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Old 1st November 2010, 08:06 PM   #1
cornelistromp
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Default Hungarian saber 15thC

Hi All,

I received a nice S-shaped Hungarian??? saber and have a few questions, maybe somebody can help;
- is this type also used in other countries fa Italy?
- has somebody seen the triple shield-cross mark on 15thC arms before somewhere?

thanks+regards from Holland
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Old 1st November 2010, 08:21 PM   #2
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Hi Cornelis,

Very fine piece in any case, congratulations!

I cannot tell for sure either but surmise that the style is characteristically Italian and may have soon been adopted by Hungary.

I reworked the detail showing the cross and shield blade mark struck three times in the Late Gothic tradition. Will ask my friend and be back.

Best,
Michael
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Old 1st November 2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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Hi Michael,

thank you very much , I will await your answer.

kind regards from Holland
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Old 2nd November 2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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Also interested in the opinions of other fellow-collectors of course
please feel free to comment.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 03:04 AM   #5
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Hi Cornelis,

This is a 15th Century Hungarian saber, here is a similar one from Pg 30 of Ubojite Ostrice . This blade style (single fuller with prominent yelman) carried on in Hungary and later Poland into the late 16th century. I am not sure of the maker marks, I will see if i can find anything similar. I will enclose a close up of the mark on the pictured saber.

All the Best
Jeff
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Old 3rd November 2010, 03:05 AM   #6
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Here you are, Cornelis,

My friend Ottmar thinks this an extremely fine and rare original and characteristic Venetian saber, ca. 1470 - so congrats once more!

Just in case that my fading eyes overlooked it: what is the overall length of the item? It might be a one-and-a-half saber!

Best to Holland from a cold and rainy Bavaria,
Michael
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Old 3rd November 2010, 09:16 AM   #7
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Hi Jeff,
thanks for the info and nice picture.

Hi Michael,
thanks for the info that it can be venetian.
this saber can be used with one or two hands.
the grip is 14cm
all over length is 98cm
blade is 78cm
pommel 5x5cm
weight is 1130gr

the only similar I could find is in Mueller/koelling/platow and discrubed as Hungarian end of 15thC. another one sold at Sothebys in 2002.
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Old 4th November 2010, 12:38 AM   #8
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Those are some lovely pieces indeed, thank you very much for posting those pics !

As to the provenance of the original saber(s) I'd say it could be both Hungarian or Venetian (or even Balkan in origin) - Venice had a considerable influence on Hungaro-Balkan arms and amour (the blade however would be after the Turkish fashion of course).. I imagine that such a saber could easily have been carried by either a period Hungarian Hussar, Venetian Stradiot or even a Rumelian (european) Ottoman trooper.. Do note also the slightly canted handle on some pieces as well.. Many of the men serving in those units were often of mixed heritage that is Serb/Magyar (early hussars) , Albanian/Greek (stradiots) to name a few.. During the period in questions these nations were heavily influenced by both North Italian as well as Ottoman Turkish trends. A result of this mating can be imho quite clearly seen in those transitional sabers.

I recently spotted a somewhat similar depiction of a saber in an Altair painting back home in our church (Bardejov, Slovakia , former Upper Hungary) dated to 1480s - depicting a scene with a byzantine emperor Heraclius...

data from imareal:

Kunstwerk: Temperamalerei-Holz ; Einrichtung sakral ; FlŁgelaltar Kreuzigungsaltar ; Slowakei ; KreuzerhŲhung:03:016-027
Dokumentation: 1480 ; 1490 ; Bardejov ; Slowakei ; Pfarrkirche St. ńgidius
Anmerkungen: 700x800 ; Bardejov ; Libuse Cidlinska, Goticke kridlove oltare na Slovensku, 1989, S. 30f

overview



Closeups done by myself:




(note the S or almost figure 8 shaped cross-guard, I believe some authors calls this "schiavonesca" style, afaik such curved quilllons were not only restricted to those weapons only)

Collection of XV. century sabres from Budapest National Museum (source: Rťgi Magyar Fegyverek by KalmŠr JŠnos):




Some more from B.N.M - courtesy of http://museum.velizariy.kiev.ua :

http://museum.velizariy.kiev.ua/hun...ages/bwm011.jpg

+

http://museum.velizariy.kiev.ua/hun...ages/bwm012.jpg

(closeup on yelmen)

source: http://museum.velizariy.kiev.ua/hun..._muz/index.html

Cheers,
Samuel
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Old 4th November 2010, 12:21 PM   #9
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Hi Samuel,

thanks a lot for the valuable information about this type of saber, there is little in Western European books to find.
particularly interesting is the 15th century painting with an identical saber and of course the museum link

thank you for this post, this helps me a lot further

kind regards
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Old 23rd April 2019, 05:08 PM   #10
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Gents,
What do you think about this beauty?
Unlike the examples above, this one has a straight crossguard (not S-shaped).
Are swords/sabers known with this kind of crossguard?
There is a marking on the tang (hope it will be more visible after cleaning).
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Old 23rd April 2019, 07:42 PM   #11
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Hi Evgeny,

Thatís an interesting sword. It looks like a combination of the sciavonesca swords pictured earlier in this thread, and the early hussar swords like the one of Stephen Bathory posted here (see below). I must confess that I never saw one like yours before, but I canít rule out that it could be a transitionary example from the S shaped crossguard to a straight crossguard but before adopting the almond shaped pommel of later hussar swords. It looks like a hussar sword with a strong Venetian (because of the catís head pommel) connection. Venice and its surroundings supplied a lot of arms to Hungary, and parts of Dalmatia and the hinterland in Croatia was then part of Hungary in a dual monarchy. There were also many Slavic mercenaries from those territories that served in Venice. It would be great to see the mark on the tang after cleaning.
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Old 24th April 2019, 02:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Hi Evgeny,

Thatís an interesting sword. It looks like a combination of the sciavonesca swords pictured earlier in this thread, and the early hussar swords like the one of Stephen Bathory posted here (see below). I must confess that I never saw one like yours before, but I canít rule out that it could be a transitionary example from the S shaped crossguard to a straight crossguard but before adopting the almond shaped pommel of later hussar swords. It looks like a hussar sword with a strong Venetian (because of the catís head pommel) connection. Venice and its surroundings supplied a lot of arms to Hungary, and parts of Dalmatia and the hinterland in Croatia was then part of Hungary in a dual monarchy. There were also many Slavic mercenaries from those territories that served in Venice. It would be great to see the mark on the tang after cleaning.


Hi
Don't you think it could be an example of a transitional sword model with "classical" straight crossguard which will be replaced later with S-shaped crossguard? Or it could be some kind of local feature...
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Old 24th April 2019, 07:52 PM   #13
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The common denominator of all the swords in this thread is Hungary. The Hungarian kingdom pre-1918 was much bigger than today, and encompassed vast pusztas and a coast on the Adriatic Sea. Swords with S-shaped guards and catís head pommels are deemed to be medieval Hungarian. The catís head pommels are thought of as of Venetian (on the Adriatic sea) origin. Your sword looks like a hussar sword with a catís head pommel. These hussar swords later had almond shaped pommels (late medieval time) and the crossguards became smaller/shorter. Ironically the straight cross guard on the sabres may have been a Turkish/Ottoman influence. At the end of the 16th and during the 17thC the Hungarian hussar sabres were very similar to Turkish ones.
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Old 24th April 2019, 10:00 PM   #14
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Hmm... I just noticed that your sword lacks langets on the cross guard which seems odd. So it then looks like a knightly sword with a Hungarian type pommel and a Turkish style sabre blade with a yelman? Seems a little bit too mixed to me. I would argue that knightly swords are separate from sabres which developed out of the Asian steppes.
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Old 25th April 2019, 09:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Hmm... I just noticed that your sword lacks langets on the cross guard which seems odd. So it then looks like a knightly sword with a Hungarian type pommel and a Turkish style sabre blade with a yelman? Seems a little bit too mixed to me. I would argue that knightly swords are separate from sabres which developed out of the Asian steppes.


That's exactly what's interesting.
Furthermore it seems to me that it's blade is less curved than the Turkish type blades.
Here is an example for comparison:
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Old 25th April 2019, 01:15 PM   #16
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Wow, thatís a beauty! Where do you find them all?! The scabbard parts look good as well.

Are you comfortable with the provenance of the first sword? The patina looks different (more rusty brown?) compared to the others. Interesting you mentioned the lesser curvature. The Turkish pala are similarly fairly straight until just before the yelman where the tip twists at a sharp angle. I was thinking the first sword could be more Southern Balkan in origin (Serbia, Bulgaria) where the Turkish influence may have had a stronger influence? Also Iím not very familiar with Byzantine swords. But this does not explain the absence of langets on the crossguard.
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Old 25th April 2019, 02:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Wow, thatís a beauty! Where do you find them all?! The scabbard parts look good as well.

Are you comfortable with the provenance of the first sword? The patina looks different (more rusty brown?) compared to the others. Interesting you mentioned the lesser curvature. The Turkish pala are similarly fairly straight until just before the yelman where the tip twists at a sharp angle. I was thinking the first sword could be more Southern Balkan in origin (Serbia, Bulgaria) where the Turkish influence may have had a stronger influence? Also Iím not very familiar with Byzantine swords. But this does not explain the absence of langets on the crossguard.


It's just rusty metal (sword needs some cleaning). If I'm not mistaken it was found somewhere nearby the former Moldova principality. Hope to get more detailed information.I also hope that it will be possible to identify the marking.
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