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Old 30th December 2020, 10:21 PM   #1
bvieira
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Default A sword for comments

Hello!

Would appreciate some comments on this sword! I bought it recently, the blade and the cup I have sure it's original, the other parts I am in doubt but they are so we'll made! And the all sword was very well preserved with a kind of green varnish that I had to take out.

Thank you for comments.

Bruno
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Old 30th December 2020, 10:23 PM   #2
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Part2
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Old 31st December 2020, 02:25 AM   #3
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Very nice Spanish (or Portuguese?) cup-hilt, Bruno! I believe this pattern was referred to as a 'sail hilt' and dates to the last quarter of the 18th century. As you pointed out, the blade, cup and guard/quillons look legit. Grip rewrapped, but well done. That pommel, though. It looks good for the piece, but I don't recall seeing this classic pommel form from cup-hilts of this period. Now I'll let the experts step in...

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Old 2nd January 2021, 11:42 AM   #4
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Hello Meley tks for your opinion! I think it's spanish, but don't really know, only the blade I can assure it's german, by the inscription, Gio Knegt in solingen.

Regards,
BV

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Old 2nd January 2021, 11:53 AM   #5
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Most Spanish swords of this period had blades made in Solingen. Germany was basically producing for most of Europe at that time, with their blades being used in Scotland for basket-hilts, in American swords from the Revolutionary period, etc. I am pretty sure your sword has a model number, but i don't have access to Brincherhoff's book at the moment.
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Old 2nd January 2021, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Most Spanish swords of this period had blades made in Solingen. Germany was basically producing for most of Europe at that time, with their blades being used in Scotland for basket-hilts, in American swords from the Revolutionary period, etc. I am pretty sure your sword has a model number, but i don't have access to Brincherhoff's book at the moment.


Yes from germany but also toledo, but germans often had more production quantity.
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Old 2nd January 2021, 05:25 PM   #7
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As well spotted by Capn Mark, this is a sort of variant version of the dragoon swords of the 18th century known as 'bilbo's, and this particular type is known as a 'sail' hilt. The Spanish had a propensity for adding colorful colloquial terms for hilt forms and clearly this one is mindful of a billowing sail.

The blade is most certainly from the Knecht family of Solingen and c. 1770s who traded in blades but did not make them (Mann, Wallace coll. 1962, p.268,325). Many, perhaps even most of their blades seem to have carried the 'Spanish motto' (Draw Me Not Without Reason etc.) which appears often on Spanish dragoon swords through the 18th century with wide use.

While Toledo's reputation for sword blades was renowned, it began to falter with the move of the Royal Court from there to Madrid in 1561. As the population dropped and plague at end of century accelerated deterioration of the industry, guilds dissolved and very few blades made. There were some German smiths from Solingen who worked out of Toledo in this time, but the economy collapse c. 1680 finished off the industry. ("By the Sword", R. Cohen, 2002, p.115).

Toledo produced virtually nothing after that, but Carlos III established a manufactory in 1780, but not producing blades as before, mostly munitions grade sidearms.

The hilt on this example appears a hybrid of the more common 'bilbo' hilt, a military arming sword with wire wrapped (enclosed by four posts) grip, a bilobate guard, but with the straight quillon bars of the cup hilt.
The oblate pommel with capstan resembles the cup hilt types of the 17th century, but Spanish traditionalism carried popular elements and styles over many years.

The attached are (1) a 'bilbo' type sword of 18th century with the 'sail' hilt but note the alternating curve quillons of the more standard 'bilbo'.
(2) the more familiar late 17th early 18th c. cup hilt with straight rapier quillons. By the early 18th century, the thin rapier blades had given way to the heavier dragoon blades to become arming military swords.
(3) the 'standard' bilbo (note quillons) which is often regarded as a c.1769 pattern but was in use 1728 and perhaps earlier. Regulation patterns follow the 'official' regulations, which usually only recognized types already long in use.

A beautiful and intriguing example!!! and I would say original and assembled using components at hand for an officer as often the case with remotely based armorers, either in the colonies or rural areas in Spain with remotely stationed units.
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Old 2nd January 2021, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
As well spotted by Capn Mark, this is a sort of variant version of the dragoon swords of the 18th century known as 'bilbo's, and this particular type is known as a 'sail' hilt. The Spanish had a propensity for adding colorful colloquial terms for hilt forms and clearly this one is mindful of a billowing sail.

The blade is most certainly from the Knecht family of Solingen and c. 1770s who traded in blades but did not make them (Mann, Wallace coll. 1962, p.268,325). Many, perhaps even most of their blades seem to have carried the 'Spanish motto' (Draw Me Not Without Reason etc.) which appears often on Spanish dragoon swords through the 18th century with wide use.

While Toledo's reputation for sword blades was renowned, it began to falter with the move of the Royal Court from there to Madrid in 1561. As the population dropped and plague at end of century accelerated deterioration of the industry, guilds dissolved and very few blades made. There were some German smiths from Solingen who worked out of Toledo in this time, but the economy collapse c. 1680 finished off the industry. ("By the Sword", R. Cohen, 2002, p.115).

Toledo produced virtually nothing after that, but Carlos III established a manufactory in 1780, but not producing blades as before, mostly munitions grade sidearms.

The hilt on this example appears a hybrid of the more common 'bilbo' hilt, a military arming sword with wire wrapped (enclosed by four posts) grip, a bilobate guard, but with the straight quillon bars of the cup hilt.
The oblate pommel with capstan resembles the cup hilt types of the 17th century, but Spanish traditionalism carried popular elements and styles over many years.

The attached are (1) a 'bilbo' type sword of 18th century with the 'sail' hilt but note the alternating curve quillons of the more standard 'bilbo'.
(2) the more familiar late 17th early 18th c. cup hilt with straight rapier quillons. By the early 18th century, the thin rapier blades had given way to the heavier dragoon blades to become arming military swords.
(3) the 'standard' bilbo (note quillons) which is often regarded as a c.1769 pattern but was in use 1728 and perhaps earlier. Regulation patterns follow the 'official' regulations, which usually only recognized types already long in use.

A beautiful and intriguing example!!! and I would say original and assembled using components at hand for an officer as often the case with remotely based armorers, either in the colonies or rural areas in Spain with remotely stationed units.


Many tks for your opinion and historical information! Very complete and logical.

BV
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Old 15th January 2021, 06:21 AM   #9
dralin23
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Default the KNEGT family...

hi there,
i own also an sword form these swordmaker family.
the solingen blades was trades "around the world". some month ago was also an other indian sword( an Pata sword) with the same makers name sold in an german auctionshouse.
i was looking if i could find more about these family but the informations are very poor and rare. also the sword museum in solingen was not an great help.
somewhere was written that these family comes in the past from the netherlands and seddeld in solingen. the old signature name was KNEGT, later the changed here name in the more modern name KNECHT . one of the best known swordmaker was Peter Knecht.
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Old 15th January 2021, 11:35 AM   #10
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This is the socalled Spanish 1796 cavalry model which real existence is in doubt, and there is no documentary track. Many think they were mounted in the XIXth century with spare parts. Some people still debate if some of them at least could be real.
The blade comes from a before Toledo factory 1728 model, c1750-1760. The pommel could be from a late civilian cup hilt.

Best info is at Hoploteca. You can use the page translator.

There are two parts, the second has new advances.

http://hoploteca.blogspot.com/2014/...odelo-1796.html

http://hoploteca.blogspot.com/searc...Tipolog%C3%ADas

Regards.

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Old 16th January 2021, 07:48 PM   #11
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I think a lot of misunderstanding exists in trying to establish not only types of swords as forms, their provenance and of course who made the swords we study. It must be remembered that the names etc. on sword blades were not always the actual maker, but often outfitters (retailers) cutlers (assemblers) and blade dealers who often ground and finished blades from producers. The producers were smiths of families who forged blades often in industrial settings such as Solingen, one of the largest and most formidable marketing machines of blades ever.

With regard to Toledo, and its stellar reputation, the following is of interest:
"...by 1561, the Royal court moved to Madrid, and Toledo began to lose its importance. The population dropped from 125,000 to 55,000 (1594), exacerbated by plague at the end of the century. Apart from that the sword was being replaced by the gun.
Toledo continued to make swords, but in 1664 a last surge of hyperinflation hit the country, and a financial crisis in 1680 ruined whatever remained of the Castilian economy. Artisans abandoned their craft, and guilds everywhere were dissolved.
So few native swordsmiths remained in Toledo that it suffered the indignity of haviing to induct foreign specialists.

By 1760 the visionary King Carlos III aware of how far the rot had gone, recruited from Valencia its only skilled sword maker, 70 year old Luis Calixto, whom he directed to bring to Toledo the few master craftsmen he could find.
In 1780, he established a royal manufactory in the outskirts of Toledo".

("By The Sword" Richard Cohen, 2003, p.115)


It seems one of the problems with establishing 'regulation' pattern swords s that by the very nature, official orders and regulations are the product of government and military bureaucracy, thus anything but accurate or reliable in far too many cases. Often orders were simply token or 'covering' cases for matters or situational records , and with weapons often already in use or presumed standard. Spanish instances seem notorious for this.

The Toledo situation reveals that blades were not being made much by the mid 17th century there, and virtually not at all by the 18th. By the time of Carlos III and IV, whose markings are most often seen on these military arming swords, who seem collectively termed 'bilbo's', it seems clear that the blades were German made, and the hilting by various armorers leaning to traditional designs of hilts in the Spanish manner.

To suggest that the huge volumes of these swords did not exist militarily, or were later contrived from spare parts ignores the reality of the Spanish sword circumstances. We know the 'Spanish motto' dragoon blades of the 18th century were made for Spain and mostly exported from Solingen to its colonies. I have known collectors who had large groups of these en masse from such shipments, as mentioned in "Spanish Military Weapons in Colonial America 1700-1821" (Brinckerhoff & Chamberlain, 1972). In this volume these swords are well represented.
In their time these swords were of course in colonial and rural settings in the field, and often refurbished with components at hand.

Regarding PETER KNECHT, the Knecht family was a well known group who began primarily as sword blade grinders from early 17th c., one member even engaged as such at the famed Shotley Bridge enterprise in England in 1687. By mid 18th c. they were primarily traders and dealers in blades in Solingen and many of their blades carry the 'Spanish motto' previously discussed, by 1770s. They prevailed apparently until mid 19th c.

The information on Knechts from "The Wallace Collection", Sir James Mann, 1962, pp.268,325. and describes these bilbo type swords,
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:54 AM   #12
fernando
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Default Speaking od which ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I think a lot of misunderstanding exists in trying to establish not only types of swords as forms ... Carlos III and IV, whose markings are most often seen on these military arming swords, who seem collectively termed 'bilbo's'...

Here i go (again) Jim, with my crusade over the "BILBO" ambiguity.

(Quoting a source that i reputed as reliable at the time; i regret i don't recall whom).

"Bilbo" is an English catch-all word used to very generally refer to the Spanish "Utilitarian" cup-hilt swords, so often found all over America. They usually had a wide, _relatively_ short sturdy and well tempered blades, very practical and unadorned. The grip was more often than not wood, sometimes covered with wire.

The term comes from the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao, where a significant number of them were made and exported to the New World. In Basque that name is actually "Bilbo", although there's also a basque town by that name. I understand these swords were also sold to merchants of every european nation, including England.

The type was very popular aboard ships, where it was used on a similar role as the cutlass was among other nations. Needless to say, this sword was also used in Europe, but curiously, seem to have survived better in America. Probably because in the colonies these were better taken care of, since they were more difficult to acquire, and thus more valuable.

"Bilbo" if often misused by neophytes to refer to *any* spanish sword.
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo


Splendid links; obviously to be kept in one's files .
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Old 17th January 2021, 04:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Here i go (again) Jim, with my crusade over the "BILBO" ambiguity.

(Quoting a source that i reputed as reliable at the time; i regret i don't recall whom).

"Bilbo" is an English catch-all word used to very generally refer to the Spanish "Utilitarian" cup-hilt swords, so often found all over America. They usually had a wide, _relatively_ short sturdy and well tempered blades, very practical and unadorned. The grip was more often than not wood, sometimes covered with wire.

The term comes from the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao, where a significant number of them were made and exported to the New World. In Basque that name is actually "Bilbo", although there's also a basque town by that name. I understand these swords were also sold to merchants of every european nation, including England.

The type was very popular aboard ships, where it was used on a similar role as the cutlass was among other nations. Needless to say, this sword was also used in Europe, but curiously, seem to have survived better in America. Probably because in the colonies these were better taken care of, since they were more difficult to acquire, and thus more valuable.

"Bilbo" if often misused by neophytes to refer to *any* spanish sword.



Not at all Fernando!!! in fact I very much look forward and hope for your erudition and clarification in these matters, which indeed the 'bilbo' term is a prevalent case. Your perfectly explained synopsis of this term truly gives perspective on yet another 'collectors term' and I thank you for these details.

Also Midelburgo, I was remiss in not thanking you for those excellent links on this subject!!! Amazing to have translation option included!!!
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Old 17th January 2021, 04:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... in fact I very much look forward and hope for your erudition and clarification in these matters ...

I have been called many names in my life, but erudition, Jim ? You sure are pulling my leg . It was just a copy/paste operation .
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Old 17th January 2021, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I have been called many names in my life, but erudition, Jim ? You sure are pulling my leg . It was just a copy/paste operation .


...but you know more than most what needs to be copied and pasted.
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Old 17th January 2021, 05:55 PM   #17
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...but you know more than most what needs to be copied and pasted.

Working for a free tot of port when you come over to the continent, old chum ? .
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Old 17th January 2021, 06:59 PM   #18
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You're too humble Nando, as Wayne also notes. Most of my notes on Portuguese and Spanish stuff is what you've told me BEYOND whats on the pages. So again, thank you.
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Old 17th January 2021, 07:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
You're too humble Nando, as Wayne also notes. Most of my notes on Portuguese and Spanish stuff is what you've told me BEYOND whats on the pages. So again, thank you.

O.K. Jim ... no envy; your'e on for your favorite:


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