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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Wundes Or Weyersburg?         Reply with quote

This just in from an aquaintance in merry old England. In the introduction to Harold Peterson's old tome and more recently Richard Bezdek mentions the Wundes heirs sold the king's head mark to Weyersberg in 1774. I am only familiar with the lighter chin whiskered Weyersburg king's head, even back to the early 19th century and this one does seem to bear more resemblence to the earlier Wundes mark.


Here are early examples on a schiavona blade. It would seem the more Wundes the better.


I have some more seller pictures of the mark on the sabre, and it is marked on both sides. The real questions I put to the scholars of German marks are kind of two-fold. Did Weyersburg ever use this heavier and deep mark? Is the 1774 date of turn-over to Weyersburg accurate? Another supposition is that Weyersburg had been using a king's head mark back to 1680ish. It would not suprise me to learn of contention over the mark for a century but sources at this point seem to lean two to one in it being a pretty clear cut transition in the third quarter of the 18th century. I am assuming (never the best bet) that Bezdek is simply drawing on the Peterson intro. The 1680 date for Weyersburg apparently comes from The Sword and Bayonet Makers of Imperial Germany by John Walter Which I do not own and may have been misread or quoted.

The blade on this sabre has some forging flaws and would seem to be pre rolling mill days. The hilt not uncommon in general form from mid century, right through. Also entirely possible is an earlier than hilt blade but it seems quite well and purposefully made. Copper wire over leather and cord on the grip.

Thoughts?

Cheers

GC
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some more of the seller's images. Again, primarily interested in more information reagrding late Wundes and early Weyersburg use of the king's head marks but any thoughts about a narrower time span than the latter 18th century would be most welcome.








I'll do some family photos at some point. The blade is 31" or roughly a smidge less tha 79cm. Really a delightful piece.

Cheers

GC
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bezdek does not have an exact match for your king's head mark, Glen. The one on your blade is closer to earlier Wundes marks than Peter III's mark (the mark he illustrates is VERY different from yours), but still not a match for anything. The Weyersberg king's head mark he illustrates is not a match, but the one he depicts is more 19th century in origin. If it is not Wundes, the it could be a very early Weyersberg mark.

Jonathan

(I'll try to post some of the marks later.)
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jonathan for your time. I am (already have been) finding Solingen even more complex a study than Brimingham and snippets like this are a clue what digging will be like.

"Being craftsmen and or tradesmen they were a part of the guild system prevailing at that time, which for many generations was a factor in their daily lives. Each guild or trade was a closed shop in that their skills were keep secret. We can assume that many of the families in the local trades were related since membership was closely regulated and restricted to members of a family and further limited to but two legitimate sons of a family. In the early records it is found in the period after the Thirty Year War (mid-seventeenth century) when the Spanish were in possession of the region, Solingen was destitute, never-the less the brotherhood are given as having about seventy families of Sword Smiths, about one hundred families of Temperers and Grinders, about twelve families of Armorers and about eighty families of Knife makers (blade makers). It is established that at least five generations of Studebakers followed the metal working trade. The entire family was more often than not directly involved in the business, as there are many aspects of the trade that semi-skilled and unskilled labor are an integral part. One was the general duty of the women had of delivering the products of the family's labor, duty considered both a difficult one and hard work. To further complicate the business was the barter system. (to trade by exchange of goods and services with out the use of money"


Also intresting to see an Abraham Wundes listed as one of the first smiths of the Klingenthal works, circa 1730.
http://www.chez.com/klingenthal/anglais_1_a.htm

i'm beginning to wonder if numbers of points on the crown and numbers of the mark on blades may be quite unique to different generations. The original use itself drawn From the heraldic use by Johanes Wundes. Also quite possibly one of the types of marks and names that may have been applied to blades to simply imply quality. A couple oif basket hilts with other ubiquitous mark are also bearing the kings head mark . Vincent (UK dealer) has one at the present but the marks are not clearly presented.

Cheers

GC
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From German Swords and Sword Makers by Richard Bezdek:







From Peter Finer's 1996 Catalog In Armis Ars MCMXCVI:



I hope that is helpful, Glen!

Jonathan
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks very much Jonathan. That is quite interesting. There does seem to be a definite connection between two Peters there. One Wundes and one Weyersberg. I could wish that Bezdek would have published actual photographs instead of drawings but I am much further enlightened than I was a few hours ago.

There was a very red/brown crusty just above the mark on one side that has dissolved and pretty much lifted entirely today.A little old salt and pepper type pitting but otherwise a remarkably nice and intact blade. aside from the little sweetheart motif going on in the counterguard, it is quite like many hilts of the 18th century that I have somehow just recently been discovering more about. As with a couple in lately, the false edge is quite sharp and extends back to where the fuller ends. I can't be sure the grip was never reworked but if it was, the effort was splendid and suits the piece entirely.
I would expect some tarnish on the copper wire and there seems to be none.

Cheers

GC
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No problem, Glen! I wish the book had photos as well. I included the Peter Finer sword as it provided a bigger and better view compared to the schiavona illustrated earlier. The books suffers in photography all the way around. Most of the sword illustrated therein are line drawings--nice ones, but still drawings. As the only English language reference/affordable reference on the subject one can make due, but I assume that better books on the subject exist somewhere (Germany? Happy ).

I have found that copper wire that is handled frequently can stay brighter than expected. The same goes for brass. Based on the photos I would not think the grip is a replacement.

Jonathan
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Carl Massaro




Location: NY
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I noticed that the king's head mark on a lot of the original swords don't really match each other or match up to the marks shown in the book above.

Did the actual stamps differ than what is shown in the book photographs above? I have seen one sword for sale with "Johannes Wundes" on the blade and this king's head mark:



Could it be a fake? Is this a widely copied or faked mark?

-Carl
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Tue 20 May, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One difficulty is that the graphics in the books are drawings and can't truly render what the images actually look like on a blade. I'm actually beginning to wonder if some, or all the Wundes variations aren't actually etched and not a stamp. Some are certainly clear enough to have been engraved or stamped but a great may more are really very deep and ragged.

Another had offered up another page from a Russian title n German swords and swordmakers (no, i don't have the title).

Cheers

GC



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wundes.jpg



Last edited by Glen A Cleeton on Thu 22 May, 2008 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Carl Massaro




Location: NY
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So far none of the King's head marks in the books match up with the ones depicted above or with any I have seen online in auctions.

Was this mark a solingen mark in the 16th and 17th centuries or was it more maker specific?

I just purchased a blade that is marked "Johannes Wundes" with the above mark in my photo. I am hoping that it can really be attributed to this maker.

Here is the sword:





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Carl Massaro




Location: NY
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anyone?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,815

PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Carl,

FWIW, I think your sword's mark does look very much like one of the marks in the bottom row of the last page of marks posted. I don't have the title name of the book but it was indicated as a recent Russian edition. This is the slender mark facing audience right, above the 32. I am pretty much completely in the dark on this myself but to me the marks look like they were quite varied and all apparently attributed to the Wundes forge(s). I have also wondered if it was not being used somewhat generically, like the Passau running wolf but I have not found text to support that and am relying on those with the texts describing the whole line of family that was Wundes. If these were beiing etched, instead of stamped, it would also help explain the great variety we are seeining as technique and resists might have changed s frequently as the hands applying them. The "how" of the way they were being done is as much a quandry to me as finding good photos fof extant pieces with marks to view instead of drawings from books.

I freely admit to not commiting enough time to even online searches for information and such is often a very slow process for me. Having lost and replaced bookmarks in the past couple of years has not helped and I find myself trying to backtrack to a page that had some very good information on Solingen swordmaking families and forges. As my book money is going to different genre and timeline, it may be some time before I even get to some texts being reccomended. I have half a dozen lists to try for interlibrary and just not enough hours in the day (so it seems).

Your's looks like a really wonderful piece and I hope to work my way back to antiques of that stature but certainly enjoy seeing them and studying them in the meantime.

Cheers

GC
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Carl Massaro




Location: NY
Joined: 02 Mar 2004

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Glen! The sword is wonderful! It weighs in at 1.8 lbs and the POB is about 3 1/2 inches from the hilt. very light, maneuverable and well balanced!

There is some movement in the handle, but it is miniscule. I do not want to attempt even a light tapping of the peened rivet on such an old antique. I am going to leave it as is, and keep it well oiled.
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