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Jeroen Averhals




Location: Flanders, Belgium
Joined: 16 Feb 2007
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Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Where to buy my first quality sword?         Reply with quote

Hello,

I've been looking for a while for my first quality sharp sword. I wanted an allround sword and ended up by the Arms and Armor Durer bastard sword but importing a sword from the USA to Belgium would cost me a third of the sword's price (shipping and handling, taxes, papers for importing a sharp weapon from outside Europe,...) which is to expensive.
I think it would be best for me to order from a European swordsmith.
The other sword I was interested in was the Albion Next Generation Agincourt, the quality is perfect, the price is good, the shipping and handling are a lot better but it seems to me that the Agincourt is more of a stabber than a cutter, doesn't have the allround blade of the Durer.
An other one I liked was the Arma Bohemia Cluny sword
http://www.armabohemia.cz/imgnew/epees/epees/EP28v.jpg
A beautiful replica, nice price, cheap shipping and handling but I found no reviews of Arma Bohemia swords on this site and negative posts on the communication. Last year Arma Bohemia was at a medieval fair in Antwerp and I handled one sharp onehander they had with them, it was a beautiful sword, very well balanced but it seemed to me the sharpening wasn't done equally.
Does anyone know if Arma Bohemia makes good cutters, has a good service,... or do you recommend getting an Albion?

thanks,

Jeroen Averhals

Vigor et Veritas
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have personal experience with AB's products, but I've heard good things about them. Here's what I look for:

Overall historical accuracy of shape and proportion
Attention to subtle details
Solid construction
Value for money

If I lived on Euros I'd go for the Cluny without hesitation, especially if your first choice was the Dürer. The Cluny is it's cousin, but with finer details, judging by the photos on the AB site. By the way, there are good photos of the actual Cluny museum sword in this forum. Try the search function.

And if you do buy the Cluny, tell us how you like it. Write a review for this site (we have editors to help!).

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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David Etienne




Location: Ittre, Belgium
Joined: 17 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeroen,

I'm living in Belgium too. In the past, I've ordered three swords from Albion and I had to pay taxes only for one (unfortunately, the most expensive). But the shipping charges were not so high. Just send a quick note to Mike at Albion and he will calcul it for you. You can also order directly from Albion Europe : it's fast, easy and located in Europe, so no taxes (VAT) and no big shipping charges.

Cheers,

David
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want an Albion equivalent to the A&A Durer, you should consider the type XVIIIb's - the Earl, and,especially, the Munich. Unfortunately, both are very expensive. For a less costly all-around, sword, look at the XVIa Crecy. if you want a good cut and thrust single hander, look at the Squire.
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I may throw in my opinion, I really like this AB Cluny sword. Very pretty piece, although I'm not the fan of the pommel.

Yeah, I know that swords like that had pommels like that, but from some reason I think that it would look better with different one. Confused
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Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Albion Next Generation Agincourt proved to be an excellent cutter during SHMS cutting seminar in Helsinki last year. Targets were soaked in water tatami mats.
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Jeff A. Arbogast





Joined: 16 Oct 2008

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there,
As the proud owner of an Albion "Norman" sword, I must say that I find them to be a first-rate company. They are always helpful and courteous, and their quality is, in my humble opinion, as good as you are going to find in the $800-$1500 price range. Be careful, their swords are VERY sharp! I do believe they have a European branch now, so you may not even HAVE to order from the USA. Check out the ALBION web page. There is a link to ALBION EUROPE right on the front.

A man's nose is his castle-and his finger is a mighty sword that he may wield UNHINDERED!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Oct, 2008 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own 2 Arma Bohemia pieces (both daggers/knives) and have handled 2 more (a sword and the dagger we reviewed).

The sword was nice, though not as refined as an Albion (which some people prefer). It was definitely hand-forged and a pretty nice piece overall.

With Arma Bohemia, your item could be made by one of several craftspeople. The daggers I have are pretty outstanding. They were made by a different person than the maker of the Arma Bohemia sword I handled and I feel they're nicer overall than the sword.

I believe some of Arma Bohemia's swords are/were made by Pavel Moc, who is well-known in Europe for nice swords. But Arma Bohemia doesn't like to give out their craftspeople's names, probably because they fear (rightfully so) that people will skip the middleman and go directly to the smith.

So you don't really know who is making the item. You won't get a bad piece, but I have seen variation from one of their makers to another.

The 4 pieces I have seen have all been well worth the money.

Communication can sometimes be problematic and they do miss deadlines. The same can be said for most people in this business, unfortunately.

Happy

ChadA

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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Joined: 08 Apr 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sat 18 Oct, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think you get a pavel moch sword when you order a AB sword. I guess he's already to bussy making his own production line.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Oct, 2008 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A.A. Boskaljon wrote:
I don't think you get a pavel moch sword when you order a AB sword. I guess he's already to bussy making his own production line.


Check these pictures out:

Dagger by Arma Bohemia:



Dagger by Pavel Moc:



The antique dagger looks almost exactly the same in both pics and the repro too. Happy

I have no real evidence it's Pavel Moc, but some pics are similar and when Pavel Moc was going through a really tough time delivering swords on time a while back, so was Arma Bohemia's main swordsmith. AB's swordsmith's difficulties led Jakub to increase the use the knifesmith who made both of my pieces.

All this could just be coincidence, but there are some similar photos and the style of some of AB's swords look a lot like Pavel's. Just my opinion. Happy

Happy

ChadA

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Oct, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The more I look at the two repro daggers above, the more I'm convinced they're the same. Same with the antique.

Both repros have a spot just to the right of the midrib a few inches down the blade. It looks like a flaw in the forging.

The antiques both have the same pattern of red rust interspersed with a darker background color.

Happy

ChadA

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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Oct, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The second photo shows a dark line running from the pommel to the guard in the right hand facet of the handle that seems to be evident in the first picture as well. Assuming the handles are wooden, and not patterned after a model, I'd say the odds against the same location of the concentric ring appearing in two separate pieces of wood are quite high. Of, course, the two handles could be from a longer piece cut down to make several handles, but in addition to the same flaw in the blade appearing in the same location, I believe the two photos are of the same dagger.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Joined: 08 Apr 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 20 Oct, 2008 4:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

after seeing this I'm convinsed to Happy
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Jeroen Averhals




Location: Flanders, Belgium
Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Reading list: 2 books

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all your replies,

I knew I could order from Albion Europe and have visited their site a lot, reading the reviews, comparing the statistics. The Agincourt was the sword I liked the most, round pommel, curved crossguard and the certainty that the quality was perfect. The only thing I didn't really like about the sword was the very tapering blade, I thought that because of that it wouldn't be a good cutter but now I heard it is.
The Arma Bohemia Cluny sword is a beauty, a nice replica of the original sword and a nice price. As I read the quality would be good but I still don't know if it will be a good cutter, as their are no statistics on the site, so I can't compare but I'll see what Arma Bohemia can tell me. Seeing the pictures of the sword it is less tapering than the Agincourt.
I was aware that some of the swords on their site were made by Pavel Moc but I'm sure he is not the only swordsmith and I don't think the Cluny sword was made by him.

I'm still in doubts about what to order...

thanks,

Jeroen Averhals

Vigor et Veritas
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Jeroen Averhals




Location: Flanders, Belgium
Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

I have been searching and asking for some information about the swords I'm interested in, this is what I've got.
Craig of Arms and Armor has been very helpful and has given me this address http://www.schwertshop24.de from where I can order A&A swords in Europe. Still quite expensive.
Albion Europe also quite expensive.
Arma Bohemia has given me some information on the Cluny sword. They have no statistics on it but this is what they told me.
They could make it with a perfect sharpening for cutting.
The PoB is about 5 cm of the crossguard which seems nice.
The pommel and crossguard are made of forged steel.
The blade is made of spring steel.
They can make me a beautiful sword + scabbard and belt for the price of an Albion. I'll go for the Czech sword and if it's not a good cutter I'll have to order an Albion next year (grin).

What other questions can I ask about the quality of the blade and the steel it is made off? (hardness ...)

thanks

Jeroen Averhals

Vigor et Veritas
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Christopher H





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov, 2008 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jeroen,
One question I'd ask is about the mass of the sword... some of their pieces seem a bit heavy to me - but that depends on what you're looking for.
Best wishes on finding a piece you'll love!
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