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Old 24th August 2021, 05:18 PM   #31
Jim McDougall
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I just wanted to say in agreement with Keith, Fernando's outstanding insight into Toledo steel production as shown in the excerpts he has added is most helpful.
While it has been noted that the work of blacksmiths and blade forgers has often been portrayed by writers as regarded somewhat fearfully by people as having them in league with the forces of darkness (evil, magic, etc)...this information illustrates that religious aspects were at play in many cases.

The integration of prayers and the timing in accord with the observation of the metal being worked certainly would have been in place in these processes.
This seems well supported by the inscriptions, markings which are often placed on the blades, which while with religious and pious themes, also used symbols and devices associated with 'magic'.

Though Spanish steel was much celebrated, it was never as far as I have known, ever exported. While of course, India furnished the fabled watered steel to the Middle East and parts of the orient, it was not known in Europe.

While these centers in Europe, and England ,often had good resources for raw materials, it was more effective to purchase the high quality ingots of steel from Sweden to forge blades. This is not to say that smelting and processing did not take place in these locations, there was a notable dependence on the Swedish steel to augment their supply.
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Old 24th August 2021, 07:33 PM   #32
urbanspaceman
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I made a mistake... my sword is not the Wentworth-Woodhouse sword.
The casket is as described, but the sword is in the possession of the Royal Armouries.
It is virtually identical to mine except the binding is missing.
As I said earlier, the information just keeps creeping in.
Now I have to find out where my sword came from.
My apologies.
Just to keep the record straight I have found and supply an image of the mistaken sword.
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Old 25th August 2021, 02:28 PM   #33
fernando
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... Though Spanish steel was much celebrated, it was never as far as I have known, ever exported...
Oh yest ... it was, Jim.
We browse on the subject and we find, for one, a work by Basque historian JosÚ Antonio Azpiazu giving account that, in the XVII century, the steel of Mondragon, had conquered the Atlantic market, besides that of the Peninsula, and was exported to La Rochelle, but above all to Nantes. This city recieves important quantities of the precious product: 150 quintales (some 10 tons) in one ocasion, 1 500 quintales in another. In 1625 Antonio de Ibinarri and Arrasate Esteban de Larrinaga (both Basques) set up an enterprise to ship 1 000 quintales to France.They took a wise decision; to ship 100 quintales in separate ships, to prevent risks. Each quintal of steel costed 68 reales, a price slightly higher than that of iron.
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Old 25th August 2021, 04:54 PM   #34
Jim McDougall
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Oh yest ... it was, Jim.
We browse on the subject and we find, for one, a work by Basque historian JosÚ Antonio Azpiazu giving account that, in the XVII century, the steel of Mondragon, had conquered the Atlantic market, besides that of the Peninsula, and was exported to La Rochelle, but above all to Nantes. This city recieves important quantities of the precious product: 150 quintales (some 10 tons) in one ocasion, 1 500 quintales in another. In 1625 Antonio de Ibinarri and Arrasate Esteban de Larrinaga (both Basques) set up an enterprise to ship 1 000 quintales to France.They took a wise decision; to ship 100 quintales in separate ships, to prevent risks. Each quintal of steel costed 68 reales, a price slightly higher than that of iron.

Ahah! OK, I did not get the memo on that Fernando!
But it makes total sense that steel of that quality, and produced with such secret methods, would be exported, so thank you for that detail. Very much appreciated.
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Old 25th August 2021, 05:18 PM   #35
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I don't remember where I heard about England buying steel from Spain and Italy - until wars prevented it, but given the reputation of Toledo blades it seems obvious.
Questions now arise: where did Greenwich get its steel from? Probably Spain, Italy or Augsburg, or all three along with Cologne.
Valuable information Fernando, thank-you.
ps
Is there any information regarding Greenwich blades anywhere?

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Old 30th August 2021, 04:41 PM   #36
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Toledo steel was actually made from iron coming all the way over land from Mondragon, in Basque country. In XVIIITh century there were worries that this strain was becoming depleted.
Bilbao (Bilbo) profited over selling iron ore abroad. The Dutch in XVIIth century said that the best iron guns were made from a mixture of Swedish and Basque iron, because they had opposite characteristics of tenacity.
The archives of the Burgos Consulado and O˝ate have been kept and next to that of wool, there are extensive records of this trade.
Phillip the Second used to order arquebuses and pikes from the same region (Placencia). But when he stopped paying regularly for his orders he damaged the industry.
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