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Old 20th March 2020, 12:38 AM   #1
shayde78
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Default I know my Pappenheims...

...actually, I don't. Despite knowing one by sight, I realized my standard references had very little information on these. Even this esteemed forum only produced two threads when I searched for 'Pappenheim'. So, it was with very little knowledge that I took a chance and bid on a lot of swords that included this item identified as a "reproduction basket hilt sword".

So, after a long absence from this forum (I owe some of you responses for your helpful feedback to my now year-old last posts), I ask you good folks if you think it was worth the chance. I had only 3-4 poor pictures to go by in the description of the lot. Still, I could just make out a possible maker's name (C L E M E N) on the ricasso. The condition of the grip, the oxidation on the bars of the hilt, the piercing of the plate guard, the period correct pommel (as best I can tell)...tell me, did I get seduced by my own wishful thinking, or did I get a steal??
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Old 20th March 2020, 01:52 AM   #2
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Wow! Shayde, I'm no expert, but everything looks legit to me! If it is Historismus, they did a bang-up job at softening the edges and placing the darker patina exactly where you would expect it. In any case, if it is a 19th c. knock-off, it's top notch. If real (which i suspect), you hit a home run, my friend! Now I'll step back and let the expects comment-
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Old 20th March 2020, 01:45 PM   #3
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I think you did good!
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Old 20th March 2020, 02:25 PM   #4
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Well, if this sword smith's intent was that of a deceiver, he would have better avoid to engrave that CLEMEN on the blade. For a newbie (like me) it is easier to suspect this is not the way CLEMENS STAM marked his blades than judge on the irreproachable technique this sword is made.
All this said by an ignaro, of course .
A member like Jasper Smith would naturally have no doubts about it.
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Old 20th March 2020, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback so far, chaps.
I agree that seeing a maker's stamp that didn't correspond to a known stamp gave me pause. There may be another mark on the opposite side of the ricaaso, but because the plate guard is still intact, it is harder to see.

I also realized I didn't post any pictures that provide scale. The tiles on the floor of the next picture are each 12"x12". The picture of the hilt in my hand shows the proportions (at 6'4", my hands are not very small).

Also, one more detail that may help - I thought there were areas of delamination in the bars of the guard. Specifically, those that make up the area surrounding where the missing plate guard would be. Upon closer inspection, I believe this is an intentional groove into which the plate would be secured. See the third picture. Thoughts? Does this correspond to actual period construction practice, or just well constructed recreation?
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Old 20th March 2020, 09:32 PM   #6
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Hello , it has one guard plate and the knucklebow missing, but it is one hundred % Original and it is a popular model rapier to, so congratulations !
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Old 20th March 2020, 10:18 PM   #7
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its obviously a stabbing blade , can you tell me the total length including the guard , it looks like the blade is a bit short. Despite the name on the ricasso the style and geometry of the blade looks Italian.
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Old 20th March 2020, 11:37 PM   #8
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Thanks ulfberth!
The total length is 41.75"
The blade, from point to guard (excluding ricasso) is 34".
I'm also trying to make out the word on the other side of the ricasso. I think I see K E Y, or K E X, but there are more letters I can't yet decipher.

Last edited by shayde78 : 21st March 2020 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 21st March 2020, 08:03 AM   #9
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that means its is missing 6 to 9 inch of its length, can you take a picture of the other letters ?
The name or word is interesting but in this case it could be they were used as a quality label .
The gripwire has also been replaced by cord and it's missing one Turkish knot, still an original pappenheimer rapier an a rare find ! Considering that many of them were restored at some point in time.
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Old 21st March 2020, 11:51 AM   #10
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Excelent inputs Dirk; good to have you around .
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Old 21st March 2020, 03:24 PM   #11
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If it is missing 6-9 inches, how badly would that effect the point of balance? I ask because it currently balance just in front of the guard. Is that where it should be? As a former competitive fencer, it seems to handle very well for such a heavy weapon. To me, that suggests decent balance.
That said, perhaps these were originally more point-heavy and the shortening if the blade inadvertently made the balance more familiar to someone like me.
Another possibility is the weight lost to the hilt by not having the second plate guard would have counter-balanced the additional weight.

All in all, thank you to all those who have shared their thoughts so far. I will keep trying to get a clear picture of the other marks ontheon the ricasso.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Last edited by shayde78 : 21st March 2020 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 21st March 2020, 07:49 PM   #12
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Being a diamond shape blade and fairly wide for this type it will probably have improved the balance.
The balance should serve its function, in this case in full length if it was to use from horse back it should be just slightly top heavy. Pappenheimers with slender stabbing blades are not top heavy at all , some have wide blades made for slashing , these are mostly shorter and lean more forward in balance like a sabre, you should be able to feel its function . I found this to be the case in even the most rudimental munitions grade swords or rapiers and in some cases its just amazing how agile a big sword can feel.
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Old 21st March 2020, 08:22 PM   #13
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Indeed. When made by and for those who knew how to wield them, even large sword could be quite agile.
I know Pappenheim rapiers are said to have originated in 1630, a strangely specific date. I'm sure they continued to be made beyond the end of the Thirty Year War, but is there any indication when this particular example was made? I feel like I saw somewhere that the rings below the plate guards indicate an earlier style, but I've no idea where I picked up the bit of info (I could have dreamt it!).
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Old 21st March 2020, 08:32 PM   #14
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Whatever shortened it (a break?) the owner loved it enough to remove the left side guard plate, the least important one for a right-hander, to help restore the balance. Cool.
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Old 22nd March 2020, 09:33 AM   #15
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The guard plates are kept in place by a slit as you can see in the picture above pointed by the blue arrow.
A strong blow to the guard may deform it and the guard plate will fall out, this is why so many pappenheimer and walloons type's have missing or replaced plates. The blade is most vulnerable towards the tip where its the thinnest and more prone to be damaged or brake there. That is why intact length and completely original pappenheimers or all rapiers or swords for that matter are extremely rare , about 70 % is damaged and or restored . As for the date the first half of the 17th c , I can not date it by the smaller guard ring the pappenheimers can have many different small variations, however the type of blade used here reminds me of North Italy or South Germany.
kind regards
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Old 23rd March 2020, 02:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfberth
The gripwire has also been replaced by cord and it's missing one Turkish knot, still an original pappenheimer rapier an a rare find !


So, upon taking a closer look, the grip appears to be wrapped, not in cord, but in a woven textile material that has been dipped in something like pitch(?). I'm attaching close-ups where you can clearly see the woven pattern. Is this at all typical of a period replacement?
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Old 23rd March 2020, 02:29 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the good information!

I was finally able to get some photos of the markings on the reverse side of the ricasso. Still hard to make out, but I'm uploading several pictures in the hope that someone can piece together what it says.

This is proving an engaging activity while on a state-wide COVID-19 lockdown...thank you for providing some good conversation
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Old 23rd March 2020, 11:35 AM   #18
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Can you make it KEVELAER ?
There is a German town called Kevelaer ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevelaer
Could the inscription be a religious dedication ?

Nonsense, of course .

.

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Old 23rd March 2020, 12:55 PM   #19
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It looks like CLEMENS KEULLER on the ricasso , spelling was phonetic in this period and most people could not write.
We also know that the letter U was mostly engraved or struck as V.
So I think there is a good chance it is on one side " clemen(s)" and on the other side "keuller" CLEMENS KEULLER . Not all sword / rapier blades have markings, so you have this as a plus. ( from European makers of edged weapons by Staffan Kinman )
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Old 23rd March 2020, 01:36 PM   #20
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Bravo, Dirk; brilliant .
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Old 23rd March 2020, 09:15 PM   #21
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Well done! Thank you so much. this is exciting to have a piece by a known maker.
Thank you for providing resources to keep digging through. Like I said, this is proving to be fun
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Old 24th March 2020, 10:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
... this is exciting to have a piece by a known maker. ...

Much more when you bought as a reproduction
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Old 24th March 2020, 12:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Much more when you bought as a reproduction


AGREED!

So, that got me thinking. With this gem being part of a larger lot, I wonder if the other items at all match the item we've been discussing.

Below is a picture of the whole lot (acquired for less than the cost of 5 tanks of petrol - which if I work from home for 3 weeks due to COVID-19, I will come out ahead of the game). I'm particularly curious about the rapier blade and hilt, and the brass hilted small sword. These are the actual auction pictures.
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Last edited by shayde78 : 24th March 2020 at 01:01 PM. Reason: forgot to add pictures!
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Old 24th March 2020, 01:04 PM   #24
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I would love to see the lot , it would be amazing if they are all good pieces, but these things do happen
Perhaps you're on a lucky strike !
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Old 24th March 2020, 01:09 PM   #25
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the first one is a 20th c decoration sword made after Tizona the sword of El Cid.
Than the magnificent Pappenheimer , after that im not sure it could be a freemason or other type of fraternity sword the design looks a bit like a French infantery officers sword of the 19th C , but its not that. The last one looks like an Original blade of a small sword.
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Old 24th March 2020, 01:12 PM   #26
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The 'Tizona' on the top is surely decorative stuff.
All others look good ... to me.
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Old 24th March 2020, 02:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
The 'Tizona' on the top is surely decorative stuff.
All others look good ... to me.

Yes I agree , it might be interesting to find out more about the gilded sword this is 19th C but not my field.
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Old 24th March 2020, 02:41 PM   #28
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here is a similar one it sold on guns international and was described as : Antique FRATERNAL Ceremonial SWORD
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Old 24th March 2020, 05:53 PM   #29
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Well done, Dirk! That is very similar other than a few cosmetic embellishments.
As for the bare bade, it seems more rapier length, albeit with a missing tip. At least, it is longer that the 18th century smallsword I have in my collection. I haven't found any markings on it, but will let you know if I find any.

Thanks both!
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Old 25th March 2020, 11:13 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
... As for the bare blade, it seems more rapier length, albeit with a missing tip...

Yes, it sure does. Can you tell us its length ... excluding the tang ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
...At least, it is longer that the 18th century smallsword I have in my collection...

Sure thing; it could well be from the XVII century.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shayde78
... I haven't found any markings on it, but will let you know if I find any...

Look hard; some times there are (rather faded) inscriptions on these.

This blade could (could) have been mounted on a cup hilt sword, although that grip wrapping style is not so usual seen ... i guess; as also this could have been from a different sord.
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