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Daniel Lip





Joined: 19 Aug 2009

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 2:48 am    Post subject: Corrosion and inscriptions - question         Reply with quote

I am no professional in the field of swords and armour but I am interested in their history.
I have a couple of questions and would be pleased for any information.

Theoretically how long could a sword avoid corrosion if kept in a dry place (climate) and looked after professionally? Centuries? Could it still be used in battle?

What are the earliest examples for inscriptions (writing, symbols) along a blade? Is it possible to do this on any type of blade?

Thank you
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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Posts: 551

PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some original medieval period swords which are in almost pristine condition, according to Oakeshott and other authors. These are relatively few from what I understand but they do exist. I am personally not aware of any examples from earlier periods that are in such good condition other than some bronze pieces, which are not subject to the same degree of corrosion as iron/steel pieces. There may well be some which I am not aware of, though.
Your other questions I can't offer much help with.
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2009 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Corrosion and inscriptions - question         Reply with quote

Daniel Lip wrote:
I am no professional in the field of swords and armour but I am interested in their history.
I have a couple of questions and would be pleased for any information.

Theoretically how long could a sword avoid corrosion if kept in a dry place (climate) and looked after professionally? Centuries?
Tutankhamun's iron dagger is still practically corrosion free after 3400 years. That wasn't even looked after, just left in a dry environment.

Quote:
What are the earliest examples for inscriptions (writing, symbols) along a blade? Is it possible to do this on any type of blade?
Incriptions on swords occur in the near east from the bronze age onwards. Naturally it doesn't occur at times in areas when there is no writing yet. And yup, it can be done on any metal blade.
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
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David Cooper




Location: UK
Joined: 27 Apr 2008
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Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2009 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Corrosion and inscriptions - question         Reply with quote

Daniel Lip wrote:


Theoretically how long could a sword avoid corrosion if kept in a dry place (climate) and looked after professionally? Centuries? Could it still be used in battle?



The Japanese probably have the best tradition of maintaining old swords in pristine and functional condition. This is probably a bit of an unfair comparison as ancient blades were repolished and remounted fairly often. However there are many documented examples of family blades, centuries old, being remounted and taken into battle in the Second World War

The journey not the destination
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