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Old 25th October 2006, 01:59 AM   #91
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I thought you had a copy of this book Ariel ?
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Old 25th October 2006, 02:55 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Rick
I thought you had a copy of this book Ariel ?

Yes, I do. That's where I got the information. I just want to have opinions of other readers.
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Old 25th October 2006, 03:39 AM   #93
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"Feuerbach (2002b:229) believes that the earliest crucible steel blade possibly comes from Luristan. She cites Rehder and France-Lanord, saying that there are six blades attributed to Luristan that contain spheroidal cementite. She further (2002b:230) claims that the earliest crucible steel blade of a double-edged sword is dated to the first century A.D. The sword is composed of high carbon steel with spheroidial cementite. Additionally (2002b:230), the next published object made from crucible steel is a Sassanian sword, attributed to 6th or 7th century A.D. Iran, now exhibited in the British Museum. Feuerbach (2002b:230) explains is a double-edged blade with a pistol grip, an indentation in the hilt for an index finger, no guard, and a scabbard with a two-point suspension. She further states that under low magnification (x100), the sample demonstrates a mottled structure after etching in nital (the microstructure consists of globular cementite in a fine pearlite matrix). Feurerbach (2002b:231) is of the opinion that the fine pearlite matrix is an indication of semi-rapid final cooling. Another key aspect is that since the cementite is not alligned, the sword would not have had a damascus pattern."

This is the entire quote from Pg 103-104, the readers can judge for themselves.

All the Best
Jeff
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Old 25th October 2006, 11:05 AM   #94
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It may have been more accurate if the phrase "in Iran" was placed in the text. However, as this was a book on the Arms and Armour from Iran, this may have been construced by a publisher as redundant, rather than misleading.
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Old 25th October 2006, 11:19 AM   #95
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I always suspected that cutting a silk scarf had little to do with the quality of the steel and was a mere stunt of swordsmanship, one that could be done with almost any decent sabre-sword that was kept unusually sharp.

Well, J.M.Waite, an English professor of fencing, late 2nd Life Guards, and author of Sabre, Singlestick, and Sword Feats, in the late 19th century wrote:

Fold a veil neatly lengthwise and lay it on the edge of the sword, almost close to the hilt.

Place your feet together, with your sword hand resting on the bend of the left arm, the edge of your sword turned up. Take two quick steps to your front , beginning with your left foot and as you make the second, deliver an upward cut with a good edge, throwing the point of the sword high in the air, so that when the veil separates the two parts will have some distance to fall. A good effect will thus be produced.

At the finish of this cut......the arms should be brought straight.......

For this feat.... you require a special sword called a handkerchief cutter. It should have the edge of and be kept as sharp as a razor.

The edge should be ground and set towards the hand, and when sharpening or stropping it, you should rub from point to hilt.

If you look through a very powerful magnifying glass you will find the edge of a sword is serrated like a saw, but not so regularly; Therefor by having the teeth pointed towards the hilt, the edge more readily lays hold of the veil.


Haven't tried it, but someone here should


Cheers
Chris
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Old 25th October 2006, 12:22 PM   #96
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Hi Chris

that is basically what i said at the beginning.... that cutting fabric only tells you about the type of edge.... there are many different types of edges... and all have their strong and weak points.. ... it would make sense that the arms were tailored to the targets they were meant to cut...... hollow grind for razors, flat for bowies, convex for choppers....just for example...

-- ofcourse this is not a static rule..... you can have a wide hollow grind and it will make a stong blade..... or really sharpen a convex edge and it will shave paper..

-- what about the sharpening technology...... it says something about that aswell..... you have to have decent abrasives..... or you simply cannot get a fine edge otherwise...

-- look at the top notch polish on Japanese blades..... if they didn't have access to such fine silicate stones.... it would be very hard to replicate this..... because you simply can't pop over to the local hardware and buy graded abrasive papers... it has to be quarried and graded...


sharp topic

Greg
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Old 25th October 2006, 01:27 PM   #97
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I have followed this thread with interest and found the metallury comments informative. However, I feel from my limited knowledge on the subject that a 'Occam's Razor' approach may be relavent (not sure if the 'Razor' is wootz...but I digress ).
In my mind there are so many variables to this debate...the quality of the steel, the differences of forging technigue and method, the design and thickness of the blade, edge formation (hollow ground, flat ground and so on)etc etc.....that it would be almost impossible to reach a conclusive answer.

But I know this to be true.....an old, battle weary sword MUST be a GOOD sword......It has survived all the testing it required, perhaps this is why they end up as 'heirloom' pieces.......'here son ..inherit my sword...which I know to be battle worthy and will not fail you in combat.'

Simplistic...I know.....but then again simplicity served 'Occam' well
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Old 25th October 2006, 03:53 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Feuerbach
It may have been more accurate if the phrase "in Iran" was placed in the text. However, as this was a book on the Arms and Armour from Iran, this may have been construced by a publisher as redundant, rather than misleading.


Well, my verbal IQ is rather close to zero, but here is the problem as I see it:
"Feuerbach (2002b:229) believes that the earliest crucible steel blade possibly comes from Luristan.... She further (2002b:230) claims that the earliest crucible steel blade of a double-edged sword is dated to the first century A.D."

Either in both cases "Iran" is assumed and than the earliest blade comes from first century A.D. Iran, or in both cases it should be understand as "the earliest" in principle, and then the birthplace of crucible steel is Luristan.
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Old 25th October 2006, 06:02 PM   #99
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If Ann doesn't have a problem with how her work was characterized in the book, neither do I.

Let's move along, please, and get back on topic.
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Old 25th October 2006, 06:19 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Feuerbach
It may have been more accurate if the phrase "in Iran" was placed in the text. However, as this was a book on the Arms and Armour from Iran, this may have been construced by a publisher as redundant, rather than misleading.

Dear Ann,
You must be a remarkably nice person and I admire your forebearance.
However:
1. Was the information on Taxila and Caucasian swords available in your dissertation cited in the book?
If the answer is no, I can understand that Mr. Khorasani honestly cited your source. If yes, I would have major problem defining his rendition of your material (under your name!) as anything but gross and willful misrepresentation.
2. I have problems to believe that the editors viewed a 2 word sequence "in Iran" to be crucial in editing a 780 page-long book full of redundant and repetitious information.
The origin of crucible steel is a major point of our discussion here and, certainly, of the Mr. Khorasani's book. It is important that we get to the bottom of his statement. As Rivkin cleverly noticed, no matter how you read his paragraph, the intended meaning does not change: he wants us to believe that crucible steel originated in Iran and uses you as a source of the information.
I am very disturbed.
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Old 25th October 2006, 06:25 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
If Ann doesn't have a problem with how her work was characterized in the book, neither do I.

Let's move along, please, and get back on topic.

I do not have a problem how her work was characterized in the book. I do have a problem, however, whether the content of her book was faithfully cited or misrepresented to the point that the origins of crucible steel were attributed to Iran rather than to proper inventors.
This bears direct influence on the topic of our current discussion on wootz.
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Old 25th October 2006, 06:33 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I do not have a problem how her work was characterized in the book. I do have a problem, however, whether the content of her book was faithfully cited or misrepresented to the point that the origins of crucible steel were attributed to Iran rather than to proper inventors.
This bears direct influence on the topic of our current discussion on wootz.



This thread is not about the origins of crucible steel, nor is it about the book. Therefore, this discussion is off-topic.
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Old 26th October 2006, 02:02 AM   #103
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Gt Obach,

You make very good and valid observations - I totally agree.

Discussions of this kind take us down some very interesting side issues. I found this thread most valuable and the various contributions made by the forumites of a high order.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 26th October 2006, 02:06 AM   #104
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Hi katana,

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana

.....an old, battle weary sword MUST be a GOOD sword......It has survived all the testing it required, perhaps this is why they end up as 'heirloom' pieces.......'here son ..inherit my sword...which I know to be battle worthy and will not fail you in combat.


You know, I always wondered if a sword survived that long, if it ever saw much combat, if any......

Cheers
Chris
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Old 26th October 2006, 03:40 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
Hi katana,



You know, I always wondered if a sword survived that long, if it ever saw much combat, if any......

Cheers
Chris

I am not sure you are right. The ones from Figiel's collection are pristine; they definitely never were drawn in anger. But most of mine are pretty worn, scarred, re-sharpened, broken here and there, nicked... They must have been tough old buggers!
Cheer up, man! There is a lot of old human DNA to be extracted from yours, too!
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Old 26th October 2006, 02:01 PM   #106
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If, and I do mean IF, the blades from Luristan are indeed crucible steel, and IF they are as early as they are thought to be, then yes, they would be the earliest known crucible steel objects known. This does not Prove, Disprove, nor should it suggest any "origin" for the process. There was a great deal of trade going on and movements of people and empires. Only a well dated and well documented, early unquestionable crucible steel production site, might tell us where and when the process originated. Until that is found, be it in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Uzbekistan, Iran or elsewhere, my mind remains open. India is the most likely place of origin, but I refuse to ASSUME that India is the place of origination of the process just because they were a major producer later on.

If we look at the published facts, apart from the objects found at Taxila (Pakistan, which geographically is Central Asia) all the earliest crucible steel object known (by that I mean published), are from OUTSIDE of India. This is probably just a feature of preservation and discovery, rather than reflecting what really happened in the past. But nevertheless, these are the facts!

Lets look at the textual "evidence":
PhD extract "During the first century AD Pliny (died 79 AD) wrote …“But of all the varieties of iron the palm goes to the Seres with their fabrics and skins. The second prize goes to Parthian iron; and indeed no other kinds of iron are forged from pure metal, as all the rest have a softer alloy welded with them” (Pliny, XXXIV translated by Rackham, 1995, 143-146). Bronson (1986) has argued that there is no evidence that the Seres were producing and exporting “wootz” to Rome. Those who discuss Pliny’s statement seem to only be concerned about who the Seres were, probably the Tamil Cheres of South India (Juleff, 1990). However, the rest of Pliny’s statement is perhaps even more telling. Regardless of who the Seres were, Pliny states that they, and the Parthians, are the only people to produce pure metal. " It is likly that this "pure metal" is crucible steel, as it is referred to as pure metal in later literature.Thus, this suggests that crucible steel was being produced in Iran (Parthia) from an early date.

Lets look at later ethnographic evidence:
PhD extract:
"It is important to recall Bronson’s observation that no first hand ethnographic reports from South India mention that the steel produces a Damascus pattern (Bronson, 1986, 39-40). In addition, the experiments performed by Wilkinson (1839, 389) on crucible steel ingots from Cutch, in Northern India on the India-Pakistan border, and from Salem, southern India, concluded that only the ingot from Cutch produced a good pattern, whereas the Salem sample had only a slight indication of a pattern. Therefore, the evidence from all archaeological, ethnographic, and replication experiments, indicates that crucible steel from South India/Sri Lanka, i.e. the areas associated with the terms wootz, produced crucible steel blades with either no pattern or a faint pattern only. Arguably, it is the coarse pattern, such as the Kara Khorasan pattern, that is most often associated with or characterizes “Damascus steel” (refer to Figures 97-100). As mentioned above, the archaeological evidence from Merv and Termez indicated that the microstructure of the ingots could have resulted in a coarse patterned blade. In addition, textual evidence (e.g. al-Beruni in Said, 1989, 219-220), and ethnographic reports (e.g. Abbott, 1884; Wilkinson, 1839, 38) all state that crucible steel blades with a good pattern were produced in Central Asia and Northern India, places where the term pulad (or related term) was used. Therefore, all the afore mentioned evidence indicates that crucible steel from Central Asia, which includes Northern India, could produced crucible steel blades with a coarse pattern, while the South Indian/Sri Lankan wootz ingots probably did not. This is contrary to the generally accepted opinion that Indian wootz steel was primarily used to produce “Damascus blades” (e.g. Verhoeven, 2001; Figiel, 1991, 7; Rostoker and Bronson, 1990, 130; Sachse, 1994, 67).

If we only go by what people assume they know, rather than the facts, we will not progress. We might as well be looking for the origin of Damascus steel in Syria!
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Old 26th October 2006, 10:23 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Feuerbach
If, and I do mean IF, the blades from Luristan are indeed crucible steel, and IF they are as early as they are thought to be, then yes, they would be the earliest known crucible steel objects known. This does not Prove, Disprove, nor should it suggest any "origin" for the process. There was a great deal of trade going on and movements of people and empires. Only a well dated and well documented, early unquestionable crucible steel production site, might tell us where and when the process originated. Until that is found, be it in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Baluchistan, Uzbekistan, Iran or elsewhere, my mind remains open. India is the most likely place of origin, but I refuse to ASSUME that India is the place of origination of the process just because they were a major producer later on.

If we look at the published facts, apart from the objects found at Taxila (Pakistan, which geographically is Central Asia) all the earliest crucible steel object known (by that I mean published), are from OUTSIDE of India. This is probably just a feature of preservation and discovery, rather than reflecting what really happened in the past. But nevertheless, these are the facts!

Lets look at the textual "evidence":
PhD extract "During the first century AD Pliny (died 79 AD) wrote …“But of all the varieties of iron the palm goes to the Seres with their fabrics and skins. The second prize goes to Parthian iron; and indeed no other kinds of iron are forged from pure metal, as all the rest have a softer alloy welded with them” (Pliny, XXXIV translated by Rackham, 1995, 143-146). Bronson (1986) has argued that there is no evidence that the Seres were producing and exporting “wootz” to Rome. Those who discuss Pliny’s statement seem to only be concerned about who the Seres were, probably the Tamil Cheres of South India (Juleff, 1990). However, the rest of Pliny’s statement is perhaps even more telling. Regardless of who the Seres were, Pliny states that they, and the Parthians, are the only people to produce pure metal. " It is likly that this "pure metal" is crucible steel, as it is referred to as pure metal in later literature.Thus, this suggests that crucible steel was being produced in Iran (Parthia) from an early date.

Lets look at later ethnographic evidence:
PhD extract:
"It is important to recall Bronson’s observation that no first hand ethnographic reports from South India mention that the steel produces a Damascus pattern (Bronson, 1986, 39-40). In addition, the experiments performed by Wilkinson (1839, 389) on crucible steel ingots from Cutch, in Northern India on the India-Pakistan border, and from Salem, southern India, concluded that only the ingot from Cutch produced a good pattern, whereas the Salem sample had only a slight indication of a pattern. Therefore, the evidence from all archaeological, ethnographic, and replication experiments, indicates that crucible steel from South India/Sri Lanka, i.e. the areas associated with the terms wootz, produced crucible steel blades with either no pattern or a faint pattern only. Arguably, it is the coarse pattern, such as the Kara Khorasan pattern, that is most often associated with or characterizes “Damascus steel” (refer to Figures 97-100). As mentioned above, the archaeological evidence from Merv and Termez indicated that the microstructure of the ingots could have resulted in a coarse patterned blade. In addition, textual evidence (e.g. al-Beruni in Said, 1989, 219-220), and ethnographic reports (e.g. Abbott, 1884; Wilkinson, 1839, 38) all state that crucible steel blades with a good pattern were produced in Central Asia and Northern India, places where the term pulad (or related term) was used. Therefore, all the afore mentioned evidence indicates that crucible steel from Central Asia, which includes Northern India, could produced crucible steel blades with a coarse pattern, while the South Indian/Sri Lankan wootz ingots probably did not. This is contrary to the generally accepted opinion that Indian wootz steel was primarily used to produce “Damascus blades” (e.g. Verhoeven, 2001; Figiel, 1991, 7; Rostoker and Bronson, 1990, 130; Sachse, 1994, 67).

If we only go by what people assume they know, rather than the facts, we will not progress. We might as well be looking for the origin of Damascus steel in Syria!



Thank you, very much, for the additional information, Ann.

Let's let this be the final word on this here, everyone.
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Old 27th October 2006, 12:40 AM   #108
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Going back to the combat value of wootz swords.
Iranian chronicles report that Shah Ismail at Chaldaran split a fully armoured opponent from head to saddle with one stroke of his wootz shamshir: helmet, mail, the works. Also, he split in two several enemies cutting them across the body or diagonally. He was also reported to cut 7 chains securing Turkish heavy guns with the same sword.
Do you think these stories are true or exaggerations by the Ismail's court poets?
The Japanese performed cutting tests with their swords on human bodies, but those were naked. I find it difficult to believe that a sword, no matter how good, would be able to slice a full set of armour through-and-through or 1-2 cm thick steel chain links.
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:04 AM   #109
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Hi Ariel,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I am not sure you are right. The ones from Figiel's collection are pristine; they definitely never were drawn in anger. But most of mine are pretty worn, scarred, re-sharpened, broken here and there, nicked... They must have been tough old buggers!
Cheer up, man! There is a lot of old human DNA to be extracted from yours, too!


I am one who believes that swords have a definite service life, after which they better be retired from active duty. Of course, if the blade saw little or no use, then it can be used indefinitely. My problem is not with old swords kept as family heorlooms, but as when supposedly used used for combat, from generation to generation. Internal flaws can grow with repeated loading on the blade.


Re your observations on armour cutting feats with wootz swords: Perhaps not entirely without substance, but probably exagerated - For what it is worth, the Japanese had stout armour cutting swords with which many of their cutting stunts were performed. These were often modified naginata (halberd) blades. I did see one such sword in Japan and it had a shoulder about twice as thick as that of an ordinary sword, that is, around 12mm and had an edge like a cold chisel. I have a reference, somewhere in my library, in which an experienced old samurai criticized a display of helmet splitting, by a colleague, arguing that he cheated buy using a naginata blade. Perhaps tsubame1 (carlo) can help us out here.

Cheers
Chris

Last edited by Chris Evans : 27th October 2006 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:19 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
Hi Ariel,



I am one who believes that swords have a definite service life, after which they better be retired from active duty. Of course, if the blade saw little or no use, then it can be used indefinitely. My problem is not with old swords kept as family heorlooms, but as when supposedly used used for combat, from generation to generation. Internal flaws can grow with repeated loading on the blade.


Cheers
Chris

No doubt, a combination of age and mileage will induce a lot of infirmities and I can only empathize
On the other hand, I would not be excited having a sword that spent its entire life in some armoury, cleaned and oiled at 3 months intervals.

I have a wakizashi that bears a signature of somebody from 13th(?) century. Probably, forged. It is so old, that it has about half of its original width left. I dread to think of all the mechanical stresses it went through. I would not dream offering it to somebody for a cutting test. But, if it had been polished and repolished so many times, it must have signified something to its many owners. It earned a comfortable retirement in a company of other, equally scarred, veterans.
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:37 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I have a wakizashi that bears a signature of somebody from 13th(?) century. Probably, forged. It is so old, that it has about half of its original width left. I dread to think of all the mechanical stresses it went through. I would not dream offering it to somebody for a cutting test. But, if it had been polished and repolished so many times, it must have signified something to its many owners. It earned a comfortable retirement in a company of other, equally scarred, veterans.


And I bet that it is worth quite a bit!

Cheers
Chris
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Old 27th October 2006, 01:54 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
And I bet that it is worth quite a bit!

Cheers
Chris

Na-a-ah... I am sure no true Nihonto fanatic would want it.
I got it at a local gun and knife show in a pile of rusty bayonets and spent an equivalent of a sushi lunch on it. No sake.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:33 AM   #113
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Bladesmith Dan Maragni told me once that for a while, British Army blades were being very strenuously tested, every one, as they came into service, to assure quality. They passed the test but went on to fail in use. The severity of the testing had damaged them.

It is interesting when you have an opportunity to examine old blades, from the age of serious use, that have managed to survive above ground and dry. Very often there is evidence of deformity from use and its repair and rehoning. I gather nicks must be removed before the next use or the nick will be the starting point of failure when the blade is next put under load.

It is also interesting to consider what blades have survived in good numbers versus those once very common but now very scarce. Odd specialized specimens were possibly less likely to be "used up" or perhaps saved as a curiosity while some mainline medieval forms that continued in use for a very long time must have been pretty much exhausted as they are quite scarce in surviving material.
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Old 27th October 2006, 03:06 AM   #114
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Hi Lee,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Bladesmith Dan Maragni told me once that for a while, British Army blades were being very strenuously tested, every one, as they came into service, to assure quality. They passed the test but went on to fail in use. The severity of the testing had damaged them


Possibly, but not necessarily. Swords can fail in any number of ways due to either a single overloading or cumulative wear and tear. Also the proof tests were by no means exact replicas of all the loads that could be expected in service. A good many failures occurred at the tang, when the blade encountered severe resistance, as when hit by another weapon; Very hard to proof test for - A common cause for failure at this point was a sharp corner, as opposed to a well rounded blend in, where the tang met the blade. A crack would start growing at the said corner. Pre assembly visual inspection would have been the better way to go. Also some tangs were ridiculously weak and would fail the moment that the hilt developed some play.

Also those proof tests were by no means all that thorough. I have a Brit sabre that has the proof stamp, yet the blade has a large forging flaw and have seen others obviously only nominally tested : They were so badly heat treated that they bent at the slightest flexing - Paid off inspectors?

Quote:
It is also interesting to consider what blades have survived in good numbers versus those once very common but now very scarce. Odd specialized specimens were possibly less likely to be "used up" or perhaps saved as a curiosity while some mainline medieval forms that continued in use for a very long time must have been pretty much exhausted as they are quite scarce in surviving material.


I often wondered about this myself. Perhaps some blades lapsed into obsolescence due to the onset of better designs and as such were retired before badly damaged and ended up on the walls of the rich. Also what was retained in collections, probably reflected a predisposition towards what looked good, as opposed to the desire provide a historical record for later day hoplologists.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:36 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
I have a reference, somewhere in my library, in which an experienced old samurai criticized a display of helmet splitting, by a colleague, arguing that he cheated buy using a naginata blade. Perhaps tsubame1 (carlo) can help us out here.


Naginata is for sure a thicker blade then a Katana. Anyway,
Kabutowari (helmet-cutting), even if much less known then other forms of
fixing Wazamono rating (ability to cut) has been performed in old times and
a fist of times in modern days too, with swords. The most known is the one advertised here : http://www.shinkendo.com/kabuto.html . This link provides further information about past Kabutowari tests as well.

Nonetheless this specific cutting test isn't IMHO enough historically accurate.
The blade IS NOT a NihonTo. Is a blade made by Paul Champagne, that's for sure an incredibly good blade, but has no value for a comparative test with NihonTo. More belivable is the previous test (which likely Obata Toshihiro has been inspired by) made by Terutaka Kawabata Sensei.

The following picture (not reported in that site) refers to the experiment made by (scroll down to Post-Meiji attempts in the link provided) Terutaka Kawabata Sensei with Yoshihara Yoshindo *unmounted* blade. This detail is of great importance and this is the reason I scanned the picture (Obata test was made the same way, without a proper made handle).
These tests are often referred to as unreliable due to the fact the neck of
the helmet's owner would absorbe a lot of energy (resulting, IMHO, in the breaking of the said neck BTW...), an opponent isn't a fixed target but a mobile one (of no pertinence, IMHO) and that the helmet was old and possibly already damaged. Even if the first statement can have some validity, as per the 3rd one the helmet was accurately choosen and of good quality (sic...) and the blade made the traditional way. The lack of mounting can only add to the ability of the cutters and, in a lesser way, to the quality of the blades. Being the helmet, for it's shape and paramount importance, likely the most resistant part of the armor, it can be, IMHO, safely assumed that *some* armors, might be the lesser or lighter ones, could be cut *in some places* (sleeves and other) by a sword (not necessarily a japanese one and no matter about the steel used).

As per swords durability : Oakeshott used to say "a sword has 3 battles or
3 hundred years in it, whichever come first".

Quiet exaggerate IMHO (at least for NihonTo that have 9 centuries battle-proof living examples...), but gives a good idea about a general rule : nothing is forever in this world and the swords that have survived till today either :

a) have seen few to no usage

b) have been used, even heavily, but were of very high quality

c) had an incredible amount of luck

d) an interesting mix of the previous three statements .
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Last edited by tsubame1 : 27th October 2006 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:54 PM   #116
ariel
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So, going back to the combat value of the woorz blades: do we think that the poetic descriptions of Shah Ismail's cutting feats ( see my earlier post) are compatible with real abilities of a very good wootz sword or are gross exaggerations?
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Old 27th October 2006, 02:56 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
So, going back to the combat value of the woorz blades: do we think that the poetic descriptions of Shah Ismail's cutting feats ( see my earlier post) are compatible with real abilities of a very good wootz sword or are gross exaggerations?


Does he provides the geometry of the blade involved ?
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Old 27th October 2006, 04:54 PM   #118
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Muhammad Mansur Mubarak-Shah in Qitab Adab al-Harb... is quite clear that "gorz (mace), chubak (similar to mace, i think in english it is called warhammer ?), hudzhikan (spear), bulkoteg (another type of mace) - weapon of those confident in their strength and is used against those dressed in ...(names of different types of armor) armor". He gives a few examples of the use of these weapons, telling that tabar can also be used against armored cavalrymen, but never does he speak about swords being used against them. It is obvious that sword can be used against armour; we see numerous references to someone cutting mail so badly it looked like that on David (by memory).
However, from manual it seems to be clear (to me) that sword in principle was not a primeral weapon against heavily armored soldiers: spear, mace-like weapons, even arrows were used against mail.
Now, to Shah Ismail - I would believe in him killing a man, but head to toe, then guns, then another two men - that sounds more like hashish talking. What's the original source for this, I suppose legend ?
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Old 27th October 2006, 06:02 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Going back to the combat value of wootz swords.
Iranian chronicles report that Shah Ismail at Chaldaran split a fully armoured opponent from head to saddle with one stroke of his wootz shamshir: helmet, mail, the works. Also, he split in two several enemies cutting them across the body or diagonally. He was also reported to cut 7 chains securing Turkish heavy guns with the same sword.


And then he was defeated You even ask ariel?!
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Old 27th October 2006, 06:46 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivkin
I would believe in him killing a man, but head to toe, then guns, then another two men - that sounds more like hashish talking. What's the original source for this, I suppose legend ?


This is obviously a legend. All cultures have similar accounts about the
swords they relied on.
Mace is likely the better weapon against heavy and even not so heavy armor
as chainmail proved to be very resistant even against arrows.
I think that the sword is in some way tied to mankind subconscious.
Even if the mace was so highly valued to begun the materialization of the King power in the sceptre, still is the sword that is used to give power to others and that is portraied in the tombs.
There were a variety of armors on the battlefield and legends always has a little truth in them, might be much lesser and more belivable events took place and were later made gigantic. Old advertising ?
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