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Greg Franklin




Location: Westminster, MD
Joined: 28 Nov 2008

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Help with Germany hunting sword?         Reply with quote

Great site.

From what I have seen in the albums my sword is probably a German hunting sword. But I would like some more information if possible. It has been passed down to me and supposedly belonged to my GGGgrandfather who was born in Hesse Darmstadt and his son, Henry, immigrated to the US. I don't have dates on Henry's father but Henry was born in 1852.
The sword in 28 inches long. The grip appears to be ivory and the sheath made from leather or animal hide. It also appears that there should have been a short 5-6 inch dagger that also went in the sheath but that is missing. I saw something like that in the album on this site but I'm not sure.

The blade is single edged and their are no maker marks or symbols anywhere that I can find.

The string around the sheath is helping keep it together as my brother when we were kids found it and cracked it all up.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Here are some other pics












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Last edited by Greg Franklin on Fri 28 Nov, 2008 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Greg,

I am by no means expertise of these but my feeling is it does predate Henry and an 1852 date. You may enjoy browsing this site, as I am but another simple scholar of these.
http://swordlinks.com/courtswords/intro.html

Both the blade shape and grip says late 18th century to me but as I mention, i am no expert. It also appears that the arms/quillons of the guard have broken off. If there are indications of stubs next to that shell shaped counterguard, they may have broken acidentally or removed on purpose. I do feel it middle to late 18th century but am wrong as often about right in some of my speculations.

There would indded have had a by-knife and its not unusual for there to also be other accoutrements. The accessories are often long gone to owners over the years. There is even a bit of mixing and matching amongst dealrs trying to comeup with the best value package. It is also possible to find the knves and piec4s from time to time (rare but there are a few that sell them).

A wonderful story and a nice piece. Perhaps more can better date it. I do think it earlier than mid 19th century. I am bad at my research on these, even as far as picking up a couple of more books here but I will look about a bit.

Cheers

GC
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg, FANTASTIC.. For this sword & sheath, to not only have survived, in this Great condition , it must have been a "prized" possesion (as I am sure it is now)

BTW, if this is a "hunting sword" which IMHO, its, then a Bi-Knife would be a part of the set.

Jack
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Greg Franklin




Location: Westminster, MD
Joined: 28 Nov 2008

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Hello Greg,

I am by no means expertise of these but my feeling is it does predate Henry and an 1852 date. You may enjoy browsing this site, as I am but another simple scholar of these.
http://swordlinks.com/courtswords/intro.html

Both the blade shape and grip says late 18th century to me but as I mention, i am no expert. It also appears that the arms/quillons of the guard have broken off. If there are indications of stubs next to that shell shaped counterguard, they may have broken acidentally or removed on purpose. I do feel it middle to late 18th century but am wrong as often about right in some of my speculations.

There would indded have had a by-knife and its not unusual for there to also be other accoutrements. The accessories are often long gone to owners over the years. There is even a bit of mixing and matching amongst dealrs trying to comeup with the best value package. It is also possible to find the knves and piec4s from time to time (rare but there are a few that sell them).

A wonderful story and a nice piece. Perhaps more can better date it. I do think it earlier than mid 19th century. I am bad at my research on these, even as far as picking up a couple of more books here but I will look about a bit.

Cheers

GC


Thanks for both responses

Learning the terms here but by quillon you mean the hand guard it is only one sided, no breakage.
Can somebody show me what a bi-knife would have looked like? Must have had a short handle to fit between the hand guard and the sheath.

Anybody provide any more information? I can provide additional pictures if it's helpful
Thanks Again.
Greg
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Greg,

quillons as in a cross or legs that would sick out. Your picture looked like a stub of an arm but it is the reflection of the guard collar that made me think there might be a stub(s).

The secondary knives vary a good bit in blade shape but normally single edged and if you think in terms of the sword knive itself, it was probably originally bone or ivory. the catalog listed above has a few examples. If I come across the particular seller I was thinking of with loose knives, I'll post it up but quite often I run across stuff doing pretty simple searching via Google. It wasn't a site I booimarked, hence a passing reference from some time ago. At the time, i was simply searcing the word hirschfanger. One might also look up the word trousse in some searching. Trousse searches are going to bring up lots of hits but probably a lot referencing items a bit different. Same idea though. Package deals of the past.

Good luck with it.

GC
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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Posts: 918

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The model is that of early renaissance messers, it seems too well preserved to be from that age.

Moreover, the little shell at the guard was originally a real sculpure of a shell, this appears to be made in tht style but without following the real shell pattern.

I would say that it is younger but made in the traditional style.

More full size pictures would really help..

I have a lot of messers pics downloaded from the net, pls pm me if you want one[/b]
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Bruno,

I would certainly bow to expertise on this one but the late 18th century items are quite like this. By the mid late 19th century, the stylings of Carl Eickhorn and others start to see a real progression in the matter the blades are shaped. Even moreso, we see swords of this type with the acorn finnials and cast shells.

As to condition, I see acres of premium antiques including scabbards. I would have to agree that condition is anything but condition and a poor read of when a piece was made. As to stylings, certainly timeless in manner for a great many.

Cheers

GC
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 918

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Hi Bruno,

I would certainly bow to expertise on this one but the late 18th century items are quite like this. By the mid late 19th century, the stylings of Carl Eickhorn and others start to see a real progression in the matter the blades are shaped. Even moreso, we see swords of this type with the acorn finnials and cast shells.

As to condition, I see acres of premium antiques including scabbards. I would have to agree that condition is anything but condition and a poor read of when a piece was made. As to stylings, certainly timeless in manner for a great many.

Cheers

GC


Well, ok, what I meant is that this is not a renaissance blade.

And Renaissance stops around the first part of teh XVI century, then we have Mannerism an Baroque age.

So an hunting sword from the late XV century in such conditions would be much more than a great finding.
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Sean Flynt
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Second half of the 19th c. sounds right to me. Here are a few 19th c. examples from Hermann Historica. The first is late 18th c. The last, complete with belt, is ca. 1900 and sold for 1500 Euros (note the oval rivets almost identical to yours). Note also the by-knives. Historically, much of the hilt of the by-knife is inside the sheath, and the hilt might still protrude above the mouth of the main scabbard. You can probably find a replacement byknife if you watch the Hermann Historica auctions. http://www.hermann-historica.com/


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-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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Greg Franklin




Location: Westminster, MD
Joined: 28 Nov 2008

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow that last one Sean posted looks close to the design.
Bruno, thanks for the pictures

Well now that I am getting a better understanding Glen was right. There appear to have been pillions/arms that protruded from the guard that were broken off.
Here's some better pictures
First here is a shot of the area where the arms once were


Total length of the blade is 22 inches or 57.15cm and starts at the guard 1.25 inches wide and the handle is 5inches or 12.7 centimeters
Sword total length is 27inches or 69.95cm


Blade picture from the top. The blade is a isosceles triangle.


Blade tip



Does this help narrow down the period? I am not interested in an estimate just personal information. Regardless of price it would not be for sale, just to pass on as it was to me.
Thanks again to all.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,925

PostPosted: Tue 02 Dec, 2008 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Greg,

It can be extremely difficult to narrow an item to within more than a few decades. I would point to the first link I offered to look at some general traits. Without specific traits, nearly impossible to date an item within a matter of months or even years. The last photos that Sean posted are of a decorative and a later period, yet some of the flows are quite similar. In my initial post, I mentioned the blade traits and is what most put me to the last half of the 18th century and probably closer to 1800. Again, I would bow to expertise in the matter as I am not a collector or grand scholar of the form.

I am actually loath to put up a blade that supports my feelings, as it is an item I watch for sale. My assertion for the timing of that one has nothing to do with the seller's description. The wedge crossection of the blade, it's length and general form are what put me in the last decades of the 18th century. While not using the scabbard fittings to direct my thoughts on timeline, the sheet metal fittings and form of that also lend me to consider those years. It could well be some decades later than that but my fellings are that it is not significantly later than the early 19th century.

Many swords have been "in the style of" a given look and I can only assume that is what Bruno is trying to say. Many stylings have gone 'round and 'round time and again.

I would leave my thoughts regarding this paragraph from elesewhere and that study also relates to my interest in other alloys (such as Britannia) used by 18th and 19th century cutlery.

The family of Nickel Silver alloys has been known since the early 18th century and were initially developed in the far east. European traders brought back metalware goods which were described using the Indian word Tutenag or the Chinese word Paktong. This new alloy with its properties of strength, relatively easy working and silvery colour began to be used for a range of consumer goods, but it was not until the 1840s that the alloy was developed in its modern formulation. By then firms such as Elkington in England and Berndorf in Austria were looking for a stable, cheap, silverish metal as a substrate for the new process of electroplating. Hence EPNS was born, and its German equivalent Alpacca. Argentum and Electrum were other tradenames for electroplate.

Now, a scientific study of your sword might determine exactly what the alloy of the fittings was but it would still not nail it down precisely.

I would simply enjoy and continue studying the item. I have swords I cannot date to within years. It is easier if there are dated marks or a specific maker's catalog. There is a Geman Messer forum out there that Bruno probably has listed somewhere. My German is not terrific but there may be a fount of information on some other boards. Another board that has some visitors that specialize not just in Germania but also these hunting swords is the Bernard Levine subsection of http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/

Cheers

GC

.
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Greg Franklin




Location: Westminster, MD
Joined: 28 Nov 2008

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to all that helped.
I will be continuing to lurk here and look at the posts and the amazing items but without much knowledge I'll probably only be able to post a "wow" or "neat"
Thanks Again,
Greg
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