odd. It is not from here, thats for sure. Lately added? The rest of the guard it looks strange also. Compare it to a schiavona chestguard and you'll notice the main difference in the construction, it is made from different pieces put together. There is cleary one single piece modelled in such manner. The round pommel is also not typical and it looks more archaic in style that should be.

I would guess that it is a strange weapon, but at least 17th century, with later aditions. Not worth buying, no personal hell (well I actually woke up the first night after the end of the auction )
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Old 2nd June 2006, 09:11 AM   #20
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Hello,

when I first saw this sword my impression was "German Dusack/Dusaegge/Dusagge", mid to late 16th century.
After all these doubtfully posts I took a look into my literature and found several swords with similarities to this one.
Concerning the shell guard in Gerald Weland 's "Blankwaffen - Ein internationales Brevier", Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgard, Germany, 1994, on pages 62/63 there are to Dusack type of swords having shell guards.
Moreover both of these swords seem to have a yelman point and fullers going to the guard.
Even more similarities can be seen to the two swords shown in Heribert Seitz 's "Blankwaffen I", Klinkhardt & Biermann GmbH Muenchen, 1981, on page 363 in pictures 269 and 270. Not only have these swords sabre typ blades and shell guards but also there are similarities to the pommel and the guard of the sword depicted in picture 269.
Than in Heinrich Mueller / Hartmut Koelling 's "Eurpaeische Hieb- und Stichwaffen", Militaerverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, GDR, 1986, on page 204 in pictue 126 I found a sword with a shell guard.
All these swords are dated mid 16th century and their origin is said to be Germany.
After all, this does not mean that this sword is genuine. Especially because in the late 19th century we had a time called "Historismus" where al lot of fake 13th to 17th century swords were made for decoration only.
Some of these fakes were so good that even museums were fooled by them.

Best regards, helge
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Old 2nd June 2006, 10:30 AM   #21
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The same thing happened in the UK around 1900. Wealthy landowners would dress up in medieval costume and play knights in armour, arms were made to display some very good copies.
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Old 2nd June 2006, 02:08 PM   #22
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Tim , a hundred years later and it's happening again .

Renn Faires , smiths making quality swords , historical combat study and practice and on and on .

Funny how things run in cycles .
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Old 2nd June 2006, 08:33 PM   #23
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Here's another 18c sword, another cutlass, just finished on eBay.The photos didn't show the profile of the blade, I e-mailed for better pics..... but they were blurry . My initial feeling was this looked genuine, but now I'm not so sure..... a lot of that rust looks too new??? But I still had the urge to bid What do you think?

An Old Antique cutless Sword c 1800

Last edited by katana : 2nd June 2006 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 2nd June 2006, 08:36 PM   #24
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Number?
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Old 2nd June 2006, 08:46 PM   #25
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Old 2nd June 2006, 09:07 PM   #26
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Gentlemen,

We already discussed this seller and his strange weapons.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=venetian

I should also add that I asked the seller if there is a reason he sold a 4,000+ item for mere 300$ or so, and would not it be better to sell his father's treasures through a reputable auction house, for the quality and promenance of the items is truly remarkable.

There was no response.
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Old 1st August 2006, 07:01 AM   #27
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CAVEAT EMPTOR!
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Old 1st August 2006, 04:02 PM   #28
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Valjhun:

Do you have a personal experience to share with us?

Ian.
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Old 1st August 2006, 07:55 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valjhun
CAVEAT EMPTOR!


I would say that there is a 80% chance that the whole thing is a modern fantasy.

n2s
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Old 2nd August 2006, 06:34 PM   #30
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No, any personal experiances.... but let's wait a couple of days, as far as I know I cannot comment it till then without beeing banned Skillfull works indeed.
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