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John Piscopo




Location: LaGrange, IL 60525 SW of Chicago
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2004 1:35 pm    Post subject: Bavarian Middle Bronze Age two rivet bronze sword         Reply with quote

Dear friends,

In October of last year I was the successful bidder on the Hermann Historica, Munchen, Bavaria, Auction 45 Lot 1129 which included bronze pieces that included two pins, an axe and the sword below.

If anyone wants to get onto the HH emailing list for notice of their auctions should contact me and I will forward your email to Ernst Wagner who would be pleased to assist you. Just don't bid against me! Their catalog will be posted on their website. Here is their description of the lot:
Lot Nr.1129 Schwert und Beil, bronzezeitlich, um 1200 v.Chr. Bronze mit starker grüner Patina. Kräftige Klinge, am Ansatz zwei Nietlöcher, eines mit erhaltener Vernietung. Randleistenbeil mit gerundeter Schneide. Dazu zwei verbogene Bronzenadeln mit Kerbdekor und flachen Abschlussköpfen. Gereinigte Bodenfunde. Länge 16 bis 44 cm.Condition: II-III Limit: 500.00 EURO
550,00 EURO
If you want to see the picture in their catalog, go to: http://hermann-historica.com/ and click on the first catalog picture, then look for lot number 1129. Sorry, pictures do not accompany the text when I cut and paste.

The sword 1s 17.3" (44 cm.) long and retains one of the rivets. I figured my cost for this sword at $550. The rivet is .5" (1.4 cm) long and I have no idea how this could have been securely mounted to a hilt, hope someone can make a suggestion. The rivets extend less than .25" from the blade surface.

I date this sword to 1600 BC, Middle Bronze Age, but it could be earlier, the axe in the lot dates to the Late Early Bronze Age, several hundred years earlier.

Hansel, Alix. Die Funde der Bronzezeit aus Bayern. Page 35

I have also posted a discussion thread that duplicates this posting on The Sword Forum International.

Best regards, John Piscopo



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I collect swords and bayonets dated WWI back to the Bronze Age from the US and Europe and ancient swords and other weapons from Eurasia. I participate in many historical forums for the study of ancient history and weapons. I am happy to share what expertise I have. John Piscopo
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2004 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations to a fine sword!
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2004 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, congratulations John !

The design for attaching the hilt does seem rather a weak one !
You'd think the hilt would have incorporated some support bars along the blade to help keep the rivets/hilt from tearing away ? ........ but my knowledge with these types is very limited !

You have quite the fine collection , thanks for sharing it ! Mac

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John Piscopo




Location: LaGrange, IL 60525 SW of Chicago
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2004 7:10 am    Post subject: Bavarian Middle Bronze Age Sword         Reply with quote

Dear Thomas and Peter,

I should point out that while the attachment point is very weak, the sword blade itself is quite robust and sturdy, the foundryman who cast it was not short of metal. The cross section is lens shaped and the blade still retains an edge but not a sharp point. I would like to get a metallurgical analysis at some point.

I collect swords and bayonets dated WWI back to the Bronze Age from the US and Europe and ancient swords and other weapons from Eurasia. I participate in many historical forums for the study of ancient history and weapons. I am happy to share what expertise I have. John Piscopo
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David McElrea




Location: Canada
Joined: 26 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2004 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John Piscopo wrote:
Quote:
I should point out that while the attachment point is very weak, the sword blade itself is quite robust and sturdy, the foundryman who cast it was not short of metal. The cross section is lens shaped and the blade still retains an edge but not a sharp point. I would like to get a metallurgical analysis at some point.


Hi John,

Interesting that the edge shows signs of having been sharpened while the point does not. The Bronze Age "rapiers" from Ireland showed a similar "weakness" in that there are no tangs; instead, like your purchase, the hilts are rivited directly onto the blade itself. This construction has led to the assumption that these weapons were primarily used for thrusting.

The fact that your sword seems to show that it was used for edge-work makes me wonder if the collective wisdom about such swords is in error. Is it possible that the smiths overcame the apparent weakness in a way that we haven't quite guessed?

David
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John Piscopo




Location: LaGrange, IL 60525 SW of Chicago
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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Posts: 112

PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2004 8:51 am    Post subject: avarian Middle Bronze Age Sword         Reply with quote

Dear David,

The only sure way that such a blade could be securely riveted to a hilt would be if the hilt were of metal that would fit over the blade and be riveted through the metal hilt. Not too pleased with this idea, if it was so there would have been some surviving hilts as they would have been much bulkier and heavier to fit the hand.

I dislike speculating without evidence, just want to point out the problems so that we can gets some good minds thinking about the problem.

I collect swords and bayonets dated WWI back to the Bronze Age from the US and Europe and ancient swords and other weapons from Eurasia. I participate in many historical forums for the study of ancient history and weapons. I am happy to share what expertise I have. John Piscopo
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Jörg W.




Location: Germany
Joined: 11 Feb 2004

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2004 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi John!

im not common with this bronze age, but your thread made me interested a bit.
searching a picture of a mounted blade i found one that might be interesting for you.

http://www.gi.rwth-aachen.de/forschung/dauerf.../arch.html

its in german so id like to translate the text written next to the last picture.


Bild 2: Röntgenaufnahme des Griffs eines süddeutschen Vollgriffschwertes (Schwert mit Metallgriff) der mittleren Bronzezeit. Deutlich zu erkennen ist der für diesen Typus exemplarische massive Knauf. Die dünne Wandung der Griffstange entstand durch Guß über einen Tonkern. Die Klinge wird ausschließlich durch zwei seitliche Niete in der kurzen, nach oben verjüngten Griffzunge und die angeschmiedete Heftunterkante fixiert. Es besteht kein Kontakt mit der Griffwandung. Die Schäftung wurde mit Fortschritt der Bronzezeit hinsichtlich der Stabilität optimiert.

Picture 2: X-ray photo of the grip of a south german Full-grip-sword (sword with metal grip) of the middle bronze age. Clearly visible is the for this type exemplary massive grip. The thin wall of the grip results from casting above a clay core. The blade is exclusively fixed with two rivets - one on each side - in the short grip tongue (that gets smaller upwards) and the to the lower edge of the on forged haft. There is no contact with the walls of the grip. This mounting got optimized with regards to stability with the advance of the bronze age.

sorry if the content lost a bit due to my bad english. Worried although i dont understand it in every detail i guess you were right.
if the blade was mounted that way the grip should have survived too.

further question could maybe be answered by DelTin. i found his name on a page offering reproductions of early tools, weapons and other things.

http://www.ratatoskr.de/BRSCHWER.htm


Regards, Jörg
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2004 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think you did just fine with the translation thankyou very much. That's one of my biggest beefs with Oakeshott is he'll launch into a latin or French phrase that came from a book, art, or sword inscription and then never bothers to translate the bloody thing. I know if you are well educated you should know French and Latin but sheesh I took C programming in school rather then languages...
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John Piscopo




Location: LaGrange, IL 60525 SW of Chicago
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

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Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun 22 Feb, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Bvarian Middle Bronze Age Sword         Reply with quote

Quote:
sorry if the content lost a bit due to my bad english. although i don't understand it in every detail i guess you were right.
if the blade was mounted that way the grip should have survived too.


Dear Jorg,

Thank you for the reference. The x-ray of the Vollgriffschwert is nice, shows a robust tang that would have been quite evvective in holding the sword. Those swords are well documented in the literature, my Prahistorische Bronze Funde series books on sword show hundreds, perhaps thousands, of examples of these swords that have been excavated.

I am convinced that my sword predates in style the Vollgriffs. The new hilts would have quickly made my two rivet attachments obsolete, most of those bronze swords would have gone into the kiln for remelting and casting into the newer more robust styles. The same process happened in Canaan where daggers & short swords that had the blades mounted with four or six rivets and were mounted to organic hilts during MBII (1900-1550) became obsolete after the technology developed enough to cast on hilts for the manufacture of longer sickle swords.

Note that tanged daggers and spearhead, sometimes interchangeable depending on how they are mounted, became obsolete with the casting on process as well.

It should be noted that bronze blades for sword, dagger or spearhead usage had to be cast and hammer hardened before they could be mounted to organic hilts. During MBII the metal was both scarce and relatively costly, the opening up of new copper and tin sources would enable advancements in weapons making that allowed for the use of more metal.

Every shepherd would have a small dagger or spear, very few warriors would be equipped with swords, a fighting weapon of the elites who could afford the massive costs.



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I collect swords and bayonets dated WWI back to the Bronze Age from the US and Europe and ancient swords and other weapons from Eurasia. I participate in many historical forums for the study of ancient history and weapons. I am happy to share what expertise I have. John Piscopo
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John Piscopo




Location: LaGrange, IL 60525 SW of Chicago
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Posts: 112

PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2004 11:40 am    Post subject: Austrian Axe         Reply with quote

Dear Friends,

I have had some discussion on the Austrian axe that came in the lot with the Bavarian sword and thought I would copy and past my comments:

Take a look at the axe, photographed on Tafel 24, figure 342, the book example was found at Wilhering, Dornbacher Wald.

Mayer, Eugen Friedrich. Die Axte und Beile in Osterreich. (PBF Abteilung IX, 9.Band. 1977.) Text on Page 112:
RANDLEISTENBEILE MIT BREITER, IN DER MITTE EINGEZOGENER BAHN - SONDERFORMEN
342. Wilhering, BH. Linz-Land. Oberosterreich. - Dornbacher Wald, Kurnberghang;
Depotfund vgl. Nr. 280-281. - Beil, L. 15,2 cm, B. 2,4 cm, Gew. 55g (Taf. 24, 342). - Landesmus. Linz (A 4825).

This axe is also similar to Taf. 19 figures 273-274 and all the axes of this type would be dated to Stufe Gemeinlebarn I or II. 1800-1600 BC, equivalent to Late Early Bronze Age or Early Middle Bronze Age.

I would suspect that my axe is the only one of this type in private hands and that the one held by the Linz Museum is not on display for observation by visitors. Mayer would have been given access to the storerooms.

If I sell this axe, my price would be $500., no extra charge for shipping. If you purchase the axe I will include photocopies of the pages in my book that identify and date it.



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I collect swords and bayonets dated WWI back to the Bronze Age from the US and Europe and ancient swords and other weapons from Eurasia. I participate in many historical forums for the study of ancient history and weapons. I am happy to share what expertise I have. John Piscopo
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