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Old 9th April 2008, 08:13 AM   #31
Marc
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Indeed, without a known, solid provenance, compositional and/or metallurgical analysis is the only way to be reasonably sure, I'm afraid.

Other than that, to know a bit more on these, you may be interested in this work, published very recently:

VILAÇA, Raquel: "Depósitos de Bronze do Território Português: um debate em aberto", Conimbriga, Anexos 5, Instituto de Arqueologia da Facultade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra (FLUC), 2007. ISBN: 978-972-9004-22-3


Again, a nice find.
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Old 9th April 2008, 06:37 PM   #32
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Hi Fernando,
As I said before I am no expert....but the comment about the 'sprue' being of good quality bronze and therefore likely a reproduction seems strange to me.

As Kronckew pointed out these are sometimes classified as chisels... with the 'sprue' as the contact point as the 'chisel' is struck by the hammer / mallet. Surely then, the bronze quality should be consistant from the blade 'edge' to the upper surface of the 'sprue'. Or am I missing something....certainly wouldn't be the first time

Regards David
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Old 9th April 2008, 06:47 PM   #33
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when metal is poured into a mold, the impurities and dissolved gasses tend to rise up into the sprue, one reason it's a bit bigger than you would probably expect. cast steel billets generally have the top bit cut off & thrown back in the scrap pile, i'd expect it's the same with ancient casts, unless the metal was extremely pure and clean & was degassed in a reducing environment.
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Old 9th April 2008, 07:34 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
when metal is poured into a mold, the impurities and dissolved gasses tend to rise up into the sprue, one reason it's a bit bigger than you would probably expect. cast steel billets generally have the top bit cut off & thrown back in the scrap pile, i'd expect it's the same with ancient casts, unless the metal was extremely pure and clean & was degassed in a reducing environment.


There's your answer above, David

... When Kronckew mentioned the hammer situation in post #6, was only to go along your reasoning in post #5.
By the way, i agree that the illustrated chisel in fig 179 is not a chisel, as you sugested in post #14. Those rings are self speaking, i would say.


I can add that the museum Lady showed me a lot of axes ... even one she was keeping in one drawer, with the sprue already dettached; you could see its material was less integral than in the rest of the axe ... more flour like, if you catch my meaning.


Back to my examples, i beleive the Lady restoring Doctor was pritty sure of what she was saying, on what concerns the pieces not being "normal".
She sure has seen lots of axes, from the various periods, and she hasn't ever seen so "well preserved" examples, which excludes them from a logical consense. Like if they were ever real, they would be an unspeakeable finding.
What she couldn't explain, and this seems to be the major question, is precisely the reason why these two items exist and in a so well made form; could they be replicas, fakes, reproductions ... made for a good faith purpose or as deceivers ?

I still tend to think they would make an interesting swap
This could be the influence of having once collected coins; allways in panic that a certain example could be a fake .
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Old 9th April 2008, 09:24 PM   #35
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Never mind Fernando, we all have to take risks now and again ....when trying to obtain unusual or rare examples of weapons, when they 'pay off' .... ......when they don't ....well, you get the picture .

I would have been very pleased for you , had these been genuine. Still, I have learned alot, also thanks Kronckew, I had assumed that the sprue (normally removed) was left on some axeheads (ie a 'longer sprue' which would have been ground down to remove the 'imperfect' bronze from the upper section) for use as a hammer/chisel head and therefore the quality of the bronze would be consistent.

Sometimes lateral thinking can open up new possibillities....in this case, it lead me astray


Regards David
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Old 13th April 2008, 05:46 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
... regularly such cones ( sprews ), containing the pouring left overs, are composed of a much poorer metal, whereas in my example the material in the cone looks as having the same consistency.


Concerning this subject, i have received the following opinnion from Jeroen Zuiderwijk at SFI :

I'm not following that. The bronze in the cone is the same as in the axe. Unless it's a highly leaded casting, you could get more lead in the cone then in the axe, but that's only visible in a metallurgical analysis. What can happen though is that some charcoal gets cast in with the last bronze, which forms holes inside the cone, if the caster had molten only just enough bronze. That happens occasionally with me as well, but is not the general rule. Something that does surprise me a little is that the top surface of the cone is fairly smooth, while normally it's rather wrinkled. But I've had castings to where that varies (due to metal composition, cooling rate etc.)

Following the doubts on the two examples authencity, this is Jeroen's impression:


Well, one thing that makes me believe they're genuine, is the way that they have been worked. The marks show that they have been hammered on the sides with fairly rough stones, and also ground with fairly rough stones, not with modern hammers, files etc. So if they are fake, they are made by someone working them with authentic tools. As far as I know, I'm one of the very very few who doesn't finish all bronze age castings with modern tools, but actually uses only bronze age tools to finish them. If they are modern casts, the could only have come from a living history center, where there's someone else working like me. But why these axes would then end up on being sold as antiques and in half finished state is beyond me, unless someone stole them on purpose, and then had them patinated and sell them as antiques. It's possible, but I don't consider it very likely. Added to that, the shapes do look very bronze age, while I know very few bronze casters that approach bronze age artifacts close enough for them not to jump out immediately (unless they are cast from waxes taken directly off original casts, in which case the cutting edges would have come out sharpened, and no need for trimming flashes of the sides would have been necessary). So I'm fairly positive that these are real..

Fernando
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Old 13th April 2008, 07:17 PM   #37
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Fernando I am not trying to be difficult but who is this chap and what makes him such an authority .
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Old 13th April 2008, 07:30 PM   #38
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There you are, Tim ... you can judge for yourself

This is his web page:

http://1501bc.com/index_eng.html

He is also a moderator here:

http://forums.swordforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12
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Old 13th April 2008, 07:39 PM   #39
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Thanks Fernando, very interesting. I still have doubts, especislly those very regular punch marks we both felt were a little modern, even if there were files in the iron age. I have colleges with lots of differnt shape , size and weight of hammer. I will try and post pics.
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Old 13th April 2008, 07:48 PM   #40
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Those punch marks might well be the result of later ( modern ) misuse; not the first time weapons and other artifacts are used as hammers or tools of all sorts.
... Just trying to give it some logic .
It would be wonderfull if you get any results at checking with your coleagues .
Thanks a lot, Tim.
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Old 13th April 2008, 11:15 PM   #41
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Hi Fernando,
It seems the story hasn't ended

I've been thinking about the regular markings......

IMHO The marks on the axehead, suggest a single 'punch' with a very small rectangular end was used. Although they are almost arranged in a side by side configuration, in two parallel rows, it looks as if, each mark was done individually.

Notice how some are 'deeper', suggesting a harder strike on the punch. Sometimes the 'twin' of some of the marks are missing. Some of the marks appear to be struck from slightly different angles. Although fairly evenly spaced they are not 'exact'. Also noticeable is the fact that these marks occured after the hammer finish ...some 'cut' into the 'peaks' of the hammer marks.
Hopefully, the enlargement of Fernando's picture will explain better.

The other with the yellow oval, highlights an area which seems to be 'later' damage....its surface is 'different' to the rest of the 'hammered' surface and some of the 'notch' marks seem to have been deformed by the 'impact damage'


Regards David
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Last edited by katana : 13th April 2008 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 14th April 2008, 10:03 PM   #42
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Thank you David,
So we can take fore sure that these marks were not the result of casting ... be it either ancient or contemporaneous.
The pictures attached are as afar as i can go with my digital camera; close ups not closer than four inches ... it is an "old" pioneer.
Take a better look to the wavy pairs.
I have found meanwhile another set of marks ... on the same side of the axe edge; also with a bizarre look.
Fernando
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Old 14th April 2008, 10:16 PM   #43
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Let's suppose these are modern-made... Perhaps those punch marks are the result of toothed tongs used to hold the pieces while they were dipped in some acidic solution to artificially age them, or to remove them from said solution.
In either case, the marks are irregular enough to have been accidentally made. I don't think hammer blows would reproduce the relatively precise alignment of these marks.

These axes make for a nice little mystery, Fernando, regardless of authenticity.

Emanuel
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Old 15th April 2008, 12:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manolo
Let's suppose these are modern-made... Perhaps those punch marks are the result of toothed tongs used to hold the pieces while they were dipped in some acidic solution to artificially age them, or to remove them from said solution.
In either case, the marks are irregular enough to have been accidentally made. I don't think hammer blows would reproduce the relatively precise alignment of these marks.


I don't think bronze is so soft as letting simple toothed tongs impress it so deeply, just by holding it.
Also dificult to be hammer marks, as they have more than one defined pattern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manolo

These axes make for a nice little mystery, Fernando, regardless of authenticity.

Emanuel


You're dead right, Emanuel

Fernando
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Old 15th April 2008, 03:23 PM   #45
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I do agree that on close inspection the parallel marks seem to be made with a single punch, which makes it difficult to imagine that they are an unintended by-product of the manufacturing process (like the grind marks). Asuming the punch marks were not made by a modern vise, clamps, or whatever, why would they have been made originally? They appear too random and inconspicuous to be decoration. Yet, it would have taken a great deal of attention and precision to punch in the marks in such a regular pattern. Some sort of tally, maybe? I just can't think of why they would have been put there.
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Old 15th April 2008, 06:16 PM   #46
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I've tried to enhance/enlarge the latest pictures Fernando has uploaded.... very strange. The 'pattern' within the 'marked oval' seems very unusual ... perhaps someone may have some ideas ......

Regards David
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Old 15th April 2008, 08:27 PM   #47
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being an avid CSI fan, i suspect that someone here either is or knows someone who is a CSI or forensic lab tech. they generally have tool mark libraries for finding out what tools may have been involved in crimes, they may recognise or be able to look up the tool marks.

my initial thought was they were vice jaw marks which may have been added by some bright spark recently (last century or so )
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Old 15th April 2008, 10:09 PM   #48
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We are also being pulverized with CSI over here ...sometimes different episodes showing simultaneously in different TV chanels .
But in the due context, i was more fascinated by Sherlock Holmes. Pitty he isn't around to reveal ( Dr. Watson ) the underwear colours of the individual that punched those marks on the axes .

Last edited by fernando : 16th April 2008 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 16th April 2008, 04:06 PM   #49
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The closely spaced triangles definitely look like vice jaw grip marks, the smearing of the marks on the right side makes it look like the piece shifted a bit, not unusual when trying to grip non-square items and work on them with any pressure.
The only marks I’ve seen in my long history of looking at metal that are similar to the little wave marks are from electric grinders, if the tool has a threaded shaft for attaching the abrasive discs, and the threads protrude from the nut affixing the disc (which they usually do), then if the worker touches the work piece with the shaft of the tool (which they occasionally do) it will skip along the surface and leave impressions of the first couple threads in a regular pattern like that.

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Old 16th April 2008, 05:57 PM   #50
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Sorry double post

Last edited by katana : 16th April 2008 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 16th April 2008, 06:38 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pringle
The closely spaced triangles definitely look like vice jaw grip marks, the smearing of the marks on the right side makes it look like the piece shifted a bit, not unusual when trying to grip non-square items and work on them with any pressure.
The only marks I’ve seen in my long history of looking at metal that are similar to the little wave marks are from electric grinders, if the tool has a threaded shaft for attaching the abrasive discs, and the threads protrude from the nut affixing the disc (which they usually do), then if the worker touches the work piece with the shaft of the tool (which they occasionally do) it will skip along the surface and leave impressions of the first couple threads in a regular pattern like that.



Seems a good possible explaination Jeff, especially the 'thread' markings

However, what doesn't make sense is why they are there. If this is a 'high end' fake, why would the evidence be left for all to see. All the marks seem to have occured after the 'hammer shaping' ....which I would assume would have been the last manufacturing process. So can it be assumed these marks happened later...and if so, was there a purpose....testing of the bronze
If these heads were artifically 'patinated' , the sort of chemicals used such as ammonia, urea etc to 'induce' this, would not require tongs or mole grips to place the item in solution. A number of Chinese fakers bury them in urine soaked, highly mineralised soil.


Regards David
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Old 16th April 2008, 06:57 PM   #52
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I am not sure i understand Jeff's thesis, due to language difficulties.
Thread marks from the slip rotation of a grinding disc screw shaft ... wouldn't they be paralel, instead of wavy (curved ) ? And why interrupted and not continuous ?
Also if a disc grinder was used, why can't we see the respective grinding evidence?
Jaw marks from a vise grip, or even from a regular screw vise ... in this case, we should find similar marks, even if more faded, in the opposite side of the oject, which is not the case; actually the other side of the blade has no "mechanical" looking marks at all, as neither the rest of the axe. Also in the case of a vise clamping action, the position seems very unhandy(assymetrical and angled ); why then the reason ?
I hope i make myself understood and am not talking nonsense
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Old 16th April 2008, 07:00 PM   #53
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Could they have been 'cleaned up' before sale ?
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Old 16th April 2008, 07:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
... So can it be assumed these marks happened later...and if so, was there a purpose....testing of the bronze
Regards David

That came to my mind, David; some sort of testing punches ... not clampings.
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Old 16th April 2008, 07:37 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Could they have been 'cleaned up' before sale ?


I don't know, Rick
If such "cleaning" took place, it would have to be a thorough job, which would hardly neglect to erase the existing marks we can see now.
Also the object is covered of intense beating, which then had to be done after the said cleaning ... againg failling to smash these bizarre marks, which appear not to have been deformed by both treatments; their edges look intact.
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Old 16th April 2008, 08:25 PM   #56
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I hope this makes sense...

if you look at 'underlined section' 2 the 'symbol' (I'm not saying it is, but is a better description) seems to be repeated above 'section 3'. The 'symbol' in section 1 seems to have a similar shape (albeit, slightly 'deformed') as 'section 2&3' . The 'symbol' above section 4 also has the 'elements' of symbol 2 but a little more spaced.
I may be seeing things that aren't there, ( saw Elvis walking his dog yesterday ) but there seems to be a recurring pattern on that section that does not look 'mechanical'.
I also have to point out I have no idea as to scale i.e. I have no idea of the dimensions of these marks.

I may be drawing BIG conclusions from very little clues


Regards David
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Old 17th April 2008, 07:08 AM   #57
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I didn’t mean to put forth a thesis, just point out that two of the mark types on the axe are consistent with modern metal working tools. How that relates to the creation and history of the object I don’t know, and there may be other ways to create those marks that are just as plausible
On the grinder marks, since the machine is not firmly held in alignment with the work piece, when the spinning shaft hits the metal object the torque immediately kicks it away so you have a hammering effect as hand pressure pushes the tool down and its own oscillation kicks it up every revolution.
Vice jaws are usually padded in one way or another when working soft metals, sometimes ineffectively; and workers will also make wooden shims to assist in holding irregular objects, so not seeing the other jaw of the vice imprinted on the other side of the object does not mean those are not vice marks…but I don’t know that they are, either – they just look like such marks.

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Old 19th April 2008, 11:12 PM   #58
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I have just met someone who is largely experienced with these things.
I should have no further doubt that these axes are (quote) copies made with the moulds of genuine originals, and a very nice work. I was shown some three different reasons to support such conclusion. However they were certainly not made to pretend to be genuine, but a demonstration of the general casters capabilities, which explains a certain riddle. There is a strong possibility that one was made in the sixties by a certain guy, and the other in the eighties by his nephew.
Whether this last part of the story is accurate, i wouldn't know ...i am "selling it for the price i bought it".
I will now offer these examples in the swap forum as, at this stage, i don't feel attached to these items.
I feel deeply obliged for all the cooperation i had in this subject.
Thank you all Gentlemen
Fernando
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