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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
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Posts: 854

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 6:51 am    Post subject: The Black Saber by Paolo Abrera         Reply with quote

Dear fellow forumites, as the proud owner, please allow me to introduce The Black Saber
made by the hands of Paolo Abrera. With a webpage designed and sponsorred by Antonio
Cejunior.




Please do take a look and a read ...

http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/blacksaber.htm

A couple closer looks at the blackened / aged L-hilt and thumb-ring



Notice the rugged construction of both the grip / hilt and the fittings you can see
in the pictures above. Paolo and I thoroughly agreed upon the type of Hussar
Saber to be produced; a soldier's blade, not Kingly, Princely, or Nobleman's.
This would be a saber that could survive brutal conditions; battle, weather, and
the every day wear and tear of a common soldier's life ...
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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Posts: 449

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those photos look great.

Congratulations!

What are the 'stats' of the sabre?
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Those photos look great.

Congratulations!

What are the 'stats' of the sabre?


Thankyou, Bartek ... here's a quote from the maker himself during one of
our back-n-forth discussions :

Quote:
So what I have is a 33 inch saber blade based on Wojciech Zablocki's
saber typology as Saber type IIa from the 17th C (variable curvature rather than
parabolic curve with a pronounced yelman). Saber type IIa is typically found with
carabella type mounts but I think this blade would be nice mounted up with a 16th
c Stephen Bathory type hilt...or your much sought after L-hilt with a "paluch" (thumb-
ring). Both would have a "boot-shaped" leather-wrapped handle, long langets and
an almond shaped butt plate with a peened tang.


A couple of my own measurements :

The blade width just infront of the languets is 1 3/8s of an inch.
The blade width at the start of the yelman is 1 5/8s of an inch.
The complete grip is about 5 inches long.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For those of you who might not be able to access the above link, here are
a couple pictures of The Black Saber taken by Paolo Abrera ...


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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jan, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So is this a historical piece or more of a fantasy piece?
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Matthew!
This is absolutely a thing of beauty in the refined essence, a tool of the trade.
Do you have it already? I will be glad to hear some remarks about handling.
I'm very happy your dream have finaly made its way into reality.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What a nice sword. The blade is amazing, the execution of the fullers and the complex geometry is so cool.
" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
So is this a historical piece or more of a fantasy piece?


Very much based on the historical " black sabers " of The Polish Hussars, Jeremy ... Here is
another bit of the back-n-forth discussion of Paolo's ideas for this saber, as well as a hint of the
research he ( as well as I ) had been doing ....

Quote:

In terms of what I had in mind, my opinion is the saber blade I did
will suit a similar shaped hilt. In my understanding, the
"boot-shaped" hilt is a classic polish-hungarian feature, and it's
something I had wanted to have on this blade. The toss up is really
wether to go with simple crossbars and long langets (a mounting
popularized by Stephan Bathory, as I mentioned before) or an L-shaped
guard with a thumbring...

Whichever type of guard it is, it would be in simple blackened iron,
and the ribbed-hilt would be in black leather with possibly a twisted
wire wrap (I believe these sabers were also known as "black sabers"
cause of the black leather hilts and scabbards). Scabbard furniture
would also be blackened steel or "antiqued" brass in simple, direct
shapes with the possibility of a touch of heart-shaped piercings. I
remember you mentioning that your vision for the saber was a soldiers
trusted weapon rather than a kings ceremonial prop. That appeals to me
too. The length and curvature that I based this blade on would make it
a horseman's weapon, something that saw hard days in the field,
strapped to a saddle in rain, sleet and snow. It would have had to
have been simple and robust, no frills but beautiful in its rugged
way.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
Congratulations Matthew!
This is absolutely a thing of beauty in the refined essence, a tool of the trade.
Do you have it already? I will be glad to hear some remarks about handling.
I'm very happy your dream have finaly made its way into reality.



Ahhh, thankyou thankyou, Sa'ar ! When we've corresponded a bit over the past
year I needed to hold-back evidence of this project until it was in my hands. So
please forgive the secrecy. It has been at least 4-years trying to get this particular
type of blade made.

While I am not a cutter, I CAN tell you The Black Saber is imposing. The
sweeping curved blade provides a certain elegance, but the solid powerful
grip and furniture bespeak a hard sword with a hard reputation. The scabbard
as well is not mere slips of wood, thin leather, and fragile metal, but a thing
that could easily withstand hard weather, hard rides, and hard battles ...

Forgive me if I wax a bit poetic ! B-)
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Andrews wrote:
What a nice sword. The blade is amazing, the execution of the fullers and the complex geometry is so cool.


Thankyou very much, Allen ! To my knowledge, Paolo contacted other fellow sword-smiths for advice
regarding the geometry of the blade. I believe he contacted Vince Evans and Ric Furrer ( sp ), both of
whom I believe have made swords influenced by the Middle East.
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Tomasz B.




Location: Belgium
Joined: 01 Dec 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice, such a beautiful blade ! I love the curve, the false egde... and the fuller !

How much did you pay for it ?

Thomas
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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Matthew, I know how it must feel to finally complete your long quest !
Dan
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew,
That is a really stunning sword. Congratulations to you and the artist who made it! The blade is amazing. I am curious to see how it would look suspended from a belt--the suspension rings are quite wide set. Do you recommend any books on Polish swords? Are any in English?

Jonathan
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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Posts: 854

PostPosted: Mon 19 Jan, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Matthew,
That is a really stunning sword. Congratulations to you and the artist who made it! The blade is amazing.
I am curious to see how it would look suspended from a belt--the suspension rings are quite wide set.
Do you recommend any books on Polish swords? Are any in English?

Jonathan


Thankyou, Jonathan. I'm still revelling ...

Paolo actually discussed his reasoning for moving the suspension rings wider apart
than seems normal. Here is an excerpt from our email discussion :

Quote:
Notice I moved he lower hanger a couple of inches
lower than where I had originally marked it out. The suspension rings
seem wider apart than some photo examples I have on file but after
testing the position of the suspension rings, I felt it needed to be
wider apart for this sword to hang neutrally as I've seen in some
museum photos. IT wasn't stable when suspended from the original
points I had marked out so I decided to widen the distance between the
suspension rings. I guess the curve and balance of each sword has to
be taken into consideration rather than just choosing arbitrary points
for the suspension rig. I preffered for this sword to feel correct
when strapped on as if it would be used by a soldier first and
foremost.


And you can see where he originally had them marked on one of his
production photos :



Here's a url that will lead you to a couple books I found, but neither is in
English.

http://www.collectiblefirearms.com/Swords.htm...0Lithuania

There is a somewhat legendary book that I don't think is in print any more by
I believe Wojciech Zablocki on types of Polish War Sabers. Here is a link to
what I think is some of the information posted online ...

http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/zablocki_abstract.htm
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Jan, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tomasz B. wrote:
Very nice, such a beautiful blade ! I love the curve, the false egde... and the fuller !

How much did you pay for it ?



Thanks, Tomasz. Sorry I can't answer your last question as Paolo and I agreed to keep
financial matters private. What I can tell you is that, per our discussion, Paolo informed
me each piece he's worked on has different demands and consequently different costs.
Plus, as he improves his abilities, he will adjust pricing accordingly. What I can tell you
on my end, I've been saving diligently for 4-years; trimmed my collection of higher end
works; and just to keep interested have been looking at less expensive makers like
Valiant Armoury or Kris Cutlery ...
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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Posts: 854

PostPosted: Mon 19 Jan, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Dickinson wrote:
Congrats Matthew, I know how it must feel to finally complete
your long quest !
Dan


Thanks Dan, my quest for this particular type of sword quite frankly began here at
myArmoury, though I didn't realize it at the time. Nathan Robinson actually had a
Hussar Saber with L-Hilt and thumb-ring up for sale in the Marketplace for the
astounding price of $ 400, if I recall correctly. There was no scabbard, and at the
time I remember I was in the middle of another project; but I do recall that I kept
going back to that post and admiring that unique weapon. Then the sword was
sold. THEN another Hussar Saber appeared in the Marketplace some time later,
I snapped on it; but before it could be shipped ? it was stolen from the owner. I
could not believe the luck I " wasn't " having ...

Even until the moment the FedEx driver rang the doorbell at 9:30 AM, I wasn't
absolutely sure The Black Saber would find itself in my hands. I know, I
know, kinda' melodramatic. And none of my apprehension had anything to do
with Paolo's packaging / shipping methods. It just seemed to me that at every
excited turn, a Hussar Saber just within reach, my best laid plans got dashed.

By the way, I received your PM and will reply via email, Dan !
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Jan, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of course, how could I NOT eventually take one of my own standard photos ??? B-)


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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Minding this magnificent saber is strictly historical accurate, this is the first time a paid any attention to the thumb ring. When I had checked my references I noticed most thumb rings were brazed or riveted with a single rivet, and usualy bent upwards the grip. Are the two rivets accented on purpose?
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




Location: Michigan, USA
Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 854

PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
Minding this magnificent saber is strictly historical accurate, this is the first time a paid
any attention to the thumb ring. When I had checked my references I noticed most thumb rings were brazed
or riveted with a single rivet, and usualy bent upwards the grip. Are the two rivets accented on purpose?


Hi Sa'ar, I appreciate questions and comments regarding historical accuracy, as one
can be ( maybe should be ? ) reminded that -- without exact measurements or antiques
by which to gauge scale and proportions -- achieving a perfect result isn't always possible.

There are actually two more rivets inside the loop of the thumb-ring. One has been
smoothed over for the comfort of the grip, and the other hides from view; closer but
beneath the ones you can see.

Paolo and I were both in agreement that the visible rivets added to the rugged, no-frills,
no-nonsense character of The Black Saber. A saber meant for a regular soldier,
a common man; as opposed to nobleman, prince, or king ...
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew, this is exactly what I meant - a professional tool of the trade, no bells & whistles, just top materials, best done.
The rivets look great to my taste, they add a slight "gothic flavour".

There is an extremely similar hilted saber (antique) in one of my books, also stated to be 17th century. Its blade, however, appears to be plain rather the complex cross section you have.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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