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Old 17th September 2019, 06:59 AM   #1
BladeMan
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Default Help on mark on Italian sword ca. 1580

Hello Everyone,

can someone help me out, point me a direction (to a book or another source) or may know anything about that mark on an Italian Sword dated ca. 1580. Wheter it is a makers mark, inspection mark or whatever. It is the only mark on the blade, at the Ricasso. I have seen similiar ones from/out of Veneto but never a single one like this.

Thanks!
Ray
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Old 17th September 2019, 10:42 AM   #2
fernando
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Hello Ray ... welcome to our forum
You are right in that this is a mark showing in Italian (Veneto) blades of the XV-XVI centuries, as indeed these often appear in a multiple mode and not one alone. I would venture that this is more the type of region or quality mark and not a smith's signature.
However these are all guesses; other members will show up with more knowledgeable comments about it.
Meanwhile we expect you to show us pictures of the whole sword, to let us see what we are talking about.
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Old 17th September 2019, 02:32 PM   #3
corrado26
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I found this mark in a German book: "Wendelin Boeheim, Handbuch der Waffenkunde". The translation is: Unknown, probably mark of a blade smith at Brescia 16th century.
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Old 17th September 2019, 02:40 PM   #4
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I found this mark in a German book: "Wendelin Boeheim, Handbuch der Waffenkunde". The translation is: Unknown, probably mark of a blade smith at Brescia 16th century. A scan of a page of the Catalogue of the Wallace Collection, European Arms and Armour shows under number A495 this mark on a sword from about 1490.

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Old 17th September 2019, 05:05 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Thank you Udo for furnishing these entries from the most referenced compendiums of these many markings found on blades. It is really helpful to have these to view for readers who may not have these resources.

As Fernando has well noted, these markings, commonly termed 'twig' marks are seemingly collectively used in Italy (typically North) by many producers and often in varied configurations. While we are uncertain of the exact meaning or purpose of these stamps, they do seem to serve perhaps as some type of guild or production mark possibly for identification or compliance reasons.

Clearly, in the blade trade business, the presence of the marks became associated with and known to represent quality in recognition, so they were often used spuriously by others.
Actually this single mark is typical in Italian context, but as far as I have known, not copied in Germany or Spain as many other marks were.
"Armi Bianchi Italiene" by Boccia & Coelho (1975) has a great appendix which includes many of these marks in configurations, which will illustrate the kinds of variation.

Actually I have seen numbers of blades with singular marks like this, but they have never been deemed aligned with a particular maker.
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:00 PM   #6
fernando
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Wink Missing shots ?

Apparently you guys skipped over a "detail" in that Ray is already aware that these (Veneto) marks exist, although in numbers of more than one; what he is asking is whether we are familiar with them only showing in one single presence; reason why i didn't post images of the 'multi' ones in the first place. Also we haven't yet had a picture of the whole sword, to then enable us to weave considerations on it.
But let me then play the accomplice and upload a couple pages of Armi Bianchi Italiane, where these "ferri di molino" (as they call them) appear. Pity this great work authors do not define the purpose of these marks.


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Old 17th September 2019, 06:32 PM   #7
Jim McDougall
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Thanks for the Boccia & Coelho pages Fernando. I agree in most cases it is beneficial to have images of the whole sword, but for me I am OK with this image for now. I guess the reason is that this singular usage may indicate a 'trade blade' character rather than a completed sword matter.

To clarify what I meant by that designation is that it seems the singular use of this stamped mark on a blade seems to indicate Italian manufacture, but obviously that cannot be stated for certain. It simply has not seemed to me that these 'twig' marks turn up on German or other blades, and particularly not in singular case.

I think that these type marks are more of a mundane administrative device than the more distinctive makers or guild marks, which were often a matter of record as they involved compliances and ordinances. For example, these may indicate batches of swords involved in a specified contract or order.

I have seen these single marks of the twig type on blades, on schiavona and another even on a kaskara (backsword blade most unusual on these). It would seem of course that the 'blade' was independent of the sword assembly in origin in these cases, obviously with the kaskara

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