Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 16th December 2021, 07:21 PM   #1
CSinTX
Member
 
CSinTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 220
Default Unique and Impressive Two Handed Sword

I will mostly let the pictures speak for themselves. My first great sword but I doubt Ill ever find another to replace it. It has it all!

Thoughts on origins? Similar examples of guard, pommel, or blade?
Attached Images
      
CSinTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th December 2021, 07:26 PM   #2
CSinTX
Member
 
CSinTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 220
Default

More pics.
Attached Images
        
CSinTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th December 2021, 10:56 PM   #3
broadaxe
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 329
Question

Please indicate full length and weight.
broadaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th December 2021, 01:45 AM   #4
CSinTX
Member
 
CSinTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 220
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe View Post
Please indicate full length and weight.
Overall length is 189cm.

Center of balance is 84cm from the base of the pommel which is also right at the front of the blade lugs.

Weight is approximately 7.6lbs or 3.44kg.

Its very well balanced and feels fast in the hand for such a monster of a sword. Obviously a good portion of it's length is in the grip which doesn't weigh a lot.

The blade is flexible and 6cm across at it's widest.
CSinTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th December 2021, 03:17 PM   #5
corrado26
Member
 
corrado26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Posts: 1,043
Default

I think that the blade's decoration is not typical for the time such sword has been in use. Over that the coat of arms under this very funny crown is not to be found in Johann Siebmachers book of coat of arms. So I take this for pure phantasy and the sword for pure historism. As I am no expert on such swords I could obviously be totally wrong!

Last edited by corrado26; 17th December 2021 at 06:15 PM.
corrado26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th December 2021, 07:12 PM   #6
ulfberth
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 369
Default

The technique" etching" was used in swords , halberds and armour in the 16th and 17th c , here are some examples .
Its of course good we have books , but not everything they made can be found in books.
On the other hand, just imagine a knight in the 14th or 15th C would order a sword oakeshott type xx at a blacksmith, the smith would not know what to make, and still its in the books now.
Kind regards
Ulfberth
Attached Images
   
ulfberth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th December 2021, 07:38 PM   #7
ulfberth
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 369
Default

here are two other examples of the period, interesting is the on the first you can see two different results , both of etching on one sword.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by ulfberth; 18th December 2021 at 08:21 PM.
ulfberth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2021, 01:38 PM   #8
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,013
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfberth View Post
here are two other examples of the period, interesting is the on the first you can see two different results , both of etching on one sword.
Hi Ulfberth, re the Sword of the bodyguard of Duke Julius of Brunswick.
These are different techniques, the quillon is chiseled and the blade is etched.

For the rest i agree with you, like the examples in Wegeli, two hand swords were etched in this matter.
The sword under discussion also looks authentic, in terms of make and patina, the grips also looks good.
Nevertheless,the only thing that makes me doubt is the unusual pommel style and unusual crossguard style.
but...... like Ewart Oakeshott claimed: that you have never seen it means absolutely nothing at all, unless have seen them all those 100,000+ of swords made.

@CsinTX is it possible to see under the leather sleeve if and how the pareer lugs are attached to the blade ?

best,
Jasper
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2021, 01:50 PM   #9
ulfberth
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 369
Default

Hi Cornelistromp , about the Sword of the bodyguard of Duke Julius of Brunswick, that is correct the quillions are chiseled.
However in my opinion after the chiseling work the deeper surface was etched to reach a higher relief. I have had and handled a two handed sword with a crossguard like that in my collection. That one was surely etched after the chisseling. About the styl, most two handed swords in the Italian museums al have more decorative art like styles, this could be Italian work.
The sword of Casey is probably a ceremonial sword and yes it could be more fantasy was used on the blade's etching its not the same a a sword for the field.
These ceremonial or bearing swords were sometimes also used as execution swords in certain towns, it could be a town sword wich could explain the heraldry like etching. However I dont know that its purely speculation.
kind regards
Ulfberth
ulfberth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2021, 02:37 PM   #10
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,889
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfberth View Post
... The sword of Casey is probably a ceremonial sword and yes it could be more fantasy was used on the blade's etching its not the same a a sword for the field....
Such a basic question indeed.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th December 2021, 04:43 PM   #11
broadaxe
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 329
Default

The sword is indeed a puzzle. I think the etched decoration has been added later on sometimes after the sword went out of service, maybe to perform as a bearing arm - note the huge size.
The guard is weird, but I'm not ruling it out totally. Overall construction appears to be better than usual historismus biedenhanders, and on top of all, the weight vs. length and width ratio is just amazing, I would expect a historismus to be at least twice as heavy.
broadaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2021, 10:05 PM   #12
CSinTX
Member
 
CSinTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 220
Default

Thanks for the thoughts from everyone. Ive added some more pics. Unfortunately I can not see where the parrying lugs attach to the blade without damaging the leather.

I feel very confident that the sword itself is good. The patina is right, forging lines, highest quality blade, weight, etc. The markings on the pommel match that on the guard.

But I know very little of how stampings, engravings, etc would have been done in a blade. The outer edge of the decoration, that has been mechanically applied, how would this have been done? Could it be done on metal that was not hot (added later)? Or would it need to be done at time of manufacture? There is a distinct grove cut around the outer edge. Ive marked this in green in the final picture.

I like to imagine that maybe this was a bodyguards weapon rather than a piece for the field. This might explain the combination of it being an obviously highly lethal weapon as well as unique and decorated.
Attached Images
      
CSinTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2021, 09:13 AM   #13
ulfberth
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 369
Default

Hi Casey, its done with a combination of etching, the center with a punch and fine engraving in the shield and crown.
in the Rijksmuseum depot in Amsterdam there is a blade of a two handed sword, with a stamp which to me looks like Italian.
Interistingly the blade is decorated with similar type of small circle's just as on the pommel and crossguard of your sword, unfortunately we cant see the crossguard because its missing.
kind regards
Ulfberth
Attached Images
   
ulfberth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2021, 12:06 PM   #14
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,013
Default

the outerline of the engraving the pommel and the guard were done with a hammer and chisel, this was not unusual. see example.
everything looks very good just because the design of the hilt, guard and pommel, is extremely strange makes me doubt.


what I find odd: the shape of the pommel, the diamond-shaped ends of the guard, reminds me a bit of a cleymore.
The ringguards have an unusual outline shape and are forged towards the ends at the cross, and not from the center going outwards.
The small rings on the inside are usually forged on the center block, apart from the outer ring.
The two curls in the center of the quillons are "perfect" in shape, like the relief work on the bottom of the guard, most of the 16thc two-handers show coarse forged ironwork.

The flat diamond-shaped blade did occur in earlier two-handers around the middle of the 16th century.
in the 16th century pareer thorns were forged from the ricasso , while in the 19th century these thorns were often forged and attached separately.

the blades of twohanders later in the 16th century, in combination with this type of pareer thorn, became flat or flat hexagonal, while the blades with thorns pointing towards the hilt are still diamond-shaped.

To me it's kind of a fantasy piece but I can't tell if it was made around/before 1600 or in the 19th century.

best,
Attached Images
 
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2021, 01:05 PM   #15
corrado26
Member
 
corrado26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Posts: 1,043
Default

If this sword is of the 16th century is anybody able to tell me how and with which tools this pommel was made without some machinery?
corrado26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2022, 12:16 PM   #16
NeilUK
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Scotland
Posts: 115
Default

I have only just seen this post and agree with the comments on the engraving and chiseling. However I am totally amazed by the style of the hilt - grip, pommel and crossguard. In the course of researching my book I have examined dozens of 2-handed swords in the flesh, so to speak, and hundreds more in photos and have seen nothing like this. The grip is too long proportionally and the midpoint baluster is too fanciful. The pommel and crossguard are just weird even if the actual workmanship is good. For its length as a parade sword it is too light in weight. My opinion is that it is an elaborate attempt to create a 17th century 2-hander, well constructed but horribly inaccurate unless it was intended to be a fantasy sword. Probably 19th century.
Neil
NeilUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2022, 05:27 AM   #17
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 1,014
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26 View Post
If this sword is of the 16th century is anybody able to tell me how and with which tools this pommel was made without some machinery?
The relatively coarse execution of the design tells me that it was chiseled by hand. Looks like a typical level of craftsmanship for the genre, place, and time.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2022, 07:16 AM   #18
corrado26
Member
 
corrado26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Posts: 1,043
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilUK View Post
Probably 19th century.
Neil
thank you
corrado26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th January 2022, 09:56 PM   #19
CSinTX
Member
 
CSinTX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 220
Default

Thanks for the additional thoughts!

To me, it is not fair to dismiss an item because it does not appear in books or in a museum.

I still have a lot to learn about styles and typeology but I feel like I know a 16th C piece when I hold it. On close inspection I just cannot find anything that says to me that it's later. Weight, quality, forging, impact marks, patina, etc all look correct. If it's not 16th C. then I have to question every item out there.

A few more pics because who doesnt love pictures. I tried to capture the wavy "variation" that is present in good blades when viewed lengthwise.
Attached Images
          
CSinTX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 12:24 AM   #20
NeilUK
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Scotland
Posts: 115
Default

Sorry, Casey, but that is my opinion, formed from years of studying 2-handers.
I accept that I have not handled your sword and it is certainly a talking point to hang on the wall.
Regards, Neil
NeilUK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 09:16 AM   #21
Cathey
Member
 
Cathey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: adelaide south australia
Posts: 239
Default

Hi Guys

Sorry but I concur with Neil's view. Even if this was perhaps a bearing sword not meant for combat, I would have throught something similar would have surfaced in a museum by now.

Sadly, a large number of excellent copies of medieval swords were manufactured as decoration items in the Victorian period and now have age and patina makeing them difficult to spot.

It looks impressive and I hope Neil and I are wrong, but I share his view that this is a decorative piece, maybe late Victorian or even more recent.

The other issue hitting the medieval market now is the practice of smelting down old iron objects to make fake medieval swords that would pass an age test. I am told that this is why so many are now turning up on Ebay.

Naturally I would not expect the purchaser to reveal what was paid for this sword, however price plus the provenance can sometimes complete the picture when it comes to authenticity.

regards Cathey
Cathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 09:51 AM   #22
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,013
Default

as in my previous post, I still leave open the possibility that it is a fantasy sword, however from the 16th century.

Of course if you only base on the style, I don't know anything from the 16th century that resembles it at all.

But,,,there are some small details that I really like, the wedge-shaped flexible blade, the technique of the etching, the brass decorations on the grip , are identical as on fe burgonet helmets.

so as explained in my previous post, I'll leave both, 16th century and 19th century, options open.

Of course I respect everyone's opinion, especially in the area of two-handers, Neil's opinion.
There are not many who have delved into this subject as much as he has. He is an authority in this field :-)

re: Provenance
Provenance says a lot about medieval swords because 99.9% of the fakes are made after 2000.
In this case 16th or 19th century, provenance says much less, if you can go back 100 years, you still have no clarity.

best
Jasper
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 10:57 AM   #23
ulfberth
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 369
Default

Of course I respect everyones opinion.
Opinions are formed by background, experience, as we can read here in the reactions.
I have been collecting for more than 45 years now, had about 15 of these in my collection, handled
and studied them over the years.
From my background I was trained to see the smallest defects, this was my job.
When I look at the surface of this steel I see exactly what one needs to see on swords of this period.
I never saw a sword with these features on eBay and these are mostly of much simpler form, simpler meaning less cost to make and more profit.
As for fantasy, yes I agree, but people in the 16th and 17th c had fantasy too.
As Cornelis pointed out, the etching work, the brass parts as on the helmets of the period
and also the thicker midsection on the grip can be found on halberds of the 16th C.
I would like to add to that, the chiseling and engraving work, anybody here that has done hand work would realize that applying all these details would cost countless of hours.
As i pointed out before, it's the way as done on this sword, it is exactly as on swords of the period in museums.
More swords and helmets etc. made in this era are not in museums.
This is because there was no regulation pattern as in the 19 th C were you had reglementary types.
In the 16th and 17th century every blacksmith in every town did his own thing.
In all my years of collecting I handled a fair number 19th c and later copies to, as i believe its just as important to study these,but not one of them " not one!" ..... had good balance,they were all too heavy.
I can only say what I see based upon my education and years of experience and what I see a late 16th c sword
probably made for the field and perhaps later used as a bearing sword.
kind regards
Ulfberth
ulfberth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 02:18 PM   #24
Lee
EAAF Staff
 
Lee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 816
Wink Perhaps I'd roll this observation back about an order of magnitude

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp View Post
...Provenance says a lot about medieval swords because 99.9% of the fakes are made after 2000...
Perhaps I'd roll this observation back about an order of magnitude, to 99%. On a couple of occasions I have had experienced museum curators confide to me that more than a few of the most iconic (and beloved) medieval swords in some very well regarded museum collections are, at the very best, 19th century enhancements and composites. (Technical examination has also raised concerns about some examples in my own collection with earlier reliable provenance.)

As to the subject of this thread, it is an amazingly proficient piece of work and the forging artifacts and patina are most convincing to me from looking at the photos, but I am not competent to judge as to whether 19th versus 16th century.
Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 03:31 PM   #25
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,013
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Perhaps I'd roll this observation back about an order of magnitude, to 99%. On a couple of occasions I have had experienced museum curators confide to me that more than a few of the most iconic (and beloved) medieval swords in some very well regarded museum collections are, at the very best, 19th century enhancements and composites. (Technical examination has also raised concerns about some examples in my own collection with earlier reliable provenance.)
Lee you are 99,9% right
on the other hand, a university study costs money.
The mistakes that every collector and researcher makes in his career also cost money. I have a separate exhibition bucket for this and classify it under the heading of learning money, and of course use it as explanation material for fellow collectors

Concerning the %, 99.9% might be a bit high.
but by this % I mean mainly the excavated swords and daggers. its value was relatively low in the 20th century that counterfeiting was of little use here. Now after +- 2000 that is unfortunately no longer the case.
There are now so many counterfeits in excavated swords on offer that the majority of collectors no longer know what a real excavated sword should look like. A verifiable provenance for 2000 gives a little more support.

best
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th January 2022, 06:32 PM   #26
Lee
EAAF Staff
 
Lee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Posts: 816
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp View Post
There are now so many counterfeits in excavated swords on offer that the majority of collectors no longer know what a real excavated sword should look like.
As to overall agreement about the current state of affairs, I would say that we are 100% in agreement.

I did a detailed XRF study of my collection and discovered many interesting things. I still am far from really understanding the data (COVID came along and killed interpretative progress!) but some items that had received a thumbs down from the "great denunciator" appear to have been vindicated, while questions were raised about other well regarded swords that had passed so many other hurdles. The technical examination conclusively 'killed' one Viking style sword that had come before 2000 from a most reliable dealer and embarrassingly I only recognized the anachronistic stylistic features after they were pointed out to me and this led to my review of the technical data and a horrible sinking feeling. I never had suspected that sword as it had come from a most reliable dealer before the preset scourge of forgeries became apparent. At least it was not a personal favorite.

I suspect that some of the recent fabrications from before around 2000 may have been what I will call exercises in "academic craftsmanship" and were not at the outset ever intended to deceive. Then the items fell into the wrong hands.
Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th January 2022, 10:19 AM   #27
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,013
Default

It has become a strange reality, often the dealer does not know exactly whether the piece is right or not, but a reliable dealer will always have to find a solution instead of caveat emptor.
Some counterfeits are so well made that unfortunately they can fool authorities and sometimes are even published in a renowned highly regarded PL arms-armour catalogue. I unfortunately have a recent example of this.
This has also created great suspicion in the assessment of weapons and anything that looks just a little too good or looks different from the familiar is often dismissed as forgery.
I catch myself doing this too, nevertheless I try to remain as objective as possible at all times. Likewise with the sword under discussion, as strange as it may look, personally I keep open the small possibility of beeing a 16th century sword.

best,
Jasper
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2022, 11:57 PM   #28
awdaniec666
Member
 
awdaniec666's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 63
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSinTX View Post
... then I have to question every item out there.
This is the beginning of a fascinating, but laborious journey...
Every time I think analizing a sword became easy I notice there is always a new layer of knowledge to be acquired which has been hidden before.
"Feeling" is always good but there were very able craftsmen in the 19th century and even today.
awdaniec666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.