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Old 20th October 2010, 02:24 PM   #31
fernando
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The Tower of Belem in Lison.
A stylized wealthy fortification, built during the discoveries period (1514-1520), to defend the entrance of the Tagus estuary.
It is now practicaly connected to firm land but, before the sand invasion, large ships could sail around it.
Fully adorned with stone crosses of Christ.

.
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Old 20th October 2010, 04:07 PM   #32
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Great pics and arguments, 'Nando,

Thank you so much.

You are very lucky lad to live in a country with such a beautiful architecture!

Best,
Michl
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Old 20th October 2010, 04:25 PM   #33
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My Dear Sir Nando!
Nice riposte there on my little jab , you too Sir David !! Thank you guys.
Well noted there Fernando, the Knights Templar of course did not disappear after the 1312 intrigue (I think I had mistakenly noted 1329), and I think this speaks to the point bI was trying to make. There were other orders modelled on the Knights Templar and indeed a kind of subsidiary branch, in effect thus were indirectly under the 'Templar umbrella'.

Here I must note to you and Sir Marc (here in our little Round Table, and extremely glad to see you posting here on this Marc!! ) I cannot believe my failure to include these important Orders; The Order of Christ of Portugal and the Order of Montesa in Spain, which indeed did continue after 1312.

Here is where the complexity really blossoms, with the Order of Aviz; and in Castile, the Order of Calatrava; in Leon, the Order of Alcantara. The Hospitallers (of St. John of Jerusalem)who became known also as the Knights of Malta, along with of course the Tuetonic Knights and the associated groups in that continued Order.

While many of these were monastic orders, there were many which were military orders of chivalry, but all were essentially claiming peerage to the Temple of Jerusalem origins from which the Templars derived thier name.
The complex flurry of these orders, including a number of apocryphal ones, were the basis of my comment on the sometimes generally applied 'Templar' term.

Getting back to the significant cross on the pommel of our sword in discussion, the concept of swearing oaths on the hilt of a sword predates the Christian era, and naturally with the advent of Christianity and the symbolism of the cross, this became well placed on the swords themselves. As noted by Gene, in degree the very configuration of the hilt itself became a cross, with the guard (termed 'cross' in earlier nomenclature) becoming of course the patibulum.
The sword in those times of chivalry was a Holy instrument, and certainly the adornment with a cross would serve as such embellishment. As far as the use of silver, I would consider that with regard to the use of precious metal in placement of such a Holy symbol, it would be entirely acceptable in the sense of religious vestments being quite outside the stipulation for 'personal' adornment or show of wealth.

I think that the attribution of this sword to Knights Templar specifically is greatly enhanced by the presence of the cross, but probably most strongly supported by the provenance presented by Cesare, which notes the Templar presence in the region of the find and of the period suggested. We have shown that the use of the cross as a symbol on swords not only extended over long periods, but other cases of use by other groups.

I am hoping to direct attention to the markings on the blade I have mentioned, and discover more on them. As I have noted, these are known from Frankish blades much earlier, and I am hoping we can get some further detail on the marks on the blade here OK Cesare?

Thanks very much guys!! great discussion on this!!

All the best,
Jim

P.S. Fernando excellent images on these places, brings back great memories of our discussions on the Templars from years ago!!! Thank you!!!
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Old 20th October 2010, 05:51 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesare
Hello
It can not be the cross of Savoy.
In 1300 the arms of Savoy was as follows:


Hi-

The head of the family actually made a crusade on the century you mention, around 15 ships close to 2000 men against the Ottoman. The count was already using the cross on his shield.

Interesting that the early Savoy arms and the Emperor's single headed eagle are almost identical.
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Old 20th October 2010, 06:53 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reichsritter
North Italy ? it's the house of Savoy who emblazoned a silver cross on their things


Interesting note there Reichsritter, and would like to hear more on the use of the cross by the House of Savoy. I would imagine this region, even though now part of France, might have been perceived as N. Italy in a geopolitical sense in early times.

As Norman has well described, the use of the cross in many temporal perceptions as a symbol or device on material culture including weapons by no means seems isolated nor indicative of a certain family or group. As far as I can see the styles of cross or certain characteristics in thier imaging is more likely the product of heraldic interpretation and in degree artistic license from later periods. Obviously examples used in iconography such as tomb art and period artistic images can lend well to presuming a style associated with certain groups, but we must realize that these are based on the artists perception in large degree.

I really dont know that trying to determine the style of cross here is likely to tell us more on the group or individual characteristic of its owner, simply that the sword received an embellishment well established in practice in these times.

Thilo, very good note on the cross used by the Tuetonic Knights also. It does seem that the colors involved in mantles and crosses was pertinant, and the note on using metals in accord was well placed. I believe there are examples where these crosses were embellished on sword hilts in enamel, but few examples have survived with that adornment intact, especially excavated examples. Again, I believe that use of precious metal such as silver as used here, would have been seen as reverently placed, and perhaps more durable in use. Many swords do have such markings inlaid with latten (copper alloy inlay) but there does not seem to be a color oriented reason for the use.

Reichsritter, it really would be interesting as I mentioned on the Savoy use of the cross. Are there sword hilt examples?

All the best,
Jim
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Old 20th October 2010, 09:33 PM   #36
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I knew i had a very similar discussion like this a few month ago about the cross on the pommel of a falchion also dated at about 1300. Sadly, i didn't remember where it was... until now. Turns out the cross on the falchion is quite different from the cross on the sword currently under discussion.

Nevertheless, as i spent some time searching for it, i will
put the link here for further reference:
http://www.historische-waffenkunde.de/datenbank.htm

Best Regards,
Thilo
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Old 21st October 2010, 01:40 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Reichsritter, it really would be interesting as I mentioned on the Savoy use of the cross. Are there sword hilt examples?

All the best,
Jim


Hi Jim,

No hilt examples that I can show....it's Cesare given data on the sword that I have shared my thoughts. Several variety of crosses in arms was mostly found on the western part of the Mediterrenean, even as far as Barcelona. Of course these were transit points of Crusaders and Knights(each has it's own Patron Saints with distinguishing cross). The only thing I noticed is..only this north Italian family uses a silver cross.
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Old 21st October 2010, 01:56 AM   #38
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If anybody here has a collection of images of the crusaders seal, I think it's worth looking. I have seen very similar type of swords on the seals, sorry I cannot post pics since I am far from home.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:21 AM   #39
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Wonderful sword!
Boccia in Armi Bianchi Italiane shows 3 or 4 examples with the symbol of the cross on the pommels, but those date from the late 14th-early 15th c., and are from Florence and Milan.
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Old 21st October 2010, 10:09 AM   #40
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You're far too kind, Jim, as always

Anyway, regarding the templar's attribution and not wanting to interrupt the interesting discussion going on, I think that the things to consider are rather simple:

- Let's check what kind of cross was being used by the Templars at that time at that place, and see if it was exclusive of them.
- Let's check if the cross in the pommel conforms with the typology of said cross.
If it doesn't, is much more probable that the sword belonged to just a good Christian, fearful of God, who wanted a cross in his sword for religious reasons. In the chaotic scenario of a battle, every bit of possible help is always welcome (there's a reason why sailors and soldiers are such a religious bunch, in general. As religious as superstitious, in fact. It tends to happen when you routinely put your life, literally, in the hands of fate).

In short, if we can't clearly say it's Templar (found in a Templar household, for example), with some kind of proof, it probably isn't. Templars were supposed not to adorn their belongings (another thing is how hard was this rule really enforced at that time) and, at the end, even demographically speaking, there were not that many of them, compared with regular knights, no tot mention plain soldiers. Of course, there was a much larger amount of people associated with them (servants, workers, etc...).

Unless the cross is clearly templar, and the templar cross wasn't used by a significant amount of other people at the time, I think the templar's attribution isn't really warranted.
Just my opinion, of course
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Old 21st October 2010, 02:46 PM   #41
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Hi there,

Ottmar, my expert and learned friend on edged weapons, states that the sword in question is in any case some Christian Order's sword, and a very important one too. He cannot explain the meaning of the signs on it, though.

Best,
Michael
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Old 21st October 2010, 04:51 PM   #42
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Not at all Marc!
I think that the focus on this cross on the pommel, while compelling, has proven to be more of a distraction than helpful clue, though it has led to some interesting and comprehensive depth to the discussion.

As noted earlier, as we tried to determine exactly who the Templars were as far as the array of monastic and military orders primarily based on these knights, whose name was taken from reference to the original Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. As has been noted throughout the discussion, the cross itself reflects that the sword probably belonged to an individual of one of these orders, and attempts have been made to determine by the style of the cross, which of the orders it might have been.

According to many resources and thier depictions of variously flourished and shaped crosses, certain styles have been attributed to particular orders and groups. While some can be considered reliably associated or used by the groups named, I am concerned that some of this material might be influenced by 'heraldic license and interpretation' in more recent writing and embellishment of the historical detail.

It has been well noted by Reichsritter that the House of Savoy in North Italy used the silver cross, and suggesting possible association to this sword which was of course found in Italy. However, drawing the relation to the cross and its being a Templar device, plus the fact that it is of silver, cannot conclude that all members, or even any, of the House of Savoy were Templars. It remains an excellent observation however in the process of observing this swords features

Thank you Reichsritter also for the followup in your response as well as for the note on crusaders seals which hopefully will bring more entries.
Also, Thilo, thank you for trying to find the sword with the cross in the pommel and for showing the excellent example despite not the one you were looking for.

Returning to matters at hand, Marcs suggestion of determining which type of cross this might be and aligning with those used by known orders is of course well placed, but the cross here seems as if it has lost some of its detail in the extremities. As we have determined, various crosses were used by the many orders which evolved around the 'Templars' and as Michael's friend has noted, the only thing we can suggest is association to one of the orders, without knowing which.

Again, the strongest supporting denominator is Cesares description of the provenance of the sword, being excavated near a town where Templar preence had been established in the period of this sword by its classification.

It is known, again as previously mentioned, that the cross has been applied to weapons, swords in particular, since the time of Charlemagne, and was well known being applied to scabbards, blades and pommels. It was inherently a protective and talismanic symbol, as well as one of piety and faith, being used widely and not necessarily only by these orders, as well suggested by Marc.
As far as the use of silver, the precious metal, in embellishing a sword pommel with a cross in this sense, I personally do not see this as an element of 'personal adornment' but more reflective of reverence as used in many often seemingly ostentatious religious vestments.

While the idea of the Templars as austere warrior monks seems to be based on thier humble origins as 'The Poor Knights of Christ' as the Templars were originally known, it seems that later more latitude might have become afforded to thier wear, especially toward the sword as the key weapon in the codes of chivalry. It does not seem that a simple cross placed on a pommel, for application as described, and which corresponded to the cross worn on thier mantle, would be considered personal adornment. Just as changes in the equipment worn by these forces were encouraged by the Pope himself, the placement of a cross, in the precious metal worthy of the sword, which was considered in effect a Holy instrument, would seem well placed.

Leaving the focus on the cross on the pommel, I would once more try to look into the markings on the blade, which I have brought up previously and for some reason does not seem to be attracting any interest.

I will express this again to prevent everyone having to have to search through the posts....the III....III with indeterminable marking between is in the same configuration as these type markings on Frankish swords, namely thise marked INGELRII for one, of the 10th century and later. Although this blade seems clearly of 13th century form, why are these markings on this blade, and might there be significant clues in that feature?

Cesare, I really do want to thank you again for bringing this fascinating sword to our forum! and quite honestly, along with the others Im sure, am anxious to see other pieces you are researching.
Might I implore you once again, to give more closeups of the markings to which I have referred?

All very best regards,
Jim
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Old 21st October 2010, 07:56 PM   #43
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Ciao a tutti
Voglio ringraziare Jim, David, Fernando, Michael, e tutt gli altri amici che hanno contribuito al thread.

Devo dire che condivido le vostre conclusioni.
La spada è quanto meno interessante sotto molti punti di vista.
Non possiamo affermare con sicurezza che è la spada dei templari o dei cavalieri di San Giovanni.
Comunque è una magnifica spada. Impugnarla è un vero piacere.
Io aggiungo che molto probabilmente la spada è un remake di una più antica.
L'impugnatura è piccola, sproporzionata col resto della spada. La tipologia della lama, come giustamente sottolinea John, è più antica rispetto al fornimento . Del resto le lame costavano moltissimo, quindi non meravigliamoci se venivano riciclate.
Tempo fa ho visionato uno spadino con lama a frantopino. della fine del 1600 ÷ inizio 1700.
La lama era stata ricavata modificando una firmata da un noto spadaio di Toledo e datata 1525.

Presto vi proporrò nuove e interessanti armi. La collezione del museo è piuttosto corposa.

A presto
Cesare

Hello everyone
I want to thank Jim, David, Fernando, Michael, and all other friends who have contributed to the thread.

I must say that I agree with your conclusions.
The sword is at least interesting from many points of view.
We can not say with certainty that it is the sword of the Templars or the Knights of St. John.
However, it is a magnificent sword. Challenge it is a real pleasure.
I would add that the sword is most likely a remake of an older one.
The grip is small and disproportionate to the rest of the sword. The type of blade, as John rightly points out, is older than the hilt. Moreover, the blade is very expensive, so do not be surprised if they were recycled.

Some time ago I reviewed a small sword with frantopino blade dated from late 1600 to early 1700.
The blade was derived by changing one, signed by a famous swordsmith of Toledo and dated 1525 !

Soon I will propose new and interesting weapons. The museum's collection is quite substantial.

See you soon
Cesare
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Old 21st October 2010, 09:34 PM   #44
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We sure are all eyes to see more of the museum's treasures, Cesare!

Best,
Michael
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Old 22nd October 2010, 04:35 PM   #45
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I agree Cesare, we look forward to more of these amazing treasures. Who knows how many mysteries lie hidden in them, very much like the mystery of those blade markings on this one!

While the answer to the markings on this blade defy our attention, perhaps new mysteries will have more results in our discussions.

A note to Dmitry, thank you for your notes from the Boccia & Coelho reference! I had meant to include that but got lost in my ramblings (as usual .

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 25th October 2010, 12:21 AM   #46
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Thumbs up Very, very nice

First, my apologies for how long it has taken me to reply to this thread. This is an amazingly nice sword and I genuinely appreciate your sharing it with us.

I apologize for the poor technical quality of the photograph, but this is from the blade of a Viking Age sword of mid-tenth century date:



Two groups of three lines each on the forte, perpendicular to the length executed as iron inlays in a pattern welded blade (Oakeshott Records X.4). I obviously do not know the meaning of the pattern, but here is an earlier iteration of it.

At first glance the blade really looked Oakeshott X / Geibig 5 to me, but the more I look at it I have come to believe the best fit is an Oakeshott XII. Mr. Oakeshott was revising his dates earlier towards the end of his life and he places a number of these blades with silver inlays into the 11th century, so my personal suspicion is that this is from the eleventh through first half of the twelfth century (1000-1150). As noted above, a brazil nut form 'moving' to round. Peek at the pommel of JPO2242 from Paris (Swords of the Viking Age pp 128-130) and the blade of NM1174:1 from Helsinki (SVA pp 138-139).
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Old 25th October 2010, 07:30 AM   #47
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Hi Lee. Pattern is just that a pattern showing on the blade produced from the action of welding the metal together. strips of metal maybe 5 or 6 strips sometimes more each strip of metal having various degrees of carbon .would be heated and hammered together time and time again to produce the blade. At any time during the process if the metal gets to hot or cold the whole process was wreaked and started again using new metal.
what the pattern shows on the blade is the joining lines of these metal strips.
hope that helps explain things a little better. michael
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Old 25th October 2010, 09:20 PM   #48
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Hi all,

Pommel and blade inscription:
The pommel is indeed a final phase of the brazil-nut pommel. Oakeshott published in the sword in the Age of chivalry, a copper grave work of an alter made by Rodkerus of Helemeshausen in 1118. see picture.
Oakeshott quote"these inscriptions are not in the form of names,........,but of various apparently meaningless combinations of upright lines, crosses and circles,and in one case an interlaced pattern"Unquote.

the very short grip:
As can be also seen on this work the hand is too large for the grip.
Oakeshotts explanation is that the curve of the pommel in combination with the short grip gives a firm support to the hand and acts as a fulcrum to help an upward swing of the sword.

Classification:
the sword is typically an Oakeshott type XII but an early one with the characteristic of the short grip of the type XI.
After the important finds of Viking graves at Ristiina/Kangassalain/Finland by Jorma Leppaaho published in 1964. al lot of of type XI and XII had to be re-dated in the several museums and corrected in literature, which Oakeshott did in ROMS.
this sword can be dated in the period Lee indicates.1100-1150



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