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Jonathan M. Ringlein





Joined: 11 Oct 2006

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Best viking sword?         Reply with quote

I'm mostly interested in the viking period of warfare, and have been collecting a number of viking swords, mostly albions (their hersir is my favorite). They're hugely impressive swords with very nice handling characteristics. For those afficianados of the viking era, who in your opinion makes the best viking sword, i.e., Oakeshott type X? Patrick Barta's site looks impressive, and it's interesting how he forges them in the traditional method with pattern welding. Does anybody have any experience with a Barta viking sword? I was thinking of saving up to get one of those next.

Cheers,

Jon
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barta is pretty much the top producer for traditionally made pattern welded swords, both migration era and viking era. There are some threads on his swords around here, try to find them with the search function.
Edit: I forgot to say ArmArt makes some great viking swords, both pattern welded and mono steel.
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Petr Florianek
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Joined: 01 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Barta is the best i would say.

There are other great makers of viking swords
Michael Pikula, Jeff Pringle, Vince Evans, Owen Bush, Richard Furrer and many others would make you a pice to be proud of.
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A few details would be helpful...
What country are you in? What kind of "Viking Sword" are you looking for (i.e. hilt type, blade type, century, status, etc.)?
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Armart also makes some beautiful pieces, though I've never owned one.
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Myrick J. Hethington




Location: jacksonville FL.
Joined: 27 Apr 2006

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try Jake Prowning!
www.powning.com

"The name of the sword sayd the lady is Excalibur,that is as muche to say it cuts stele."
Sir Thomas Malory,Le Morte Darthur.1485
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

patrick Barta would be the way to go for the most historically accurate viking sword. His pieces are beautiful
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Myrick J. Hethington wrote:
Try Jake Prowning!
www.powning.com


It´s Powning...no R. Like the website you linked Wink . And yes I am a fan of his works as well.
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Jim Adelsen
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Location: WI
Joined: 28 Dec 2005

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't own one, but Barta has the best from pictures. I've also never heard a bad thing from those who own them. One day I hope to get one.
www.viking-shield.com
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Jean Le-Palud




Location: France
Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something important considering is the quality vs price ratio. Looking from this point of view (and of course not only so) Barta's swords are probably the best choice, since their way of making is as close as possible to the period's way.
The price of a Barta sword is around two to three times the price of an Albion (non speaking of the 4 years waiting). A sword by JT Pälikkö from Finland costs twice the price a Barta's and a Jake Powning's viking five to seven times. So the price range is roughly from $1,000 (Albion) to $12,000-18000 (Powning). I don't know what it is like for Vince Evans, Owen Bush or M. Balbach from Germany.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would describe Powning Vikings more Viking "styled" than straight historical. His pieces are really beautiful but he does inject his own artistic flair and vision which is great but does make his pieces depart to a greater or lesser degree from historical examples.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of the ones I've personally owned or handled:

Albions can't be beat in the production niche. They have the best combination of aesthetic and mechanical attributes in relation to price.

For custom work I'd say Patrick Barta and Vince Evans, in that order. Vince is a master craftsman extraordinare, but his work tends to be a bit too good, if that's possible, when judged in terms of historical authenticity. Fine, fine work to be sure but Vinces work has really been elevated to the level of art rather than weaponry. Patrick Bartas work isn't as perfect in its fine detail and that isn't a bad thing if you're looking for something that seems as if it jumped right off the belt of a nordic warrior. Patricks works still has that look of being handmade, whereas Vinces stuff looks almost like perfection. Patrick also smelts his own steel which puts his work into a unique class for the attribute alone. I've been proud to own work by both men, but as I see it they really aren't working with the same focus.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was just added to Barta's waiting list and he said it will be about a 3 year wait. And I don't think Vince Evans is taking any commissions at the moment ( heard this from a fellow forumite ), but I don't know that for sure. I chose Patrick Barta to make my Viking sword because he smelts his steel and stays as close as he can get to the originals (based on what we have to see),and he is one of the very few bladesmiths in the modern world who can throw a bunch of dirt in a fire and create a piece of art out of it.

Petr Florianek stated:
"There are other great makers of viking swords
Michael Pikula, Jeff Pringle, Vince Evans, Owen Bush, Richard Furrer and many others would make you a pice to be proud of."

I have to second that list!

Happy hunting!

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Liam O'Malley




Location: New JErsey
Joined: 17 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jan, 2010 11:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

in addition to those he's already mentioned i'd certainly recommend mr florianek, he does a gorgeous seax and i've no doubt he could equal most high end viking blades. one he didnt mention is jake powning who i know for a fact has done some obscenely great work in the nordic tradition. he's a bit high end, but if you want the best then he's a great person to talk to.
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jan, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Best Viking sword         Reply with quote

I would also draw your attention to Bob Davies, whose work appears to be pretty much unknown on this forum
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fus...mId=437817
Also keep in mind that many viking swords where not pattern welded, this could have some influence on the cost of your eventual choice!

Both Paul Binns and Tim Noyes also produce some very nice work.

best
Dave

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





Joined: 11 Oct 2006

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to all the posts on this thread, it's been very informative. For those who have written about owning a Patrick Barta, what did you think of the weight of the weapon? His seem a little heavier than the albions from what he's posted on his site; anywhere from 1500 to 1640 grams, which puts them at an average of around 3.5 pounds, about a pound heavier than the albions I've used before. Is this extra weight very tiring? It looks like it might be mostly placed around the hilt, which might help a lot with handling. Also, the handles look a bit long for viking era swords, or is it just the photo? Thanks again to all who posted who've helped me with this, I appreciate all the good points made.
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Best Viking Swords         Reply with quote

Hi Jonathan

3.5 pounds is not an unusual weight for a viking age sword. Lengths also vary between 26 inches to 30 inches average.

I have handled a Barta sword but not for any length of time as I don't think the owner would have appreciated me using his very sharp sword for combat, or any opponent Laughing Out Loud

My own blunt re-enactment sword weighs in at 3.5 pounds. In my own humble opinion the thing to remember is that any real combat with such a period sword was likely to be a lot shorter then is often appreciated, and if the combat does go on for any length of time as it can often do in re-enactment style combat, which in all honesty is in general unrealistic due to safety restraints (and rightly so!) and the over use of sword on sword use it does indeed get tiring.

best
Dave

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




Location: New England
Joined: 14 May 2007

Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to add my recommendation for the work of Jeff Pringle. Jeff is both a meticulous researcher and an exquisitely competent bladesmith.

You can see some examples of his work on the Hurstwic site. There are pictures of two of his Viking sword reproductions in the sword article, and a sax replica in the sax article.

My book Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques has additional images of these reproductions. In addition, it has a series of photographs of one of Jeff's pattern-welded blades in progress, showing the various stages of making a pattern-welded blade.

Jeff has done some fabulous research on the techniques used for hilt inlay in the Viking age, and gave a presentation on his research at Higgins Armory Museum about a year ago. A summary of his work is on the Hurstwic site, in an article about inlay. There are a couple of images of some of Jeff's inlay work in progress, and some finished work.

His work is incredible.


Last edited by William R. Short on Fri 22 Jan, 2010 4:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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William R. Short




Location: New England
Joined: 14 May 2007

Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Viking Swords         Reply with quote

David Huggins wrote:
3.5 pounds is not an unusual weight for a viking age sword.


Begging your pardon, but I would respectfully disagree. That's a lot, and more than typical for historical Viking-age swords, or at least among the ones I've investigated. Most were in the 1+ kg range (2.2-2.5 pounds). Only one was close to this heavy -- an ungainly 1.9kg specimen that was nearly useless as a weapon.

Best regards,
William Short
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Viking Age swords         Reply with quote

Hello William,
I agree with your point, it is towards the heavy end of the range, I personally do not find the weight a problem, and much prefer it the lighter weight versions, this may be because at six feet five I am larger then the average. Having said that after twenty five years of doing viking age re-enactment my advancing years now take their toll on my stamina, and some aggresive shield play makes up for it Laughing Out Loud

An excellent book which I much enjoyed and I would recommend it to all.

best
regards
Dave

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