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Old 31st July 2019, 01:23 AM   #1
phil.reid
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Default Hunting sword , King stamp???

Hi Gents, Have a very worn European hunting sword but im interested in the deep King or Greenman stamp to both sides of the blade , does anyone know this makers stamps as ive seen before but cant find
Any information greatly appreciated
cheers
Phil
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Old 5th August 2019, 08:12 PM   #2
Mel H
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The full face Kings head is not seen as often as the side profiles.
I recognised this stamp as being similar to one that I had on a hunting hanger something like fifteen years since, and had no luck in finding a makers name at the time. I've spent a few hours searching old photo files saved from long past computers and found a few photographs and a sketch that I made of the mark which, unusually, appeared on both sides of the blade, as does yours.

Mel
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Old 5th August 2019, 08:14 PM   #3
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More pics to come, I need to reduce the sizes.
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Old 5th August 2019, 08:33 PM   #4
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More pics.
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Old 5th August 2019, 10:34 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Everything about this fascinating hanger to me says it is English 17th century, and the blade is of the type, with the pitting etc. commensurate with most I have seen of that period.
The 'kings head' is as well observed seemingly reminiscent of the 'green man' theme which was popular in England in the 17th c. typically on hangers.

The Kings head typically of the Wundes family of Solingen was indeed virtually always a profile and not face first.
These caricature like figures were commonly seen on hangers as well as in the hilts of the so called 'mortuary' swords, and characteristic of the motif often seen.

It is tempting to consider that German blade makers in England, first at Hounslow Heath and later at Shotley Bridge might have amalgamated the kings head so well known in Germany with the green man in the same manner as later the running wolf was fashioned as a running FOX in England.
While obviously speculative, it does seem a tempting possibility given the clear tensions between these expatriate Germans and their home which had in effect declared them outlaw.

While the quality of German blades was of course well known, the English blade making industry sought to gain its own reputation especially toward the end of 17th into 18th with Birmingham.

Pending more definitive identification hopefully with other examples, I would suggest this as a possibility. Even today there are establishments using the green man theme in Hounslow. I have not ever found evidence of a green man marking either from Hounslow or Shotley, however that does not mean such could not have existed. The idea of perhaps an unrecorded maker using same is possible.
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Old 5th August 2019, 11:25 PM   #6
M ELEY
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Yeah, what Jim Said! In all seriousness, Jim has succinctly described this hanger to a 'T'. The German made blades of this period (late 17th/early 18th) often had king's head markings. Those coming from Germany often had the 'Wundes' king's head stamp. The Wundes smiths came from a long line of craftsman. Their mark, however, was a king's head in side profile. The stamp on the two swords thus shown could very well be an English maker, possibly imitating the German Wundes mark so very very frequently found on hanger's of this period. I keep assuming the 'crown' makes it a king stamp, but as Jim has shown in the pic of the Green Man from the tavern sign, it could very well be a stylized crown of leaves.

Just a quick note on the second hanger (Mel's sword). The abrupt guard jutting straight out from the piece is an indication that it is one of the earlier types of this sword (ca. 1690's). Likewise, although these hangers were used originally as hunting implements, they became popular with both infantry and naval officers due to their resilience in the field and their length. Both of these hangers have a longer blade than those typically found on hunting pieces, so I suspect a military vs civilian use.

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Old 6th August 2019, 04:18 AM   #7
Mel H
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I remember from the time that I owned the sword, looking at the possibility of a Wundes connection, but discounted it at the time because I didn't find it listed as such.
The Green man never occurred to me but having some examples of his face on several pieces of furniture that I've lived with, maybe it should have done.
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Old 6th August 2019, 01:53 PM   #8
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
I remember from the time that I owned the sword, looking at the possibility of a Wundes connection, but discounted it at the time because I didn't find it listed as such.
The Green man never occurred to me but having some examples of his face on several pieces of furniture that I've lived with, maybe it should have done.


Mel, I can well relate, as probably most here can as well. I once had a great hanger similar to this one which had a mark looking like a sextant. Turns out the marking was 'Wirsberg' in Solingen (as I found over a year after trading it) and it was a solid 17th c. blade.

It seems that even with all the compendiums of markings that have been published, even though notably comprehensive, for all the examples shown there are still variations which were probably short run etc.
The registration of markings was of course a legal or administrative issue and not always adhered to.
It would be most amazing if we could find another of these 'green man' markings on a blade.
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Old 7th August 2019, 03:37 AM   #9
phil.reid
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Thanks Gents
Mel that sword of yours certainly looks like a "match" to my rough one
Many thanks
Phil
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