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Bryson Cadle




Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 01 May 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 9:53 pm    Post subject: Antique Finish or Historical Finish         Reply with quote

It's driving me nuts, I can't find anything about the finish that Hanwei puts on some of their axes and spears, its a brown finish looks almost like rust. Apparently its an "antique finish". So what kind of finish would a spear, axe, or sword have back in the day? Would it be that darkened steel look that my old hatchet has?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know for sure but a nice patina of a genuine antique is probably something enjoyed by the modern eye and people in period may have just considered a patina to be a sign of neglect and any really valuable of prised sword would probably be polished and maintained in the bright unless intentionally blued or browned as rust protection or for aesthetic reasons.

Now a sword seeing a lot of campaign damage or rust might be polished back to bright but might show signs of pitting and texture after cleaning and a sword or piece of armour used over a generation or two might end up with a lot of surface texture.

The patina might accumulate and not be cleaned off when retired from use or just forgotten in a corner or saved from being recycled for some reason.

But this is just speculation on my part. Wink Big Grin

By the way using yellow mustard produces a patina very quickly.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Mon 27 Oct, 2008 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 10:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That finish is shown in our review of the antiqued Gustav rapier.
Happy

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Stu C




Location: Western Australia
Joined: 11 May 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Antique Finish or Historical Finish         Reply with quote

Bryson Cadle wrote:
It's driving me nuts, I can't find anything about the finish that Hanwei puts on some of their axes and spears, its a brown finish looks almost like rust. Apparently its an "antique finish". So what kind of finish would a spear, axe, or sword have back in the day? Would it be that darkened steel look that my old hatchet has?


I tend to think that antiqued finishes on modern reproductions are a kind of fakery. A modern repro that is not pretending to be anything else is a great thing, but it isn't a real historical artifact and [probably] never will be. When it crosses that line into pretending (however innocently) to be an aged original, it somehow feels wrong to me. Just an opinion, though and no more right or wrong than anyone else's, so I guess fundamentally people should go with whatever finish pleases their eye the most, and I guess in some cases it will be dictated by the manufacturer anyway....

Stu
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Oct, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
That finish is shown in our review of the antiqued Gustav rapier.


Chad, thats an interesting bit about Hanweis antiquing. I have their Bastard sword and it has that same spray on stuff on the blade but the hilt, especially the pommel were well done. The pommel has quite a believble looking pitting/patina on it....the guard, not so much.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My "instant antique" article has come back to haunt me a few times. I actually now prefer that a weapon look like it would have in use, and that probably means a variety of finishes. A longsword would probably have a finer finish than a halberd, but both were essential to the survival of their owners and unlikely to be neglected. I don't see an infantryman carefully polishing his halberd every night. Rust might gather for a day or two, but I would expect him to attend to any rust before it threatened the structural integrity of the weapon--maybe just keeping it dry and greasing it. I would guess that a man who had dedicated years to longsword training and invested in a fine sword is likely to notice and have repaired minor rust, worn grip cover, loosened assembly, etc. This is just my speculation.

Maybe the modern analogy would be to an AK and M4, with the AK as the halberd and the M4 as the longsword. I think most folks would say that the M4 is the finer weapon overall, but also would say that the AK can take more abuse. So you might see AKs in service with most of the bluing worn off, stock taped together, Hello Kitty stickers, etc. whereas you wouldn't be as likely to find an M4 looking like that--not because the M4 is impervious to the wear of combat but because its owner has the means and training to carefully tend to the weapon and because he knows it is more fragile than the AK. This isn't meant to imply the superiority of one weapon over another. Some might choose an M4 for one situation and an AK for another, just as a man armed with a longsword might also carry a polearm.

-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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Bryson Cadle




Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 01 May 2005

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2008 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems for a polearm or axe you would probably see a blueing or rough finish rather than this antique look. I had a retailer tell me it is supposed to look more like what an original would look like.
Could you remove this finish I wonder?

For a sword I have no doubt it would be kept nicely polished or at least free from rust. I doubt any soldier would neglect the tool that is supposed to keep him alive, especially since they were so expensive for them. Look how well we take care of our rifles in the army now and they're ISSUED to us! hehe
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW, the only trouble I had removing a black/antique Hanwei finish was getting it out of the faux rust pits. Try using a brass brush bit on an electric drill.
-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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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Oct, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stu wrote:

I tend to think that antiqued finishes on modern reproductions are a kind of fakery. A modern repro that is not pretending to be anything else is a great thing, but it isn't a real historical artifact and [probably] never will be. When it crosses that line into pretending (however innocently) to be an aged original, it somehow feels wrong to me. Just an opinion, though and no more right or wrong than anyone else's, so I guess fundamentally people should go with whatever finish pleases their eye the most, and I guess in some cases it will be dictated by the manufacturer anyway....

Stu

I don't think a purposely antiqued piece is any more of a fake or misrepresentation than a bright finished recreaction. If you could send a reproduction sword back in time, would the ancient warrior value it less than a weapon created for him in his own period? IF someone misrepresented a modern piece as a true antique, then maybe you'd have cause to cry foul, but an artist's work should be taken just as it is presented - his/her own interpretation of an idea, whether it be an old idea or a modern one. Just my two cents.

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 1:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me, the reason for reproductions to exist is to show how the old artifacts looked when they were new. So I don't see the point in antiquing them. If you want to see rusty, patinated weapons, you can already see them in museums. The same IMO goes for wood, leather etc. When new, they originally were very light colored, yet everyone seems to want wood and leather to look dark nowadays, as that's what old wood and leather looks like now. I just make the things based on what was available, and the appearance just automatically comes from that, rather then trying to match it to what I would expect it too look. So for me that makes using the correct materials, tools, finishes (oils, dyes etc.) quite crucial.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen Zuiderwijk wrote:
To me, the reason for reproductions to exist is to show how the old artifacts looked when they were new. So I don't see the point in antiquing them. If you want to see rusty, patinated weapons, you can already see them in museums. The same IMO goes for wood, leather etc. When new, they originally were very light colored, yet everyone seems to want wood and leather to look dark nowadays, as that's what old wood and leather looks like now. I just make the things based on what was available, and the appearance just automatically comes from that, rather then trying to match it to what I would expect it too look. So for me that makes using the correct materials, tools, finishes (oils, dyes etc.) quite crucial.


Sort of agree and the only reasons for antiquing is to make it look like a period artifact ( not for any fraudulent reasons but to have it look like a museum piece ) and secondly I like a slightly campaign worn look but still in period new on some of my less expensive swords.

But I also like the like new look for the same reasons stated above.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love to look at antique swords because they have character, scars, patina, damage, etc. from their working life and/or the intervening years between their construction and today. Those things tell a story about the item and its life.

I prefer my repros to come by their "story" honestly, though. My stuff is all oiled and maintained and kept clean. I clean up anything resembling harmful patina, of course. But the fittings do darken with age (not rust) and I'm okay with that. If the item gets damaged or dinged somehow through use, then that just adds to the item's story.

I have been tempted to antique an item (always something low-end) but somehow I feel like that's creating fiction, a fake story the item hasn't earned.

But I'm just weird that way. Happy

I appreciate the desire to do it, but I haven't been able to bring myself to antique something or buy something antiqued.

Happy

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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree that looking at antique swords to get a feel for their "story" is perhaps the most compelling thing about them. Maybe that's why I like to have a few of my reproductions antiqued - it gives them the illusion of actually having a story, albeit a fictional one. And there's nothing wrong with good fiction, now is there? My collection is made up of A&A, Del Tin, Mad Piper, Jake Powning and Albion. Most are made to look new, but a few are mildly to extremely antiqued, and it is those few that capture my imagination most profoundly as I stare at them hanging on my living room wall. Their ancient looks take my mind back to a place and time where these tools were used for daily survival and chivalric deeds. I know they're not really from their respective time periods, but the effect is sort of like going to Disney World - a visual/tactile fantasy that gives me a break from the everyday humdrum of mundane life. If you think about it, perhaps the biggest reason we all collect reproduction swords (and antique ones, too) is to acheive that certain escapism the hobby allows. Being able to actually cut with our replicas is just sauce for the goose, IMO.
Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher,
I agree on some points, especially about escapism. For me, though, it's easier to escape into that world of imagination holding a well-maintained weapon, as I believe our ancestors did, rather than an patinated one. For me, that connects me more to the realism than patination/antiquing, which symbolizes (again, to me) the divide and distance from those days.

So we both use our collections for the same purposes, but get there in different ways. It's always fun to explore other collectors' mindsets as well as my own. Happy

Happy

ChadA

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