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Old 12th November 2017, 07:36 PM   #1
Cerjak
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Default Mid 18th Century Portuguese Rapier ?

Mid 18th Century Portuguese Rapier ?

O.L. 120 cm ; blade L. 105 cm unfortunately no one mark on the blade
Any comment on it would be welcome.
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Old 13th November 2017, 04:51 AM   #2
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Fernando is the best versed in describing these rapiers. Interesting that there is no mark on the blade.
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Old 13th November 2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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Bonjour, Jean-Luc
All i can say wihout risking being contradicted is that this is a very nice sword.
Portuguese ... i don't know. Spanish ... maybe . This frequent doubt is the reason why experts, certainly the wiser ones, like to call them all Iberian, unless some evident detail allows them to be more specific. Swords, like cannons, appear to have a higher value when mentioned by sellers to be Portuguese. I take it for me that this is due, not to quality factors but, statistic ones. Portugal being a smaller country and having had its armament capacities shrunk during history for reasons known by historians, makes antique weapons be more rare, thus more valuable.
Your beautiful example has all the ingredients of a sail guard sword;i have a problem in mentioning the so popular "rapier" term, until i know the with of the blades; at least that will 'partly' legitimize the rapier attribution in its non peaceful conception.
The Portuguese call this type "guarda de vela", the Spaniards "guarda de barquilla"; one means sail, the other a derivation of boat, so both appointing to the same.
A certain author cites the different reasons for their appearance, one being the reflex of our passion for the sea, which makes them typicaly Portuguese (?) and the other the transition from the heavy complex hilts from the 1600's to a phase of more 'allégé' swords, both military and civilan. You see them with plenty variations; those with more agressive blades, those with hilts well worked up and those well refined with gold plated hilts for the wealthy officers. Concerning the blade, i would recall an intersting note; Portuguese did not forge blades, at least in massive production terms. In the several cases we find inscriptions in them, those are more patriotic quotations (certainly localy engraved) than actual smiths marks; so you could say that a certain sword blade is Portuguese because it belonged to a Portuguese but not that it is Portuguese made.
I have a sail guard sword from the XVII century, that i assume is Portuguese only due to the context in which it was acquired and the blade, as so often happens, is a Solingen product, forged by PEDRO (PETER) TESCHEN.
I am sorry for being so boring; don't fall asleep when you read all the above wanderings... which are not expertly guarantee; be carefull .


.
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Old 13th November 2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Bonjour, Jean-Luc
All i can say wihout risking being contradicted is that this is a very nice sword.
Portuguese ... i don't know. Spanish ... maybe . This frequent doubt is the reason why experts, certainly the wiser ones, like to call them all Iberian, unless some evident detail allows them to be more specific. Swords, like cannons, appear to have a higher value when mentioned by sellers to be Portuguese. I take it for me that this is due, not to quality factors but, statistic ones. Portugal being a smaller country and having had its armament capacities shrunk during history for reasons known by historians, makes antique weapons be more rare, thus more valuable.
Your beautiful example has all the ingredients of a sail guard sword;i have a problem in mentioning the so popular "rapier" term, until i know the with of the blades; at least that will 'partly' legitimize the rapier attribution in its non peaceful conception.
The Portuguese call this type "guarda de vela", the Spaniards "guarda de barquilla"; one means sail, the other a derivation of boat, so both appointing to the same.
A certain author cites the different reasons for their appearance, one being the reflex of our passion for the sea, which makes them typicaly Portuguese (?) and the other the transition from the heavy complex hilts from the 1600's to a phase of more 'allégé' swords, both military and civilan. You see them with plenty variations; those with more agressive blades, those with hilts well worked up and those well refined with gold plated hilts for the wealthy officers. Concerning the blade, i would recall an intersting note; Portuguese did not forge blades, at least in massive production terms. In the several cases we find inscriptions in them, those are more patriotic quotations (certainly localy engraved) than actual smiths marks; so you could say that a certain sword blade is Portuguese because it belonged to a Portuguese but not that it is Portuguese made.
I have a sail guard sword from the XVII century, that i assume is Portuguese only due to the context in which it was acquired and the blade, as so often happens, is a Solingen product, forged by PEDRO (PETER) TESCHEN.
I am sorry for being so boring; don't fall asleep when you read all the above wanderings... which are not expertly guarantee; be carefull .


.
Thank you Fernando ,I was waiting for your comment and also more information about this type of sword.
Do you know similar exemplar ?
Do you confirm the period circa 1730-1750 ?

Best
Jean-Luc
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Old 13th November 2017, 06:11 PM   #5
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Very well written assessment Fernando, and far from 'boring'. It is actually intriguing and especially the note on the styling of these interesting guards, which I presume comes from Mr. Daehnhardt. I always appreciated his willingness to step far outside the 'box' in making these most subjective observations.
I had personally never thought of the 'sail guard' possibly designed in recognition of the Portuguese maritime affinity and reputation as well as the transitional element between military and civilian and rapier to 'arming swords'.

Too many arms scholars discount these kinds of possibilities as being fanciful or ill founded, and do not recognize the artistic nuances often imbued in hilt elements. Also that often there were unclear lines between military and the gentry and nobility in the civilian sector.

Again, Jean-Luc, a fine example.
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Old 13th November 2017, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... It is actually intriguing and especially the note on the styling of these interesting guards, which I presume comes from Mr. Daehnhardt...

Wrong conclusion .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
...Do you know similar exemplar ?
Do you confirm the period circa 1730-1750 ? ...

No, the ones i have seen are within a different type of look, which give me no clue to judge on yours, as my residual knowledge is mainly supported by comparisons.
But i can show you three that belonged in the collection of Eduardo Nobre; two supposedly Portuguese from the XVII century with hilts and blades of distinct shape, and a third one for an officer, dated circa 1777-1790, which we may assume is in fact Portuguese, once having originally a blade of protocol dimensions, was (reportedly) remounted with a larger blade of a cup hilted sword with the patriotic inscription VIVA DO. MARIA RAINHA DE PORTUGAL.


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Old 13th November 2017, 07:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the note Fernando, I thought that it might have been his comment as he is as I mentioned, known for making often bold observations which personally I find admirable.
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Old 15th November 2017, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Wrong conclusion .


No, the ones i have seen are within a different type of look, which give me no clue to judge on yours, as my residual knowledge is mainly supported by comparisons.
But i can show you three that belonged in the collection of Eduardo Nobre; two supposedly Portuguese from the XVII century with hilts and blades of distinct shape, and a third one for an officer, dated circa 1777-1790, which we may assume is in fact Portuguese, once having originally a blade of protocol dimensions, was (reportedly) remounted with a larger blade of a cup hilted sword with the patriotic inscription VIVA DO. MARIA RAINHA DE PORTUGAL.


.

Hi Fernando,
Thank you again for this other example of sail guard
I was thinking that this type was a popular sword and so the period could be determined easily. I will check in A.V.B. Norman about the pommel may it could give some information about the period and also the blade type may be could help too ..
Best

Jean-Luc
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Old 16th November 2017, 02:20 PM   #9
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I wish you luck Jean-Luc.
I confess i am not very keen at checking things with Norman's bible, specially on what touches particularly un-characteristic specimens. It looks like pommels like the one in your sword have gonne through a long period as a common type, when you compare it with, for one, the sail guard sword i have posted, plus other examples i have in my little collection.
Sorry to switch on the conplicometer .

.
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Old 16th November 2017, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I wish you luck Jean-Luc.
I confess i am not very keen at checking things with Norman's bible, specially on what touches particularly un-characteristic specimens. It looks like pommels like the one in your sword have gonne through a long period as a common type, when you compare it with, for one, the sail guard sword i have posted, plus other examples i have in my little collection.
Sorry to switch on the conplicometer .

.

Yes fernando some pommel had been used for long period but at less we can learn when the fashion for such pommel ended.
best
Jean-Luc
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Old 16th November 2017, 02:38 PM   #11
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I guess you could screw off the one in your sword ...
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Old 26th November 2017, 07:09 PM   #12
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other examplars
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Old 26th November 2017, 07:16 PM   #13
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Both hilts somehow with a similar attitude, don't you agree ?
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Old 26th November 2017, 10:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Both hilts somehow with a similar attitude, don't you agree ?


It seems these hilts are similar in character, but not too sure about their disposition.
The wonderful reference by A.V.B. Norman, "The Rapier and Small-Sword 1460-1820" is a valuable source for overview in examining hilts and their components. It very well notes the circumstances which might compromise accurate dating in degree, but bringing those to attention actually gives the researcher guidelines for consideration.

The fact that certain forms of pommel did remain popular for long periods is noted, as with the case in the hilt of the rapier in original post, which would technically be closest to pommel type 88, with date range c. 1670-1780.
While this designation does not particularly match this pommel exactly, it does note the time range likely, and my inclination would be in the 18th c.
just as you have suggested Jean-Luc.

What seems the catch is nuances like the faceting, which is of course not noted as a separate variation in Mr. Normans "reference". The overall form described as 'egg shaped' is shown smooth, and we might wonder in the faceted character might be more toward more definitive assessment.
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Old 28th November 2017, 02:26 PM   #15
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Jim, can you define disposition as opposed, in the context, to attitude ?
I have mirrored one of the examples and have put both in confront. I believe that, if these two sail guards appeared in a book wuth the description that they have been made in the same workshop, readers wouldn't doubt it.
In reiterating my difficulty to check 'rudimentary' pommels with those 'prototypes' classified by Norman, i see no trace of familiarity between Jan-Luc's & my three examples (per post #9 ) and Norman's type 88. And i confess that, discerning that one is a previous or later variant of the other, is something beyond my reach. In any case, i am afraid it takes more than a guess to state with certainty and firmness the age of Jean-Luc's sword judging by its pommel; starting by the timespan of this (so to say) type appearing to encompass a vast universe of hilt/guard variants.

.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Jim, can you define disposition as opposed, in the context, to attitude ?
I have mirrored one of the examples and have put both in confront. I believe that, if these two sail guards appeared in a book wuth the description that they have been made in the same workshop, readers wouldn't doubt it.
In reiterating my difficulty to check 'rudimentary' pommels with those 'prototypes' classified by Norman, i see no trace of familiarity between Jan-Luc's & my three examples (per post #9 ) and Norman's type 88. And i confess that, discerning that one is a previous or later variant of the other, is something beyond my reach. In any case, i am afraid it takes more than a guess to state with certainty and firmness the age of Jean-Luc's sword judging by its pommel; starting by the timespan of this (so to say) type appearing to encompass a vast universe of hilt/guard variants.

.


A little jest, akin to blade with a bad temper. Attitude- disposition.
With observations on swords and their elements, sometimes a guess is all that can be reached, and these become more educated with references such as Nick Norman has given us. We never stop learning, and the universe becomes more finite in degree as we continue exploring.
Good points, and taken as noted.
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Old 29th November 2017, 09:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Both hilts somehow with a similar attitude, don't you agree ?

Yes Fernando ,this two Swords are so similar and there is no risk to say that they are coming from the same place.
Best

Jean-Luc
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