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Old 17th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #1
mahratt
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Default A mark (stamp) on a Spanish sword

Hi guys.
Has anyone seen such a mark (stamp) on Spanish swords? Any opinions
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Old 17th August 2018, 11:57 AM   #2
fernando
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Are you sure this is a Spanish mark, Mahratt ?
Can you show us a picture of the inscription on the blade ?
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Old 17th August 2018, 12:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Are you sure this is a Spanish mark, Mahratt ?
Can you show us a picture of the inscription on the blade ?


Here are inscriptions:
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Old 17th August 2018, 01:00 PM   #4
fernando
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"MIN SINAL HES EL SANTISSIMO CRUCIFICIO".
A typical Spanish inscription, sometimes added by the figure of a crucified Christ in the tang ricasso. German smiths also used such inscription when forging blades for the Spanish market.
Unfortunately i can not identify the mark you showed, after checking on the Palomares nomina, where most (all) known Toledo smiths up to 18th century are listed. Also not in Gyngell's work, neither in "Armi Bianchi Italiane", nor in "Wallace Collection" .
Still i think i have already seen this mark. Perhaps more equipped members can help.
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Old 17th August 2018, 01:17 PM   #5
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The blade channel is typical from Solingen. Many walloon swords have the same. The motto is one of the four more often encountered in those bilbos. Pommel is atypical. These Boca de Caballo cavalry officer swords with four screws are probably after 1728. Previously they have more often two screws.

I also think I have seen those grapes before. I will check later.
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Old 17th August 2018, 01:51 PM   #6
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Hi Midelburgo,
I have registered that, the four screws improvement was implemented when the Toledo Factory opened around 1760 and started production of this 1728 model. Also as from then, inspectors marks were stamped in the ricasso; this not meaning that the mark in Mahratt's blade is that of an inspector. Also at this point i wouldn't know whether such inspection marks were only stamped in King's property military swords, which wouldn't be the case here. Still possible that this is a German blade, although the habit to stamp marks in the ricasso seems to me more a Spanish fashion. On the other hand, for a Boca de Caballo, this one is rather atypical in its details; not only the pommel but also the grip, the straight quillons (some times seen) the fine decoration on the guard shells.
All in all, a rather exclusive sword, don't you think ?
It also surprises me that you name this type of swords as 'bilbos' .

Last edited by fernando : 17th August 2018 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 17th August 2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info! I hope that you will remember about the mark.
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Old 17th August 2018, 07:01 PM   #8
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I have checked Heribert Seitz and Nickel Ulstein books for the mark, and another couple from Solingen and the mark is not there. This just means it is not a main producer.

Fernando, what you say about Toledo could be valid for troopers swords. The 1728 regulation does not say anything about screws (you can find it here:
http://bibliotecavirtualdefensa.es/...ro.cmd?id=36321
Volume 3 page 318).

But In 1761, they write that the 1728 order shall be better enforced, from the redaction they just repeat the model 1728, with 4 screws. So I take the 1728 shall have 4 screws, but it was not always followed. Further I have seen 1728 model swords, which seem to be for troopers, with Solingen blades that shall predate Toledo (the production after 1760 was completed with swords from Barcelona) and four screws. First picture, by Gio Knecht, JKeiser, Coel...

Of course, they could be later remountings, this is not an exact science.

I just noticed the Keiser sword has a similar blade than the initial post.

Officers is a different business as they were not using always Toledo blades after 1761, and of course not before either.

By the style, older swords have only two screws. They are difficult to date and to distinguish if they are for an officer or for the trooper. This includes those from late XVIIth century. So I believe that after 1728, but possibly before, the tendency was towards 4 screws.

As for the position, next is a Coel blade with mark in the ricasso (and two screws plus another two for the guardapolvo).

Last is another with two screws with a similar motto.
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Last edited by midelburgo : 17th August 2018 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 17th August 2018, 09:13 PM   #9
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Midelburgo, thank you for the link, which i saved.

Obviously i was referring to troopers swords when concerning the fixation screws. They might not be referred in the regulation, but i am based, among other, on the following notes, registered by Juan L Calvo:

http://www.catalogacionarmas.com/public/49-Conchas.pdf

Surely officers versions were commissioned and made "a la carte", where German blades, hilt sophistication and other details were introduced.
Perhaps when you have the time and disposition you take a quick look to this thread:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23509

... pass the 'bilbo' term misuse.


Attached, the blade of one my cup hilted swords with the discussed motto, engraved in the same style.

.
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Last edited by fernando : 17th August 2018 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 18th August 2018, 08:46 AM   #10
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I believe, it is the town mark of Augsburg, which implies an export blade.

best,
jasper
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Old 18th August 2018, 09:00 AM   #11
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Ah, there is nothing like having Jasper around .

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Old 18th August 2018, 01:23 PM   #12
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Nice to see from where it is coming. I was misusing the term Bilbo just for the sake of identification. The article from JL Calvo is full of uncertainties, many still unsolved. For example, even when Toledo factory started in 1761 and producing in remarkable numbers by 1764, you cannot find dated blades before 1769 for Dragon blades and 1771 for cavalry blades. Also the crowned R for Royal Property does not appear before 1777.

From JL Calvo, I understand that the name "Boca de Caballo" comes from the cross becoming a closed piece, like a horse bit, not because the two different shells resembling a horses mouth. This would mean that many swords under "Boca de Caballo" at museums do not comply. This includes officers swords with 4 screws but not a closing piece at the "ears" (orejas is the original Spanish for the two half rings of the pas d'ane).

I am not sure how a Spanish horse bit from 1the 1730s looks like, but that can be easy to find.

About the To marking coming from Toledo, I am not completely sure. The last sword has both, To at the ricasso, and Solingen at the channels. Next to a date 1760 when there was not a single swordmaker left at Toledo. Bad latin motto, In te domine speravi...

By the way another thing I have observed is that officers 1728s are often bolted, but troopers have screws. Again this is a tendency, not a rule.
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Last edited by midelburgo : 18th August 2018 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 19th August 2018, 04:02 PM   #13
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If there is only one paragraph (the one that i have read) written in Calvo's article concerning the subject, the "Boca de Caballo" quillons resemblance with a horse bit, such attribution is not his authorship but one of (quote) his friend Eduardo Jiménez.
Personally, from within my ignorance, i would opt for the shells resembling the front view of a horse's mouth.
We can read in a text posted in "Gran Capitan" forum that, these swords descend from the Espada para Caballeria 1650, with straight quillons ("Spanish Military Weapons in Colonial America"), and with a double shell, like those known as "Boca de Caballo"...; the shell, not the quillons configuration.
Apparently there as been an intermediary version (Tomás de Morla) in which the quillons started to appear a "S" shape.
As for the To mark, we could well believe that such mark existed, as the Toledo city control stamp. Whereas some smiths found themselves known enough to dispense such mark, such would be an acceptable possibility (José María Pélaez Valle). If we check through Wallace Collection we see several variations of this symbol, stamped in as many Spanish swords, and considered by the author as Toledo marks. This appears to be coherent in that, according to the same Perez Valle, each variation "could" correspond to a different period (year) of production, like in silver hallmarks.
On the other hand, the appearance of a To mark in an non Spanish blade is not to be rejected, as also happened with Spanish inscriptions in German (Solingen) blades, for purposes of better commercialization in the Spanish market.

Attached are XVII and XVIII century Spanish horse bits.


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