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Old 1st May 2014, 03:57 PM   #1
AHorsa
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Default Lionhilt Broadsword 17th Century?

Hello Together,


Some month ago I got this interesting sword. It was covered by a thick patina (see first picture) which was easy to remove. Surprisingly the condition under the patina was quite good. It is 90cm long, the blade is 77cm. The Guard is cutted from iron, no iron casting. There was a thumb-ring on the shell-guard, removed in the old times and the blade is signed with the "passauer Wolf" and the "magical number" 1518. I found a similar piece (converning the lion-guard) at Hermann-Historica, Auction 62/63 -> a selection of collectibles -> Hunting Hangers Lot Nr. 2330c http://www.hermann-historica.de/db2_...ion-62-63.html


I got three different opinions on this piece:
- "maybe historism (19th cent.) while using a blade of the 17th."
- "Officers Felddegen, around 1660, the guard in the style of Gottfried Leygebe"
- "Guard around 1580, Northitalian, the blade marriaged with the guard around 1600"

My opinion: Due to searching a lot of catalogues etc. I think the second opinion (around 1660) is the most likely one. But I couldnīt find an identical or nearly identical piece. In my eyes evidence against historism is the removed thumb-ring and the deep nick/cut on one of the stirrups (sse picture), which seems to originate from another edge weapon, also as this potential hit bended the stirrup out of shape (see last pic).

I would be very interested in your opinion about this peace. Maybe you can also help me to find out about the geographical context of the sword.

Thanks and best regards,
Andi
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Old 2nd May 2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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I'm a novice here, but I just wanted to say that your sword is magnificent! I love this style of guard. I would wager the second opinion as well, but perhaps early 17th century, Dutch colonial, perhaps made in Indonesia or Shri Lanka (colonial lions similar to those VOC swords of the period?). I see why it could be 1660's, as the shell is curved vs. flat outcropping seen on early hangers. Also, the timeline would fit with the early Anglo-Dutch Wars, when similar pieces were being produced-
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Old 2nd May 2014, 12:29 PM   #3
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Hi Andi, welcome to the forum
Say, aren't you skipping over a vital detail, which is that mark on the ricasso ?
Once identified, it will be more than half way to find the provenance of your sword and potentialy remove the historism possibility.
Can you take a better picture of this one ?

.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 01:32 PM   #4
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Hi at all and thanks for your replies. Fernando you are right, I forgot to mention the mark. Here is a better picture of it. I studied some books about Solingen-Marks but couldnīt find it.

Best regards,
Andi
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Old 3rd May 2014, 04:31 PM   #5
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Mark, as shown with that astute assessment, you are far from 'novice'!!!!
I agree on the period, which I think is around mid 17th perhaps into the first half. Excellent observation on the Dutch associations, and the style of the hilt does recall some of the elaborately carved themes on these colonial hilts favored through VOC trade in the East Indies.
However, I am inclined to see this as among the English 'riding swords' of this period, and the sometimes almost fanciful use of heraldic lions in a themed hilt corresponds in degree to many of these kinds of hilts with the 'green man' and of the type. In many cases this motif is in accord with some seen even on the so called 'mortuary' hilts with facemask etc. in the style at least.

The one thing which would set this attribution outside England would be the thumb ring, or former presence of it, as this is very much a Continental feature. Here I would point out the profound connections between England and the Netherlands in these times, in fact Great Britain became essentially a Dutch dominion under William of Orange by the end of the century . The influences shared in weaponry between Dutch and English styles is seen well into the 18th century, especially in smallswords, which actually seem to have evolved from such riding swords amalgamated with the rapier.

The shellguard seems much in accord with these riding swords, and Mark's note on the curvature of same is well placed.

To me the patination looks good, and concurs with swords of this age. The blade is interesting, and I have not found information on these rather unusual lenticular blades, but know they were used of course. The stamp at the forte seems floral, but I cant make it out. In style it seems like it could be one of the town stamps used by VOC kamers (the seven chambers in Netherlands) but have not yet found more .

As well noted by Andi, the 1518 is indeed a magic number rather than date, and the running wolf along with it indicates of course pretty much a standard pairing for Solingen products of these times.
Here I would note that I truly appreciate the preliminary research, well detailed description and good photos provided by Andi in this thread.
Nicely done, and thank you Andi!

In conclusion, I do not think this is in any way a historism piece, but as always I would defer to opinions of Jasper or Michael.

All best regards,
Jim

PS, the suggestion to the work of Gottfried Leygebe seems interesting.
There appears to be a pertinent article by Ada Bruhn,
"Der Schwertfeger Gottfried Leygebe" in Vol I of 'Tojhusmuseets Skrifter'
(1945) but I could not access it .

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Old 3rd May 2014, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorsa
...I studied some books about Solingen-Marks but couldnīt find it. ...

Having a look at the inunmerous marks in the Wallace Colection catalogue (1962) i don't find it either ... whatever is correct position.

.
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Old 4th May 2014, 12:58 AM   #7
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I did forget to thank Andi for psoting this fascinating sword! I love pieces from this time period, particularly the early hanger types.

Thank you, Jim, for the complement! It means much coming from one of the founding fathers of the Forum! (Not trying to show your age or anything- ). I had forgotten about the riding swords and their somewhat whimsical dsigns. Very well placed and definitely a good possibility. I do have to read up on those amazing sword types from that era.

Fernando, you were very astute to point out the stamp. Even I had blundered past it when this thread was originally posted. Is there any possibility that flower could be a tulip? (Dutch tip of the hat again. Sorry, can't get past those lions ).

Jim pointed out the lentricular blade pattern. Was this type used on Brit swords? Dutch? German? Also, the iron hilt being chizeled/cut and not forged. Does this point to an attribution? Jim, you are right, we need Jasper or Michael on this one! Or perhaps someone else? Where are the forumites hiding-
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Old 4th May 2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for your detailed and knowing comments!

Concerning the surrounding of Gottfried Leygebe there is a similar sword in Seitz Blankwaffen II attributed to Leygebe and the Rapier (second from above) at Hermann-Historica (http://www.hermann-historica-archiv...&db=kat52_A.txt) which has a similar crossguard is attributed to the surrounding of Leygebe. On the other hand, the pommel-lion and the position of its legs is quite similar to those of the VOC-swords Mark mentioned, but the VOC-lionhilt-swords normally showing (as far as I saw them) a lion that covers the whole hilt. Also the shape of the flat straps does remember me on northern european/dutch swords from the first half of the 17th cent.

This relatively simple blade often occurs at german or middle-european broadswords (Felddegen) of the 17th century, more at simple versions than at officers weapons. But there also are a few examples for nicely crested swords using a simple blade.

Anyway, together with your statements I also think that there is a good chance that the sword descended from netherlandī territory. I am excited what Jasper and/or Micheal are thinking.

Thanks a lot and best regards,
Andi
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Old 4th May 2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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beautiful field sword, it also has all the characteristics of a Dutch sword.
a lion holding a shield, monster heads on the guillon block spitting out the parry rods. So yes I do think it is Dutch and it can be dated 1640-1650.

In the mid of the 17th C. ,this type of swords were seen as THE sports cars under the swords and were developed between 1640 and 1650. It is the transition period from heavy back swords and long rapiers to the smaller swifter and more efficient small swords.
They can be seen on the civil guard pieces of the dutch painter J.A. Rotius around 1650. Their owners hold pridely their hand around the pommel or grip to highlight the new type of sword .

Given the high quality of iron carving, a link to the medal cutters in Paris can be made, unfortunately this is difficult to prove.

This type is very rare, there are only a few examples known to me.
see pictures.

best,
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Old 4th May 2014, 01:08 PM   #10
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Great, Jasper or should i say... Great Jasper
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Old 4th May 2014, 06:22 PM   #11
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Jasper thatīs great!! Thanks a lot! So, do you think as a conclusion that my sword is belonging together in all parts and no historism peace?

Best regards,
Andi

P.S.: I postet another comment before Jasper did. But there is a delay when I am posting. So donīt wonder about the overlaps :-)
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Old 4th May 2014, 09:59 PM   #12
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Spectacular, Jasper! Glad you could come in on this one! Andi, you have a fine sword any one of us would be envious to have!
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Old 4th May 2014, 10:48 PM   #13
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Outstanding observations and examples!! Thank you Jasper!
Mark, it looks like your sense toward this being Dutch was perfectly placed, and the more I look at that mark, the more I think it is probably a Dutch mark as well. Your tulip idea I think is quite valid, and though hard for these old eyes to make out, it does seem floral so that makes sense.

Jasper, can you help more with this mark? I know that VOC kamer marks were typically the letter of the town over the VOC, but weren't there 'town' marks much like assay marks used in silversmiths guilds etc? In "Catalog of European Court and Hunting Swords" (Bashford Dean, 1928) there are many of these kinds of cartouches and motifs shown in line drawings, but none that correspond directly . They are much the same in being stamped cartouches though.
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:57 AM   #14
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I found this nice picture which i think describes why the Lion is standing on top of this Monsters. It might be the lion of holland overcoming the waterwolf. The picture is on a map from from 1640, so timely it also would fit. Source: rijnland.net
On the other hand there are similar exampls, which are not attributed to holland. Here is a picture of the Pallasch of Herzog Maximilian I of Bavaria (Source: bayerisches-nationalmuseum.de). It was made in Prague but looks (apart from all these jewels ;-) and the lion at the crossguard) quite similar to the first piece Jasper showed.
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Old 5th May 2014, 06:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorsa
On the other hand there are similar exampls, which are not attributed to holland. Here is a picture of the Pallasch of Herzog Maximilian I of Bavaria (Source: bayerisches-nationalmuseum.de). It was made in Prague but looks (apart from all these jewels ;-) and the lion at the crossguard) quite similar to the first piece Jasper showed.


yes that's right, lion head pommels occurred from the 16th century until the late 18th century in German-speaking countries. particularly on 17th century German and Swiss cavalry sabers.

best,
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:37 PM   #16
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Thanks for those pictures Jasper. So more I compare those swiss/south-german sabres so more I wonder if there might be some connection to the first sword in your last post. It seems like that parry rod figure holds an eyelet in his hand. maybe for a small chain. Together with the style of the lion-pommel it equals much to this swiss sabre:
http://www.waffensammlung-beck.ch/waffe195.html
On the other hand I donīt know any of these sabres showing one of these monsters or wolves. But the Bavarian pallash from my last post shows this. So these monsters might have been famous in this region. Have there been some connections between Netherlands and Swizerland at his period?

Best regards,
Andi
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Old 6th May 2014, 08:28 AM   #17
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examples from post 9 have one thing in common , which is the ring guard chiselled in the shape of a lion in deep relief , a real Dutch feature .

f/m a hilt has to be seen as a whole, not as separate elements .
Fe you can find the lionhead pommel on 18th century English hangers and also on 16thC 1+1/2 hand swiss sabers made ​​by Christoph 1 Standler in Germany/Munich.
Fantasy seamonsters heads on 16thC katzbalgers and on early 18thC French small swords .

The combination makes it interesting and helps an arm to be attributed to a particular area.

Remarkably, in the 17th century was the success of the Dutch world trade through the VOC and WIC and the Baltic Sea , and in between European countries, the great military successes against seemingly much stronger countries like Spain and England , the vast fleet - with 2,000 vessels greater than that of England and France together, the flourishing of arts and Dutch science. There was a large flow of goods and people between the countries , which has influenced who and who has influenced whom is hard to say .
.

but one developement can be claimed!
The chain between knuckle guard and pommel is probably a Dutch development from the third quarter of the 17th century. witness a hanger of a member of the city guard of Alkmaar painted by Rotius in 1650( btw a similar shell-guard as the sword in post 1) and the sword/hanger with agate grip worn by Cornelis Tromp (not me) . see attachement.

The development of the lion head pommel probably started around 1500 in Germany and fanned out across Europe in the subsequent 300 years.

best,
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Old 6th May 2014, 09:14 AM   #18
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Great explanaition - thank you Jasper!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
... the sword/hanger with agate grip worn by Cornelis Tromp (not me) .


Best regards,
Andi
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Old 6th May 2014, 10:19 PM   #19
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Jasper, with those pics, you have just proven one of most daunting questions I've struggled with for years!!! The starting period for when quillon and pommel chain attachments really started/ You've shown through this period artword that it did indeed exist before 1750-60, when many scholars claim it first appeared!

The reason this is monumental to me, being a naval/pirate/nautical collector is because of a certain crossguard found off the coast of North Carolina and attributed to Blackbeard/Queen Anne's Revenge. Jim posted a pic of it a while back and due to the quillon drilled hole, we believed it post-dated Blackbeard's ship, ca. 1718 and thus possibly proved that it wasn't really the QAR. With this new information, it does show that it could very well have been! Thank you for this valuable piece of information! I'm sure Jim will be thrilled as well!
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Old 7th May 2014, 11:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Jasper, with those pics, you have just proven one of most daunting questions I've struggled with for years!!! The starting period for when quillon and pommel chain attachments really started/ You've shown through this period artword that it did indeed exist before 1750-60, when many scholars claim it first appeared!

The reason this is monumental to me, being a naval/pirate/nautical collector is because of a certain crossguard found off the coast of North Carolina and attributed to Blackbeard/Queen Anne's Revenge. Jim posted a pic of it a while back and due to the quillon drilled hole, we believed it post-dated Blackbeard's ship, ca. 1718 and thus possibly proved that it wasn't really the QAR. With this new information, it does show that it could very well have been! Thank you for this valuable piece of information! I'm sure Jim will be thrilled as well!


HI Mark,
yes it is often difficult to find hard evidence for a certain date of a weapon development, Art and historical important weapons can provide a watertight proof.
I am very glad that this information is useful for you

best,
Jasper
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Old 7th May 2014, 09:36 PM   #21
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Hi Mark,
This is indeed exiting news, and I do recall that particular event, but at the moment not the details. It does seem that having been located in the proximity of the QAR wreck, the hilt was suggested to have possibly been from that vessel. I think the headline suggesting it might have been Blackbeards sword was a bit sensationalized.

I believe that we perceived that the presence of the chain guard on this type of hanger preempted the period of the scuttling of the Queen Annes Revenge in 1718, and that since the wreck site was in rather heavily trafficked channel, this may have been collateral debris from later period.

The fact that such a feature as chain on the hilt of these Dutch hangers existed considerably earlier than 1718 as shown would suggest it is indeed tenuously possible that the sword could have come from the QAR. The question remains however, since the QAR was not wrecked, but scuttled, and the crew simply left the ship, why would they have left a valuable such as a portable weapon. Obviously the cannon remained, not easily transported to the smaller vessel Blackbeard moved to.

All the best
Jim
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Old 8th May 2014, 06:42 AM   #22
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Yes, you are right, Jim! They probably wouldn't have left a sword behind, unless it was broken, damaged, or parts being transported, etc. I remember those trade Spanish blades from the Atocha, all piled on top of each other. In any case, glad that Jasper clarified the issue of this sword feature.
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Old 8th May 2014, 08:55 AM   #23
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Supplement to the Lion-Hilts:

I found these to images showing Carl von Rabenhaupt wearing such a sword. On the first one you can guess a monsterhead on the crossguard and a lionhead pommel. The second one shows a figural interpretation of those swords.

Best regards,
Andi
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Old 8th May 2014, 06:48 PM   #24
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great find and link with the Netherlands.
this image of Carel Rabenhaubt is Dutch.



Carel Rabenhaubt
(1602 - 1675) Military, from Bohemia, who gained fame through the siege of Groningen in the Netherlands in 1672.

Through its defense plan - inundation of large areas around the city and obstruct the waterways for landing troops - he endured the siege of Munster Bishop Van Galen.
In Drenthe (province in the Netherlands) he was appointed in the same year to Drost=Sheriff in place of the incumbent drost "van Bernsaw". After the death of Rabenhaupt in 1675 van Bernsaw came back. Rabenhaupt is buried in the Reformed Church of Coevorden in Holland.
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Old 27th September 2015, 03:54 PM   #25
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Dear All,

today I visited the "Klingenmuseum Solingen" and found some comparandums which I do not want to withhold from you. Sadly I only had my bad Mobile-camera with me so the image quality is pretty poor.
The sword shown in the 4th image refers very much to the example in the painting shown in #17. Interestingly the museum allocate it to Switzerland but it is shown in a painting of a dutch townguard or the like if I remember well.

@Jasper: I also went through the remarkable sword exhibition and saw your beautiful and interesting loans there!

Cheers
Andi
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Old 29th September 2015, 04:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorsa
Dear All,

today I visited the "Klingenmuseum Solingen" and found some comparandums which I do not want to withhold from you. Sadly I only had my bad Mobile-camera with me so the image quality is pretty poor.
The sword shown in the 4th image refers very much to the example in the painting shown in #17. Interestingly the museum allocate it to Switzerland but it is shown in a painting of a dutch townguard or the like if I remember well.

@Jasper: I also went through the remarkable sword exhibition and saw your beautiful and interesting loans there!

Cheers
Andi




HI Andi,

beautiful pictures!
yes the hilt of the sword with the chain attached to the guard and pommel is almost certainly Dutch, as also a few of the others, I will discuss it in Solingen, when I'm there.

I lent a group of medieval swords from my collection to the museum for the exhibition „The Sword – Form and Thought“

http://www.klingenmuseum.de/_englis...as-schwert.html

I myself have not been there yet. I got a flat tire on the way to the opening & damaged my car, unfortunately had to return.

there's a lot of energy and effort put into this beautiful exhibition. not by me
if you are a sword enthusiast, then one should visit this exhibition!

best,
Jasper
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