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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: South Cave Sword         Reply with quote

Just received a link from my friend Roland Williamson to pictures of his reproduction of one of the South Cave sword and scabbard that he was commisioned by the Beverley treasury House Museum for their permanent exhibit.

I thought that some members would be interested in seeing

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=B...feat=email

best

Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Justin H. Núñez




Location: Hyde Park, UT
Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All I can say is WOW! Beautiful work. All hail the ancients smiths!
"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is simply the best looking thing I have seen in some time. Simply beautiful. I am very interested in the hilt. I could see from some of the picture the original sword. I did not see anything of the original hilt. I am unfamiliar with this type of sword, so excuse the ignorance. Was the hilt a guess or do they have existing examples of such things. Either way it is beautiful and well done and fits the scabbard well. Bravo!!!
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

opps! I took a closer look and saw the picture of the remaining hilt. During what time or place would a sword like this be made and used?
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simply breathtaking! This belongs in a museum.... What is the history of this sword? Celtic?
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stunning!

I am a bit confused by the fact that the bronze mount of the guard is interpreted as being part of the scabbard, forming a scabbard mouth in the reconstruction.
This pice would rather have been part of the guard, as is normally the case with these swords?
Do you know the reason for this interpretation?

In all an incredible sword and very nice work!
Wonderful to see a sword from this hoard being borne again. So rare with organic hilt components preserved so well.
Beauty.
Happy
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K J Seago




Location: Suffolk, England
Joined: 12 Feb 2009
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Posts: 95

PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 3:02 am    Post subject: Re: South Cave Sword         Reply with quote

David Huggins wrote:
Just received a link from my friend Roland Williamson to pictures of his reproduction of one of the South Cave sword and scabbard that he was commisioned by the Beverley treasury House Museum for their permanent exhibit.



He does all sorts of good work, good old boy!, are you a regia member too then???

just another student of an interesting subject, Happy
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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The South Cave hoard has been a really nice recent find for us. They are putting a date of the third quarter of the 1st AD, and just prior to Romans coming into the area. It is nice because this is the first time we have carved hilt details remaining, backing up thoughts some of had as being correct. There are I believe five swords and a bunch of spears. Some of the javelins are a celtic style pila, which helps show a progression of its use from early La Tene.

Peter is correct, there is a problem. What has been used as a throat mouth is really a Piggott type IX guard plate. This would be the cocked hat variety rather than the crown style. The Thorpe sword is probably one of the more famous swords with this style of guard. There are a large number of these guard plates found scattered without swords over the north and most of them will have a clear area on the bottom of them for the blade shoulders to seat.

Shane
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a beautiful sword...

What's the history behind the original?
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really breathtaking work, with great attention to detail. It's a great example of how good reconstructions can bring pieces to life which would otherwise be quite unremarkable to the untrained eye. I'd really like to see more of this stuff in museums.
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Roland Williamson




Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
Joined: 16 Feb 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 4:08 pm    Post subject: South Cave Hilt.         Reply with quote

Ah - got this work at last...

Thank you for all your very kind words - it's a shame I don't get to keep it...

I would also like to thank you for the constructive criticism as well. Despite all the info I had and the images that I took, the overall view was that the fitting was part of the scabbard - but I have to say that now I'm not so sure. I wish I'd picked this up earlier. It certainly makes sense of how the piece fits into the scheme of things as I couldn't see how it fitted to the scabbard other than by a wedge fit. At least it isn't a disaster but a bit of a Doh! moment.

Thank you again. Roll.

If you haven't bled on it, then you haven't tried hard enough.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Dec, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Great Work         Reply with quote

Roland

Exceptional work. This really is a master piece. Something I might mortgage my house for, (wife now beating me mercilessly with large stick she keeps at hand for such occasions).

If it is not to prying can one ask what you would estimate for the hours involved in making such a piece in period? It is one of those aspects of such things that the academics need help understanding.

In awe of your efforts.

Craig
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Roland Williamson




Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
Joined: 16 Feb 2007

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 17 Dec, 2009 3:36 pm    Post subject: South Cave Hilt.         Reply with quote

Hi Craig - I wish I could give you a rational answer as to how many hours I spent on this one.

The project started proper in March after a preliminary visit and a cd of images that I was sent - also some text and outline drawings - that I have to say didn't agree with my own photos... But since I had started to an extent from the drawings, it was agreed to stay with them. The difference between the two is just mm's but it can get in the way.

In fact, prior to the work proper, I made the mock-up to get (ha!) a handle on the subject - specifically the hilt. Then I had to get on with the cast fittings proper. The modelling of the decorative panels seemed to take for ever. The work crept along. Often I was removing just as much as I added. It drove me mad. I reckon that the panels took on and off a three weeks each - mostly carving out of hours. The medium I like to use (slightly cranky) is two part resin called Milliput which takes some hours to set. Then by the morning I can carve a bit more and then add more resin.

The casting was done by a good friend of mine but nothing seemed to be straightforward. Several goes were needed on many parts and the chape proved to be a complete pain. Ten months have been spent creating this piece - not full time at all, but I am glad to have it done. And in between getting the models moulded and castings returned to me I re-build the workshop! The brass sheathing took two complete goes to get it right and the castings themselves took days to clean up - the decorative panels alone had each two days spent with needle files getting them all spick and span. There were times when I hated it... I too fancy one myself - which is handy that I have some moulds. I even have some more Moose antler hidden away - not too common over here. If I feel rather flush, then I might take up the offer from a German I found on the Walrus tusk. Then the question is - to fix the 'cup' casting to the hilt or not?

Sorry that I can't be any more specific.

Regards, Roland.

If you haven't bled on it, then you haven't tried hard enough.
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec, 2009 3:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roland,

Great to hear your own words on this project.
I really want to congratulate your fine work.
I saw photos of swords from this find some time ago and was blown away. I heard there was talk of making a reconstruction of one of the swords and I have been waiting eagerly to see results.

It is a daunting project, if there ever was one. I can really appreciate the complexities involved, even if I have never attempted to reconstruct anything quite as complex as this sword.
Seeing the originals and your interpretation, I am filled with an almost overpowering urge to know more about these swords. There is so much there to observe and learn from.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec, 2009 6:39 am    Post subject: Time         Reply with quote

HI Roland

I would like to echo Peter's words. Excellent job. The old adage "you don't know something till you make one" is so true for this type of work. I never cease to be amazed at what I don't see when I am starting a project and what I learn as I progress through. More oft then not they took the easy way and I am always trying to make it harder Eek!

We where working on some fancy twisted components for a rapier hilt yesterday and figured out they did it in such a way to make all the transitions very easy to connect and form. If done any other way it becomes a cluster of knots. So much to learn and so little time.

Thank you for the description of your process. I was having a discussion with an academic the other day and was trying to illustrate the use of time when working on projects like this and they just could not fathom the man hours involved. While we see these beautiful pieces left to us by chance and time it does not come fully into focus on what the society of the period needed to do to support such artwork. The modern mind is so bent by the idea of production in the world today it sometimes can not imagine what it would have taken to do such work as this in the past or the resources needed to support it.

In coming up with a quote on a custom piece for a fellow a month or so ago he was challenged by the price I quoted. Tried to illustrate the hours involved to do the work he wanted but he was influenced by prices from far east producers to the point he just did not want to make the commitment. WIthout knowing what he did I asked what he would earn to do such and such hours of work. He got quite and then had to admit about twice what I quoted him. Oh well much of our job is education Happy

Be well and Happy Holidays
Craig
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G. Ghazarian
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Location: Florida USA
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roland,

You have my admiration and respect for the quality of your work. Your narrative on the realisation of this project shows perfectly the painstaking time, persistence and effort it takes to materialize a project that on its face value seems so simple and easy - something that is unfortunately taken for granted, as shown above by Craig Johnson.

As for the "cup" leaving on the scabbard or moving to the hilt, I wouldn't worry about it too much, I consider that your signature on your work of art.

Gabriel

G. Ghazarian
http://gloryships.com/
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec, 2009 12:24 pm    Post subject: South Cave Sword         Reply with quote

There is a (slightly) interesting story to the sword reproduction. Fellow forum member, colleague and friend Bruce Tordolf and myself where invited by Dr.David Marchant to the opening of the exhibit of the South Cave Cache, amazingly the two guys who discovered the Cache, metal detectorists, where also present, and they just happened to be old senior school friends who I had not seen since leaving school! David Marchant had mentioned that he was looking for one of the swords to be recreated, and having been let down by another 'swordsmith' I recomended Roland to him, having known each other for more years then each of us would like to admit, where does the time go Roll? I had hair and you could just about grow some beard fuzz Laughing Out Loud

For any one interested is seeing more pics of Roll's varied talents and hoping I don't get a ticking off from the administrators so I apolgise in the first instance, check out his photo gallery
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/BodgitandBendit...Artifacts#

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Dec, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Roland...

Simply fantastic work!

The Celts had such an eye for movement in design and the use of negative space. However I have very, very rarely seen contemporary works that capture these elements (at least to a degree that might fool a real ancient Celt). This is especially true in the three dimensional aspects. Your recreation of the South Cave sword does this better than anything I have seen by far--the shape of the hilt and the quality of the scabbard mounts, the turnings, the subtle tone of the antler components--it all fits together in a beautiful organic whole.

I know that when having to redo things over and over again just to get it right, it can get discouraging, to the point that you wonder if any one really cares... Well we care. And the hundreds or even thousands of people who see it should care, because you have given them a chance to see what one of these masterpieces would have looked like straight from the ancient craftsmen.

Job well done!!! Big Grin

I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

take care

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




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Posts: 120

PostPosted: Thu 31 Dec, 2009 7:38 am    Post subject: South Cave sword         Reply with quote

Hi All,
I recently was fortunate enough to be invited along With Roland for the hand over of this particular sword at Beverley, so can I say a big thanks to Roland for letting me tag along (and a big thanks to Dave Huggins for arranging this). The sword is truly a treasure and beautifully made. It feels comfortable in the hand and is balanced excellently. As a budding sword smith myself I can safely say this sword is pure 'porn' for the enthusiast!
Now to my second point,
to Peter Johnsson, not meaning to sound pedantic, I'm merely being devils advocate here, as I truly respect your work and obviously acknowledge your knowledge on the subject.
However with reference to your comment about the fitting, being for the lower hilt guard as opposed to the mouth for the scabbard, may I note my disagreement. Roland and I did discuss this at the museum and I cited several examples where the convex decorative mouth on these various celtic 'Iron Age' scabbards quite clearly is part of the scabbard and is obviously designed to 'mate' up with the corresponding concave shape of the bottom of the lower guard.
I have attached a pic illustrating this.
I don't mean to stir up a hornets nest, but this, I feel is an interesting question, and one which many may be curious about.
In my opinion the fitting is most definately part of the scabbard, despite Rolands misgivings (Sorry Roll!)
So can Peter, Roland, or indeed anyone else solve this riddle?
It would of course be nice to inspect the original to see if indeed it was in fact 'Fitted' to the scabbard.
Cheers
Bruce



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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jan, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject: South Cave Sword         Reply with quote

Further to Bruce's remarks concerning the the convex shape of the scabard, I had also previously discussed this with Roland,and during that conversation recalled to him that I had seen other similair reconstructed scabbards by a French artisan.

Please take a look here for further examples of reconsruction.
http://www.archeoart.org/listeref.html#

regards

Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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