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Old 8th June 2021, 10:42 PM   #1
Nakampfmesser76
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Default Italian? Markings? Period?

Hi... I'd like to know something precise about markings, nationality and period.
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Old 9th June 2021, 05:42 PM   #2
Battara
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Looks European to me - sending this to the European side.
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Old 9th June 2021, 07:36 PM   #3
Dmitry
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A VERY interesting and rare sword. I'm away from my library till later, but I will guess that it dates from the early 1500s, possibly earlier. Perhaps Italian. A type of a storta.
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Old 9th June 2021, 08:35 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry View Post
A VERY interesting and rare sword. I'm away from my library till later, but I will guess that it dates from the early 1500s, possibly earlier. Perhaps Italian. A type of a storta.

You are exactly on the right track Dmitry! and hope I might place what I have found so far to see if you concur.

According to the late AVB Norman, "The Rapier and the Small Sword 1460-1820" (1980), with the image attached, and various entries, these style hilts, with asymmetrical character, were in use in Venice in the 15th c. in the early evolution of the schiavona.
These types of hilts seem to have been popular in North Italy and S. Germany through the 16th century, and their conventions carried into early 17th.
The marking on this example, while exact match not yet found, has the character of S. German, particularly Munich crowned shield forms, and there is an example of one used by the Stantler's that seems vaguely similar.
The photos and dramatic pitting on this example make clear observation on features and the mark difficult.

The pommel is of unusual character, and appears to be loosely of the 'fishtail' type (Oakeshott, 1960, type V), which is European, and known to have existed in these regions, but very rarely seen except in art. This example seems to have more of a geometric shape than the 'fish' shape, but almost of the type 40 pommel in Oakeshott (1980) of late 15thc.

The blade, a back sword (SE) seems of the type of clip point which became popular in later years in Germany but seen on the 'storta' in Italy, a much short and stout short saber usually slightly curved.

These style features such as the asymmetrically composed guard (very Italian) , the unusual fish tail type pommel , and the clip point blade seem to have been carried traditionally through a long period in these regions, from late 15th into 17th century in varying degree.

The strange feature on the side of the blade appears to be a type of parry hook, as often seen dually on two hand swords of these times as well.

Given these factors, my view is this is probably S. German, early 17th century.
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Old 11th June 2021, 11:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry View Post
A VERY interesting and rare sword. Perhaps Italian. A type of a storta.

Thanks for posting this, it's quite a rara avis. As Jim has already pointed out, a storta has a broader, somewhat shorter blade with curved edge. In fact, the reference literature sometimes refers to the weapon as a coltella, based on the word for knife.

Your sword is what is typically called a mezza spada (lit. "half-sword" for its single straight edge), and the dorsal parrying prong sets it apart from the typical backsword. They're fairly rare, two excellent examples are in the Wiener Waffensammlung and the Armeria del Palazzo Ducale in Venice (both published in Boccia/Coelho Armi Bianche Italiane. Both of those have distinctive teardrop shaped pommels, yours is unique in its pommel form, which is seen elsewhere in Europe on earlier swords and discussed at some length by Ewart Oakeshott's books on medieval sword types.
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