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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: MRL "Sword of Cortenuova"         Reply with quote

I was looking at MRL's "deal of the day". They are offering the "Sword of Cortenuova" for 132 dollars, which normally retails for 265.00. Can anyone tell me anything about this sword. Any first hand experiance? Does this sword approximate anything historically, and if so what? Classification? Thanks in advance. Big Grin

Luke
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The brass hilt parts sort of destroy it for me especially when combined with the diamond cross-section.

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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So then I take it that brass would not have been used in conjunction with a diamond cross section? Is this a personal preference? I understand that MRL might not offer the best quality/historical examples, however for someone like myself that doesn't have thousands to spend on a custom piece they are a good alternative. They are especially appealing when one buys them with intentions of modifying them into something more historically appropriate. For example... removing the diamond cross section from the tip area would not be horribly difficult with some file work or a belt grinder. I guess my question should have been... What does this sword most closely resemble historically and why? What about it isn't historical, as far as shape and materials? Now obviously I realize that this sword is made from modern steel, by modern techniques. Also beyond historical accuracy my main concern is with functionality. Has anyone handled this sword?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cost aside it may be that it's that brass is rather soft and damageable. Steel, or iron in period or maybe bronze that can be quite hard compared to iron or mild steel.

Diamond section may be because the sword should be a type XII maybe and elliptical in cross section and the fuller is too long for a typical type XVI that would have a diamond section from the end of the fuller to the point.

Oh, but I'm guessing maybe Nathan can confirm if my guesses are correct or if he has another reason why this sword doesn't appeal to him.

On the other hand for the low price it's not bad if one doesn't want to be fussy about period details.

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Martin Erben




Location: Germany, Düsseldorf
Joined: 10 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can only tell you, that brass is incredibly soft in comparison to mild steel(which is pretty soft as well). For example, you can use a wood-file to work with brass. As far as I know, there are no historical examples which feature brass hilt parts. Also, the cross looks pretty thick and because of the brass, it wouldn't be a good idea to grind it to a more fragile and beautiful form, because the thinner cross would be very easy to bend.
My advice: Buy the sword, detach the blade, regrind it (making the diamond cross section to an lenticular one, so it besomes a type XII) , sharpen it, give it an historical accurate finish and make some new hilt parts of al least mild steel (i would recommend a C45 which can be hardened). This might take you some days of work, but you will have a very satisfying, almost custom-looking sword, which no one except of you has.
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 398

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
The problem with excluding a material based on its hardness, is that it seems medieval craftsmen were far less concerned about it. There is a famous sword in the Met. that has a guard made from copper (copper is extremely soft/malleable). The benefit of a soft hilt is that it is not only easy to craft, but easy to repair. A bent guard could simply be bent back. In the period, swords (and other objects) were not designed to never "break", but designed to simply be repaired and continue being used. In modern society we tend to make items that break, and when broken must be thrown out. More hilts in period are made from iron than steel and mild steel combined. Not only is iron cheaper but it bends rather than breaks. If a piece of mild steel (or any steel) is twisted back and forth repeatedly it will break, if the same piece were made of iron it could be bent and re-bent without breaking. I am assuming the sword in question is made of brass simply for cost, I believe they were trying to emulate bronze, but have no idea as I did not design it. Happy I do believe there are some swords that utilize brass hilt fittings in period, however bronze would have been a more common red metal. Simply by looking at a piece of medieval brass/bronze you can't always tell the difference. Brass is a mixture of copper and zinc (derived from calamine in period), whereas bronze is a mixture of copper and tin. Today there are set proportions, however mixtures in period were much more random, making chemical, drill, or hardness tests necessary to distinguish the two metals. If you want pictures of bronze/brass hilts I'd be happy to post a few.
The sword is a bit off (to me) in appearance. It would be fairly easy to modify into something decent, however even still it is a bit expensive in my opinion. If you are going to completely re-vamp it you could probably get a better blade cheaper.
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2009 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I am still trying to learn my sword types, I have not trained my eye to recognize subtle differences, and proportions. Also I have very little experiance with common cross sections and tapers of period pieces. I don't know how a sword that is harmonically balanced, distally tapered, properly peened, and tempered correctly feels like in the hand. I would really like to get a single handed, double edged sword, of European mockery. (since I can't afford a period one)
So here is yet another question... What is a good blade with reasonable temper, period shape, good materials, and between 200 and 300 dollars?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 4:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hanwei/Tinker Viking and Norman. I have viking and I love it and Norman has very positive feedback from others. And they are peened so construction is historical.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me, it kind of looks like a brass-hilted version of their Type XIV sword. MRL's date makes it too early for a Type XIV, but this blade could be a XII or XIV. The diamond section is present on a few Type XIVs, but it's odd on a sword purported to be that early. MRL typically starts with a diamond section for almost everything, then grinds a fuller in. That leave the blade thicker after the fuller runs out and leaves diamond section points where they shouldn't be.

Regarding brass, please check out this thread: Use of brass for hilts in the Middle Ages/Renaissance. Bottom line: brass (or brass-like alloys) was not unknown, but was never common. There are examples with copper hilt parts as well.

Happy

ChadA

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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about the Valiant Armoury "Practical Arming Sword" A. Trim design? This sword can be had for a little over 200 dollars, at KoA. Anyone have any experiance with this blade or other Valiant blade for that matter?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

VA practical swords are great swords, but are not peened, they have hex nut hilt construction. Nothing wrong with that of course if you don't demand historically accurate construction.
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Gary B. Ledford




Location: Southern California
Joined: 14 Feb 2009

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun 01 Nov, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought this sword as a deal of the day, and in terms of blade, as well as fit and finish, it is very nice. The blade is excellent, flexible without being the slightest bit whippy. In terms of fit and finish it is nicer than the Oakshott type XIV, which now seems to be the benchmark in terms of quality for Windlass swords.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 01 Nov, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I handled one once and found it to be rather hard on the wrist compared to most Windlass one-handers.
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