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Old 28th November 2019, 01:34 PM   #1
Evgeny_K
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Question Sword marking for ID

Dear colleagues,
I would be very grateful if you help to identify this marking (from THIS sword).
I'm not sure of its origin (maybe Austrian, maybe Italian...).
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Old 29th November 2019, 01:32 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Evgeny, this truly is a beauty! and while I cannot place the deeply stamped mark as yet, I am inclined toward an Eastern European origin for the sword. I have seen the pommel type but need to check further. Hopefully more advanced members will offer insights, but I will surely keep looking myself.

Any notes you might add as far as possible provenance or findings thus far in your research?
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Old 29th November 2019, 04:14 PM   #3
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Jim, thank you for reply. As I know this sword/saber was found somewhere nearby the former Moldova principality. Unfortunately I do not have more details.
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Old 29th November 2019, 06:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evgeny_K
Jim, thank you for reply. As I know this sword/saber was found somewhere nearby the former Moldova principality. Unfortunately I do not have more details.


Thank you Evgeny, that is most helpful, and my thoughts are as I noted, East Europe in initial impression, so that region would of course correspond. My resources on weapons from these areas are not great, and while most European markings are fairly covered in the familiar compendiums, however those of most of these areas, as you well know, are typically not.

The best bet is going to be guys like Jasper, who know from hands on experience, these kinds of markings not usually in these references. I look forward to hearing from him and anyone else who might have seen this mark, but continue looking and hope to learn more on this sabre type.

Thank you very much for posting this and the information.
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Old 29th November 2019, 06:50 PM   #5
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Thank you, Jim! I hope that together we can find out what this marking is.
I forgot to mention that there is an inlaid inscription on the blade that looks like: "E ... + X".
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Old 30th November 2019, 12:46 AM   #6
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You bet Evgeny! Actually I have been working on this all day, and dragged out every resource I have on hand.

While I could not find an exact match, I not reluctant to express my thoughts based on the information I could find. I enjoy researching from examples such as yours as it is a learning experience. If the 'experts' come in and correct my observations, then all the better

It would appear from info in Wagner (1967) that your saber (hiebmesser) is likely of German, E.European origin and likely 16th century by the form and character as seen in the images. This was of course a transitional period and diffusion of blades and styles moved in all directions regionally, especially with mercenary forces and colonization.

The curved blade with yelman such as yours is known in Bohemia in 16th c. but these type weapons were well known for burghers earlier. Hungary and Balkans were populated by Germans, so the German form would not be surprising with Moldava provenance as you note.

The pommel reminds me of the schiavona types though not the exact same and these are known to have come from Hungarian swords of these periods into Dalmatian regions.

With the marking, I went through everything, Lenciewicz, Gyngell, Kinman, Gardner, Wagner, etc. and no EXACT match. However I found comparisons similar in styling with joined geometric designs, in a sigil like fashion, and the split foot (tails) is apparently used in Milan situated marks. Otherwise the design resembles early Passau type markings of 1520s-60s.

It is tempting to consider this sword may be of S. German origin to East Europe of 16th century, with character of earlier straight blade swords (Oakeshott type III) in the hilt with a curved blade favored in E. Europe.

The use of blade inscriptions is fascinating and it would be good to make this one out. I wonder if your mark may have been latten filled.

The marking may be a sundry example which may have incorporated any of the elements of others circulating in these times, and possibly by armorers outfitting mercenary forces in Passau for one. These and other regional locations had blades, swords and other arms from makers in Solingen and Styrian sources which remain unrecorded as far as markings in many cases.

Sorry unable to find a match, but I think the rest of the detail is somewhat plausible as far as the sword overall. Authentication is of course best determined with hands on examination and analysis.
Looks like a great piece !!!
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Old 30th November 2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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Yes interesting sword. The National Museum of Hungary has a large number of swords with similar pommels. I understand that these swords were mostly ordered and imported to Hungarian lands (much larger area in those days) from N.Italy and S.Germany and Austria. Sometimes the swords are called Schiavonesca (suggesting Slavic use) although these tend to have S shaped quillons. As Jim mentions there were lots of mercenaries active in the region in those days.

I note that the mark is in relief with sunk background which must be unusual except for Spanish sword marks? I normally see this mostly on halberds.
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Old 30th November 2019, 11:33 AM   #8
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Evgeny, can you show as the whole sword, clean as it is now ?
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Old 1st December 2019, 04:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Yes interesting sword. The National Museum of Hungary has a large number of swords with similar pommels. I understand that these swords were mostly ordered and imported to Hungarian lands (much larger area in those days) from N.Italy and S.Germany and Austria. Sometimes the swords are called Schiavonesca (suggesting Slavic use) although these tend to have S shaped quillons. As Jim mentions there were lots of mercenaries active in the region in those days.

I note that the mark is in relief with sunk background which must be unusual except for Spanish sword marks? I normally see this mostly on halberds.


Thank you Victrix. It seems that Ostrowski in his 1979 treatise "Origins of the Polish Saber", noted regarding Hungarian swords, that there was no apparent sword making industry there, and that their swords came from the locations you indicated. As these style hilts diffused into Italian regions, they developed in certain cases into the well known 'schiavona' typically associated with Venice, and the Dalmatian forces who served there in the Court of the Doge.

As you mention, that sunken cartouche punzone style does recall the Spanish method, and it seems those influences well diffused into provincial regions of that empire. With weaponry of these times, it does seem that these kinds of stamps would be placed on the various forms provided by suppliers in centers frequented by mercenary forces so marks on polearms perhaps might have been applied to swords brought into these centers.

It would seem that expanding the search for comparisons to this mark into the broader scope of arms, including guns, may give us more options.
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Old 1st December 2019, 05:55 PM   #10
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Although I could not find an identical mark in Staffan Kinmanís excellent European Makers of Edged Weapons, Their Marks (2015) I found examples of the sunken cartouche punzone marks as Jim calls it. There are other similar marks in the book from Munich and Passau.
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Old 1st December 2019, 06:53 PM   #11
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Jim, Victrix, thank you for the great analysis!

Last edited by Evgeny_K : 1st December 2019 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 1st December 2019, 06:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Evgeny, can you show as the whole sword, clean as it is now ?


Fernando, I canít show it yet. A little bit later.
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Old Today, 12:33 AM   #13
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These marks seem to be serif and somewhat random or unpredictable in their form. I wonder if this was meant to act in a similar fashion the cattle brand marks which were designed to ward against being modified. In the case of cattle branding it was an anti theft thing. In the case of blade making perhaps it's an anti counterfeit thing? Or perhaps they are compound alchemical symbols to denote alloy?
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Old Today, 09:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helleri
These marks seem to be serif and somewhat random or unpredictable in their form. I wonder if this was meant to act in a similar fashion the cattle brand marks which were designed to ward against being modified. In the case of cattle branding it was an anti theft thing. In the case of blade making perhaps it's an anti counterfeit thing? Or perhaps they are compound alchemical symbols to denote alloy?


Interesting subject. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_mark and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant%27s_mark.
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Old Today, 12:02 PM   #15
fernando
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Red face May i drigess a little ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix


Interesting to note "similarity" in systems between House marks in the link above and that applied by fishermen in my hometown; either knife carved in tools and property ... and at chapel doors they visit in their pilgrimages. A writing costume fading away though, with the advent of their alphabetization.


,
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