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Old 11th June 2018, 02:18 AM   #1
CSinTX
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Default An Italian Falchion

Got this at auction a little while back but just now got a chance to take good pictures. It was described as a Falchion with composite rapier guard. On closer inspection, it's obvious the guard was made for this blade and is not from a rapier. After some research and help from a friend, I found other examples with similar guards. Obviously, the pitting on the blade does not match the wear on the guard. Perhaps the guard was originally blackened?

All thoughts welcomed. Does anyone recognize the SZ mark?
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Last edited by CSinTX : 11th June 2018 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 11th June 2018, 02:47 PM   #2
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Rapier blade ??
based on the pictures look very nice !
I would not be worry about the difference of oxidation blade /hilt they are different metal.
See the bellow picture with a similar blade.Venetian Falchion, circa 1600-1610
Best
CERJAK
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Old 14th June 2018, 08:25 PM   #3
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I meant to say rapier guard, not blade.

Thanks Cerjak for the pics. I had not seen that one. I see your example has the same "typewriter" style font on the blade and looks to also have similar file marks on the guard.

There is this one with the more complex hilt at the Stiftung Baumann museum in Germany. Thanks to Carl Koppeschaar for his pictures.
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Old 12th January 2020, 03:25 PM   #4
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Just adding to the record here. A similar example recently listed at HH.

https://www.hermann-historica.de/en...ns/lot/id/33895

"Sturdy, slightly curved single-edged blade with double-edged point and narrow fuller on either side. Struck right underneath the back a frieze of scrolling leaves. The ricasso struck on both sides with a Cesar head mark. Finely ridged bar hilt, the obverse lower bar in the form of a stylised fleur-de-lis. Grip with fine iron wrap and Turk's heads. The shoulder of the blade with old, white collection number, attached to the hilt a copper mark with the number "136". Flat pommel ridged on either side. Length 86.5 cm.
Provenance:Collection Galopim, Geneva."
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Old 12th January 2020, 05:06 PM   #5
Jens Nordlunde
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I am not into European weapons, but could the SZ stand for the canton Schwyz in the central part of Switzerland just north of the Alps?
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Old 12th January 2020, 10:48 PM   #6
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Very nice and interesting swords, an Italian take on basket hilt shearing swords.
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Old 13th January 2020, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jens Nordlunde
I am not into European weapons, but could the SZ stand for the canton Schwyz in the central part of Switzerland just north of the Alps?


If Switzerland, the "SZ" could also stand for "Stadt ZŁrich" (City of Zuerich), but why then the "fleur de lis" which is normally a French symbol?

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Old 13th January 2020, 02:08 PM   #8
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According to Staffan Kinmanís excellent European Makers of Edged Weapons, Their Marks (2015) the mark Z B is for Zeughaus Bern from around 1540.

If you consult Schneiderís Waffen im Schweizerischen Landesmuseum (1980) you may find what Z S stands for.
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Old 13th January 2020, 04:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix

If you consult Schneiderís Waffen im Schweizerischen Landesmuseum (1980) you may find what Z S stands for.

Is it really a "ZS" or eventually a "SZ" It depends on from which side you look at!
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Old 13th January 2020, 07:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
Is it really a "ZS" or eventually a "SZ" It depends on from which side you look at!


Obviously
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Old 13th January 2020, 07:58 PM   #11
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In my opinion is a north Italian storta, or coltella, I am 99% sure of this, pommel does not belong originally with the sword, the "classic" pommel for this tipe of sword is the one mounted in the example posted by @Cerjak.

About the guard, could be a local style, it seems that the "base" is the classic storta guard with added extra arms on the side.

Here you can see a storta made in Caino (near Brescia).

Also Decorations on the blade confirms that has been made in Italy.

Here you can find some additional infos about this tipology of sword.
https://www.hema-minsk2019.org/base...hibition-part-3

About the SZ mark...yes could be an arsenal mark, considering this is a infantry weapon, very common and cheap. On the other hand there are many examples about initials of the maker in Italian blades.

Cheers
Giovanni
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Old 13th January 2020, 09:04 PM   #12
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Zeughaus Solothurn in Switzerland?
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Old 13th January 2020, 10:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaFeraro89
In my opinion is a north Italian storta, or coltella, I am 99% sure of this, pommel does not belong originally with the sword, the "classic" pommel for this tipe of sword is the one mounted in the example posted by @Cerjak.

Here you can see a storta made in Caino (near Brescia).

Cheers
Giovanni


Welcome to the forum Giovanni and thank you for the information and link! Also, thanks for bringing up the pommel. I assumed it to not be original due to it not being the "classic" style. But then I started noticing that very few of these swords have guards that match up to the notch in the classic pommel. It seems that your example may actually be wearing the original guard that correctly matches the pommel? Perhaps all the other examples were "rearsenaled" in bulk in a like way? Similar to how 20th century infantry firearms were rearsenaled in mass after a war.

Do you have any thoughts on the grip of mine? It seems old to me.

Best,
Casey
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Old 13th January 2020, 10:39 PM   #14
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A couple more just for comparison.

Czernys 2011
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Old 13th January 2020, 10:43 PM   #15
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Czernys 2019
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Old 14th January 2020, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSinTX
Welcome to the forum Giovanni and thank you for the information and link! Also, thanks for bringing up the pommel. I assumed it to not be original due to it not being the "classic" style. But then I started noticing that very few of these swords have guards that match up to the notch in the classic pommel. It seems that your example may actually be wearing the original guard that correctly matches the pommel? Perhaps all the other examples were "rearsenaled" in bulk in a like way? Similar to how 20th century infantry firearms were rearsenaled in mass after a war.

Do you have any thoughts on the grip of mine? It seems old to me.

Best,
Casey


Thank you to the welcome! I have seen some styles of guards mounted in very similar blades, the pommel seems to have more regular style. You must consider that this sword where mass produced for infantrymen and sailors.

About your handle, I miss to say that, it seems the original, many swords have been disassembled to replace "poor" handles like this with iron wire covered ones. In my opinion a soldier sword like this would have a very simple handle like the one you have. There are another example with similar handle, I must find it!
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Old 15th January 2020, 12:04 PM   #17
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The round pommel is Original and just a variation on this type of falchion, as you can see on this piscture of the antique arms museum in San Marino Italy and in various books.
kind regards
Ulfberth

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaFeraro89
In my opinion is a north Italian storta, or coltella, I am 99% sure of this, pommel does not belong originally with the sword, the "classic" pommel for this tipe of sword is the one mounted in the example posted by @Cerjak.

About the guard, could be a local style, it seems that the "base" is the classic storta guard with added extra arms on the side.

Here you can see a storta made in Caino (near Brescia).

Also Decorations on the blade confirms that has been made in Italy.

Here you can find some additional infos about this tipology of sword.
https://www.hema-minsk2019.org/base...hibition-part-3

About the SZ mark...yes could be an arsenal mark, considering this is a infantry weapon, very common and cheap. On the other hand there are many examples about initials of the maker in Italian blades.

Cheers
Giovanni
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Old 15th January 2020, 08:41 PM   #18
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In the 99% of the original I have seen the pommel has flat sides, you can found very complex decorations and forms, but the geometry has that charateristic.

I am sorry but a round pommel makes me suspicious on this swords.
Too easy to take a rapier or a sidesword pommel and to complete a storta.

I have had chance to read old bills (XIX cent) of "restoration" of important arms and armour collection. You can not imagine how many pieces has been "completed" with old parts or ex-novo pieces.
My experience has made me very suspicious even to the books.


Just my two cents

Cheers
Giovanni
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Old 16th January 2020, 08:56 AM   #19
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I understand, but the geometry or style of the hilts branches, wich is faceted returns in the pommel also faceted. One also needs learn how the see the difference between recent composits or working life assembly. In this period these items were not reglementary made , as you can see in the museum were they are showing the different variations.This is what my experience tells me , I have been collecting for more than 42 years.
kind regards
Ulfberth

Last edited by ulfberth : 16th January 2020 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 17th January 2020, 10:07 AM   #20
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A wellknown German auction house had this interesting sword up for sale last year. It is marked AVODNES which is not familiar to me. Backwards itís SENDOVA which might make more sense but no more familiar.
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Last edited by Victrix : 18th January 2020 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 20th January 2020, 04:37 PM   #21
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I think I saw recently similar examples at Venice Ducal Armoury. The book by Umberto Franzoi shall be coming to me.
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Old 24th January 2020, 11:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo
I think I saw recently similar examples at Venice Ducal Armoury. The book by Umberto Franzoi shall be coming to me.


Actually there is a sword there (not falchion, not a rapier) with the exact guard. Plate 76. Different pommel too.
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