View Single Post
Old 1st August 2021, 07:14 PM   #304
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
Jim McDougall's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 8,629

Originally Posted by toaster5sqn View Post
Hullo all, I've just joined this forum. Although my own collection is extremely limited (1) as New Zealand is not a great place to find antique swords I am an active member of the local HEMA club. As part of the club I have been organizing trips to the Auckland War Memorial Museum to view their collection, sadly hidden in the basement since they reorganized the displays for the WWI centennial.

So far we have correctly identified a number of mislabeled swords and provided additional details about even those that were correctly labeled, as a result they are keen to have us back and are getting much more relaxed about letting us actually handle the swords.

So for your own pleasure and any information you can provide let me show you some of the markings we have discovered.
A 17th C Spanish style rapier 106cm blade, weighing 1188g with a balance point at 5cm. The fuller contains a series of what appear to be astrological signs terminated with some form of anchor mark.
Glad to have you here, and well done on the work of your group identifying weapons and seeing that they are properly labeled. It is most important to those of us who have spent many years studying arms and armor to do that very thing, and we've been doing it here for well over 20 years.

As you have noted, what appears to be a makers(?) name appears in the fuller and it was often a Spanish convention to interpolate astrological and or occult symbols with inscriptions to imbue magic potential in effect to the blade. The 'anchor' was also a device which was used at the fuller terminus or to end an inscription on a blade in a punctuation sense.
These are always interesting as there are nuanced variations in the elements of these cross style devices mostly in the numbers of branches/bars .

As Fernando has noted, Germany was most avid in using copies of these as well on blades they made often with spurious markings and inscriptions from Spanish and Italian makers.

Often on blades there were unusual groupings of letters which may have been acronyms for phrases or invocations, while names copied in Germany may often be misspelled or improperly used.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote