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William C Champlin




Location: San Antonio,Texas USA
Joined: 22 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 14 Jul, 2007 7:50 am    Post subject: Antques Roadshow Visit / Damascus Steel         Reply with quote

I went to a taping of Antiques Roadshow today. My german music box got me past the line and the interview/taping was fun. After they shot my segment I took a couple of swords of mine to see what they had to say. The appraiser was dismissive at best if not downright put out by my little trinkets. I'm sure he was looking forward to a very long day. Anyway, he said that damascus swords were produced straight through the nineteenth century on through the twentieth century without interruption. I thought that I had read, here and elsewhere, that damascus blades had not been produced between the early ninteenth cent. and early twentieth cent. for various reasons. Any opinions?
Thanks,W.

tweetchris
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Jul, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The popular era of pattern welded and wootz Damascus steel sword was probably over by the 13th century, a few still being made for elite who preferred their looks. They were still produced afterwards (Russia, Persia, India), but not in great numbers. As far as swords, they would have been considered a rarity at some point maybe 17th - 19th century.

My local knife maker (German immigrant) insists that at least a couple of European families never quit practicing the craft. Although he does not seem to know any specifics, he claims he, his father, and grandfather all saw good quality "new work examples" of pattern welded steel long before it was asserted to have been re-invented in America.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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