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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 2:54 am    Post subject: West Kentish Saxon hoard         Reply with quote

Hoard comprising of 12 blades .
Notable are the size of the large "lang seax" ( blade at 35 inches)and the proliferation of pattern welding in the seax blades which is very rare for this period .
The lang seax is particularly interesting in that it shows a conveluted snake pattern similar to an example I have seen in the BM.
The blades seem to show varying piled structure and evidence of sandwich construction (passably piled sheer steel?) . the sword is an anomaly and is a 4 bar construction with a interrupted chevron pattern (reminiscent of the sutton hoo blade ?) and a high layer edge ,runic letters are visible on the blade . I should note that the sword blade is not bent as it apeares to be in the picture , this is an effect of the camera lens.
A substantial hoard like this is good evidence that weapon-smiths of the time did not specialize in either making just swords or tools but made both as part of there normal job of work.
My suspicion is that the hoard is most probably the work of one smith and although there are no makers marks on any pieces There are considerable similarity's between some of the work.
It is hard to put a value on a hoard such as this ,especially considering the high preservation of the pieces .Most blades were found heavily waxed and wrapped in raw silk ,some look as though they could have been finished yesterday.
There is no evidence of hilt fittings and I like to think these blades were part of a smiths commercial trade and were either lost on rout to market or (which I think more likely) hidden in the smiths forge . There is substantial evidence of forging activities at the find sight .
Given the extremely good state of preservation ( there is even heat oxide from the tempering still visible on some of the tangs) I would like to see at least some of the blades with handles , this could at last give an idea of what these pieces would have looked like in there full glory .I am currently looking in to the possibilities of finding modern craftsmen who would have the skill and attention to period . Given the current lack of interest that museums have with pieces of this period it is quite likely that at least some of these pieces will end up in the hands of private collectors . I will make sure that they are well documented before this happens .

Best estimate date wise is late 9th or early 10th YTM*

















*YTM meaning Year of the Third Millennium , an abbreviation used by pseudo historic formited to denote gravitas and antiquity .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I beg for a bigger picture to see the patterns better. This is glorious!!! Actually, my first thought was that it's your work and you are kidding us. Happy If you are, you owe me for a heart attack. Wink
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Myles Mulkey





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: West Kentish Saxon hoard         Reply with quote

Owen Bush wrote:
.Most blades were found heavily waxed and wrapped in raw silk ,some look as though they could have been finished yesterday.



They sure do! Those haven't been restored??? They aren't reproductions? I really don't know what else to say, but "WOW" Eek! Please post more pictures if you can. I'm actually salivating a little bit Laughing Out Loud !
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David McElrea




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those have to be reproductions... They are in too pristine condition.

Also, the sword second from the bottom has a profile that doesn't (seem to me to) belong to this time frame, and is entirely pattern-welded-- no fuller and no differentiation in the edge. At least one of the seaxes looks odd as well... Am I the only one seeing this, or am I wrong?
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David McElrea




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah... all of a sudden the light dawns. Very good. And beautiful work.

Quote:
*YTM meaning Year of the Third Millennium , an abbreviation used by pseudo historic formited to denote gravitas and antiquity .
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I'm with Lukas on both issues. I really couldn't believe my eyes and was on the very thin edge of totally freaking out! I kept reading and rereading ..............ummmm ........third millennium....ummmmmm. OH! that ##@@!! LOL!!


Yes, I would be very interested to see larger photos!
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M. Livermore





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That straight back seax on the right is very sweet. I would love to see some larger photos as well.
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies .
concerning the dates of these pieces . I am fairly certain that I am in the rite ball park in my initial post . Like I mentioned in my earlier post the complicated nature of the pattern welding make me certain that they are no earlier than 9th to 10th YTM* .............I do not think it possible that they are later ?.**
I have booked an appointment with the site photographer and will publish more in depth photos as soon as I have them .



















*YTM meaning year of the third milennium , an abreviation used by pseudo historic formites to denote gravitas and antiquety .
** We have very little knowledge of the period of the latter 10th YTM .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David McElrea wrote:
Those have to be reproductions... They are in too pristine condition.

Also, the sword second from the bottom has a profile that doesn't (seem to me to) belong to this time frame, and is entirely pattern-welded-- no fuller and no differentiation in the edge. At least one of the seaxes looks odd as well... Am I the only one seeing this, or am I wrong?


I would quite agree with you on these points , It is however clear on close inspection that the pieces are for a single source,in my opinion at least.
The two anomalies I see are the lang seax 2nd from bottom which looks more likley earlier 9TH YTM and the narrow seax second from the top and central , which has a distinctly northern european apearence .
One has to ask ones self a few questions when looking at a collection of pieces such as these to try and put them in context ,such as where do they come from ,why are they together in One place and time . An more important where will they end up ?

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Myles Mulkey





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David McElrea wrote:
Ah... all of a sudden the light dawns. Very good. And beautiful work.

Quote:
*YTM meaning Year of the Third Millennium , an abbreviation used by pseudo historic formited to denote gravitas and antiquity .
Oh geez. I can't believe I didn't notice that Laughing Out Loud
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owen,

You are a tease!

For goodness sake stop beating about the bush (pun intended) and post up some pictures we can actually see detail in............................

Great collection. I must come down again soon and see what you are up to.

Tod

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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Myles Mulkey wrote:
David McElrea wrote:
Ah... all of a sudden the light dawns. Very good. And beautiful work.

Quote:
*YTM meaning Year of the Third Millennium , an abbreviation used by pseudo historic formited to denote gravitas and antiquity .
Oh geez. I can't believe I didn't notice that Laughing Out Loud


That is unfortunately the nature of trying to unravel the greater meaning of a find such as this . The small details can make all the difference with the dating of a piece.

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Owen,

You are a tease!

For goodness sake stop beating about the bush (pun intended) and post up some pictures we can actually see detail in............................

Great collection. I must come down again soon and see what you are up to.

Tod


Hi Tod ,
I Will post pictures as soon as I have them ( in the next day or two)
It would be good to see you soon .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An incredible find.

What I find noteworthy is the uniform and high level of craftsmanship. In hoards like these (although I do not know of many this large) it is common to se a mixture of styles and levels of craftsmanship. Everything indeed points at an origin in workshops concentrated in a small area, perhaps even work by the same master.
Also wonderful to see how well preserved they are. All surfaces look pristine.

Can┤t wait to see more details.
Please post close ups if you can.

I also wonder where these will end up. On public display, or perhaps more probable in private collections. I would be interested to see grips and scabbards restored, or perhaps more correctly reconstructed. I am sure the effect would be stunning :-)











Owen, you have way too much fun :-)
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
An incredible find.

What I find noteworthy is the uniform and high level of craftsmanship. In hoards like these (although I do not know of many this large) it is common to se a mixture of styles and levels of craftsmanship. Everything indeed points at an origin in workshops concentrated in a small area, perhaps even work by the same master.
Also wonderful to see how well preserved they are. All surfaces look pristine.

Can┤t wait to see more details.
Please post close ups if you can.

I also wonder where these will end up. On public display, or perhaps more probable in private collections. I would be interested to see grips and scabbards restored, or perhaps more correctly reconstructed. I am sure the effect would be stunning :-)









Owen, you have way too much fun :-)



Peter ,
Thanks for the comments ,
I think you are rite , there does seem to be similarities that make the one workshop theory likely . Though I must say that though the craftsmanship is of a fine quality , this hoard does comprise of some pieces that are certainly far more ornate than others . It is interesting to me to see such mundane small "tool like" seax tossed in with the larger patternwelded pieces .
Passably the smith served a general community as well as the fighting classes.....again conjecture .
It would seem that the period during which these artifacts were made was indeed one where influences were wider that you might expect .The world has never been as small a place as you might think .
I too look forward to seeing some of these pieces fitted with appropriate hardware . I always feel a little sad seeing pieces such as these stored away .
All the best Owen




I do like to keep it interesting !

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Feb, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too look forward to hearing more about the West Kentish Saxon Hoard. Happy Some more pictures would be great... are you sure you can't find a maker's mark? Laughing Out Loud
TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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Owen Bush
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Feb, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

AS soon as I have good quality photos available I'll post them here .That should be this weekend.
In the mean time as part of my archiving I have taken some close ups showing the construction details of three of the medium sized pattern welded seax.

Detail 1
Construction seems to be wrought iron at spine ,with 2 bars of pattern weld showing a wave like pattern and then Piled (sheer) steel at the edge . Interestingly the blade is not sharpened at this time .Finish to blade is slightly matt showing possable evidence of etching .




Detail 2
Construction appears to be laminated wrought iron and sheer steel at the spine and two bars of pattern showing a similar structure to above but with a slightly lazier twist . Edge steel is again piled sheer steel ,with a slightly courser wood grain pattern than detail 1 . again the blade is slightly matt showing signs of etching .




Detail 3
construction differs from the other 2 blades . The blade has a wrought iron spine , thicker than the other 2 samples . The pattern welded layer is different as well showing a single bar twist with alternating layers of what looks like high layer density laminated steel alternating with more uniform (un patterned ) steel . The edge material appears to be monosteel at least at this magnification .Blade is again slightly matt



Like I have mentioned my apologies for not havening more detailed photos , I hope these will do for the moment .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Jo Thomas




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Feb, 2010 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Owen Bush wrote:

Detail 3
construction differs from the other 2 blades . The blade has a wrought iron spine , thicker than the other 2 samples . The pattern welded layer is different as well showing a single bar twist with alternating layers of what looks like high layer density laminated steel alternating with more uniform (un patterned ) steel . The edge material appears to be monosteel at least at this magnification .Blade is again slightly matt


Have to say, love the look of that twist!

Jo Thomas
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Feb, 2010 9:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

THis is really something!

Thanks Owen, for sharing this truly fascinating material.
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Christian B÷hling
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am totally exited, what a find!!!! And the mixture in the material clearly to be visible after those 1000 years seen from
Tridi, 23 Pluvi˘se MCCXVIII* --- great! Wink















* who will solve this?

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