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Fernando Viana




Location: PORTUGAL
Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: A swept hilt sword for Christmas         Reply with quote

This one will be with me before Christmas
I hesitate between calling it a sword or a rapier; the 30 mm blade (1,18") is a bit wide for a rapier ... until a better opinnion.
Seller dates it 16th. century; i wouldn't reject a more accurate beg. 17th. century ... again until a better opinnion.
One quillon only; no other one missing.
A beautiful heavy pommel.
Double edged blade length 93 cms (36,5").
Grip wiring restored in the 19th. century.
Seller says origin is central Europe; what do you guys think ?
The fainted mark on the blade seems to be of these generical eyelash symbolic symbols.
A rather important detail; seems to me this is a left hander, which would make it a bit more rare. Can anyone confirm this?
I will be much obliged for your coments.
Fernando

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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With the hexagonal cross-section and the grooves outlining the ricasso, that looks to be a type XIX blade, which probably dates it to be before 1600.
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Don Stanko




Location: ohio
Joined: 27 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 5:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Roger. My guess would be circa 1590. These swords sometimes have large, hollow pommels, so dont be surprised if the pommel isn't quite as heavy as it appears. Also, the basket of the swept hilt should conform quite closely to your hand when you grip the sword. Its a good looking sword.
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Fernando Viana




Location: PORTUGAL
Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you ever so much for your input Happy .
BTW, would you call it a sword or a rapier ?
And, what do you think about it being for a left hander ?
Fernando
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would personally categorize it as a rapier, but I'd accept other interpretations.

More importantly though, the first thing I thought when I saw it was "Wow, I wonder if he knows it's a left-hander."

Unless the pictures are flipped or something, it seems to me to be clearly designed for left-handed use.
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Fernando Viana




Location: PORTUGAL
Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your observations, Craig.
Let me also wow; a left hand piece, besides being scarce, is always an addede value, collecting wise, in my understanding.
Fernando
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Fernando Viana




Location: PORTUGAL
Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

BTW, is it possible to have a sugestion (or a certainty) on this sword's origin, instead of a vague central Europe indication?
Thanks in advance.
Fernando
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful piece, Fernando! Congratulations!

I also bought an antique rapier not too long ago... I need to find time to take pictures and measurements to post.

Fernando Viana wrote:
Thank you ever so much for your input Happy .
BTW, would you call it a sword or a rapier ?
And, what do you think about it being for a left hander ?
Fernando


Well, don't forget that there is no standard definition for rapier. I would definitely call it a rapier, but I would call any complex hilted, straight double edged sword from the 16th to 18th century a rapier. The Italians would have called this a sword and not a rapier... but they also would have called a narrow, thrust oriented blade a sword as well and not a rapier. Happy

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Don Stanko




Location: ohio
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've seen this type of sword classified as a riding sword too. The difference being this type has a wide, sturdy blade capable of delivering a cut as well as a thrust. More akin to a combat sword than a dueling sword. But your guess is as good as mine.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Nov, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Well, don't forget that there is no standard definition for rapier. I would definitely call it a rapier, but I would call any complex hilted, straight double edged sword from the 16th to 18th century a rapier.


I should also add that my definition for a rapier would also be a sword in which you can finger the ricasso. If it doesn't allow this, I probably wouldn't call it a rapier, but again, that still leaves a lot of room for ambiguity.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 2:47 am    Post subject: Missing bits         Reply with quote

Without seeing the sword itself, I can't see any sign of a break on the guard where I'd expect the break to be, if there had been another arm to the quillon. The 6th picture, where 4 arms come to form a cross in the line of the quillon is where I'd be looking for damage, but the arms flow smoothly into each other, with no lumps

I'd consider that to be close to a Riding sword, but there's no thumb ring that I can see.
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Fernando Viana




Location: PORTUGAL
Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all guys.

Definitely only one quillon, David; there are no parts missing in this hilt.

A few more specs:
Total weight 1.350 kg (3 pounds).
Blade thickness at forte 6,2 mm.
Blade thickness at ricasso 7,3 mm.
Total length 1,08 Mts (42 1/2").

Bill, do you think you couldn't finger the ricasso in this guard?

No one making a bet on this sword's origin ... Italy, Germany?

Fernando

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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Fernando,

Fernando Viana wrote:
No one making a bet on this sword's origin ... Italy, Germany?

I'll try to look up that hilt shape in A.V.B Norman's book this evening and see if there are hints about the possible origin...

With that total length and blade profile I'd call it a sword rather than a rapier myself, but as Bill Grandy pointed out the definition of the rapier is not clear anyway.

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
I'll try to look up that hilt shape in A.V.B Norman's book this evening and see if there are hints about the possible origin...

Well I'm afraid there isn't much Worried

The outside guard seems to be a variant of type 74 which is dated from about 1545 to 1620. The inner guard is not in the typology as far as I've seen, the closest match is type 28 but it has some more guards. Apparently Norman was aware that his typology was lacking in the subtypes and variants of type 74, I guess what you have here is precisely an example of the shortcomings...

Sorry for not being more helpful here...

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Josh Brown




Location: Renton, WA
Joined: 08 Sep 2005

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like a lovely piece!

As for the exact definition, the rapier is a subcategory of all things "sword" anyway, so I don't see any harm in just calling it a sword.
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