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Old 29th July 2022, 07:00 PM   #1
cel7
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Default Carolinian spear

Found this today in a bin with old tools in a garage sale in Kerkdriel (Netherlands), along the river Maas. Found in the 1950s at a clay quarry by the brother of the seller.
As far as I can judge it is a Carolinian spear. The shaft sill still contains a remnant of wood. The tip of the spear is locally thickened (last 5 cm). I suspect to be able to penetrate enemy armor. Looks like nothing was ever smeared on to preserve it. What would you recommend?
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Old 29th July 2022, 08:05 PM   #2
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Congratulations! I believe that you are correct in your identification of the form and the patina is convincing. I do not recall having encountered the thickened tip before in the limited number of these that I have handled.

It should be dry from the decades spent in the box. If it is not actively flaking or showing active corrosion, then drying it (in a very low temperature oven or by soaking in anhydrous isopropyl alcohol followed by acetone) and then sealing it with Paraloid B72 (which can be dissolved by acetone) or lacquer (less straightforward to remove) might suffice. You could also just coat it with quality wax. If there is active corrosion, then a series of long soaks in alkalinized distilled water to remove harmful anions might be advisable. I used to have a set of instructions, but cannot locate it at the moment.

I wish such artifacts as this would show up in my nearby garage sales
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Old 29th July 2022, 08:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Congratulations! I believe that you are correct in your identification of the form and the patina is convincing. I do not recall having encountered the thickened tip before in the limited number of these that I have handled.

It should be dry from the decades spent in the box. If it is not actively flaking or showing active corrosion, then drying it (in a very low temperature oven or by soaking in anhydrous isopropyl alcohol followed by acetone) and then sealing it with Paraloid B72 (which can be dissolved by acetone) or lacquer (less straightforward to remove) might suffice. You could also just coat it with quality wax. If there is active corrosion, then a series of long soaks in alkalinized distilled water to remove harmful anions might be advisable. I used to have a set of instructions, but cannot locate it at the moment.

I wish such artifacts as this would show up in my nearby garage sales
Thanks lee! It is bone dry with no flaking. I think I'm going to use renaissance wax then.
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Old 29th July 2022, 08:41 PM   #4
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In that case, renaissance wax should be entirely adequate. I have an old sword of the same era dredged up from the very same river. The dredger operator put it on the casing over the engine to dry it and then varnished it at the end of his shift and it has done well for decades so treated.
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Old 29th July 2022, 09:56 PM   #5
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In that case, renaissance wax should be entirely adequate. I have an old sword of the same era dredged up from the very same river. The dredger operator put it on the casing over the engine to dry it and then varnished it at the end of his shift and it has done well for decades so treated.
Very interesting! Do you happen to know close to which city or village your sword was found?
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Old 30th July 2022, 07:52 AM   #6
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Do you happen to know close to which city or village your sword was found?
My understanding is that it was found in river workings between Horn and Roermond in Limburg Province.
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