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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr, 2010 7:48 am    Post subject: Early Norwegian single edged sword         Reply with quote

Picked up this blade from the Albion Moat Sale a while back. It was a milled blank that had been heat treated with only a couple of minor issues. Got lucky that the fuller size happened to be the exact size of my fixed contact wheel on my grinder. This was also my first time grinding a fuller, so I'm happy to start getting some experience in there.

I really have a thing for some of the early single edged blades and love my single edged viking sword. Always wondered about the early examples of them that were done in organics. When I started looking into them, it turns out that there are probably more questions then answers about the hilts for these. So this is my attempt based on the bits and pieces of evidence and similar things from roughly the same period. Originally I planned to do some carving on the hilt, but ran out of time I had between orders.

The guards and pommel cap are antler, and the grip is leather covered wood.

36" Overall Length

30" Blade Length

2" Blade Width at base

Weight- 1 lbs 12oz




Shane
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K J Seago




Location: Suffolk, England
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

bloomin lovely! i have considered organic hilts for quite a while now. Happy
i'm not too sure about the cocked hat pommel cap though, looks a bit early for the blade.
lovely though Wink

just another student of an interesting subject, Happy
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane, I like this interpretation. It goes well with earlier style scandinavian saxes from late Vendel period.
Your interpretation is a really good comment to this.

Good thinking.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the carved pommel cap. Is it peened, and if so, how did you support the antler?
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Ragimond Luebke




Location: MI
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great job love the antler and wood....
Once again love to see more
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David Huggins




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject: Viking         Reply with quote

A lovely interpretation Shane. Total conjecture, but this style would perhaps suit some of the small pommels and guards from the Staffordshire Hoard, but obviously yours are organic. Some Norwegian cultural influences on dress are noted in the Anglian areas of the country, perhaps this could have extended to martial artifacts as well?

best
Dave

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





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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Re: Viking         Reply with quote

Dave Huggins said, "A lovely interpretation Shane. Total conjecture,....." Well, it is conjecture as far as we can tell but it isn't fantasy. It isn't difficult to imagine that something like this must have existed, sort of an imaginary missing link to the later single edge Norwegian swords. We could say it is a, "speculative sword" and run the risk of creating a whole new genre of edged weapons! LOL!! Actually, my reaction to it is that it's a fun idea, you know? Great job, really top notch workmanship.


How does it handle?


Ken
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Juan Cocinas




Location: SF Bay
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is just beautiful! Is the tang burned in and glued? The smooth antler really pops. Cool
"Resist your time- take a foothold outside it." Lord Acton
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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great. Nice clean lines. I am become a huge fan of antler this year. Unique usage here. Well done!
Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Shane Allee
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone...

The tang runs all the way through the entire length and is peened over the top of the antler. Can't say that I wasn't somewhat worried about it cracking, but it wasn't a problem. I had thought about maybe splitting the tang and then peening it over to give more surface contact, but decided to just go for it.

Originally I thought that I might just do a Petersen type A hilt in organics. I wasn't sure of the idea of using antler on guards that long and Petersen seemed to treat these as another beast entirely. So that put me looking more into the seax hilts and how to make them work for a sword sized hilt. A large part of inspiration for this came from an original Norwegian fullered seax that was posted on Don Fogg's website. It has some of the nicest looking bronze fitting that clad the guards and pommel. It would have taken more time then I had to learn enough to have done those justice. There was no grip though, and if I tried doing a straight grip like is more typically seen on seax it would have been way too wide to grip well. When I made the jump to using those fittings with a grip style more like what we see on the double edged swords of the period, things got a little strange. I had days when I would look at it and it just looked wrong. Mostly it had to do with the upper grip being so close to the same size as the upper guard. If I narrowed the grip, then the grip wouldn't really look right. Once I started coming to terms with the fact that this thing has two personallites and it blurs the line between seax and single edged sword, I started to really like it.

It might not be for everyone, but I like the way that it handles. This feels a lot like the earlier stuff that I am more used to doing, but then it has the whole cool single edged thing going on as well.

Shane
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking great! Yeah, the grips are a bit of a guess, as no we so far haven't come across any examples with preserved organic hilts. However, there's two Scandinavian single edged swords with metal hilt parts. The first one from Finland I presume is the one you used as an example. The second one is from Sweden.


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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Honestly the best single edged viking sword I've ever seen. Love the hilt. Not many people use bone or horn but it looks so cool.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 22 Apr, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Educated guesswork or not, historical or not it is an attractive design and at least plausible.

Wood, horn, leather seem like the only options if metal isn't used in a hilt: How they where combined, stylistic regional/period differences have to be guessed at and theoretically infinite in variability of details.

Knowledge of the cultural artifacts, decorative styles of other period artifacts and art can give an idea of how they might look: At the very least a reproduction can look " right " to our eyes.

I defer to those with expertise in this period to judge the historical aspects but in the modern context it's really beautiful work. Big Grin Cool

( EDITED: Oh, maybe the only options for materials is not accurate as one can add textiles/cord, ray or shark skin, ivory or other materials I'm forgetting about, but wood, horn and leather are sort of hard to avoid in some parts of a hilt. Wink ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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E. Storesund





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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it. But how big is the typological gap here?
Plausibility can be a dangerous thing, but often we can't get around it (but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it?).

I've been meaning to get myself one of these single-edged ones for my kit, and organics are definately something I'd like to try out.
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Isaac H.




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jan, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I supppose that if I were to trust my life to a sword,as the people of past eras did,I would like the gaurd to be made of something a little less,well,destructible.But I admire your workmanship just the same.The clean,crisp lines and contrasts are simply lovely.Are you planning to consruct a scabbard to match? That beautiful blade needs a home. Wink
Wounds of flesh a surgeons skill may heal...

But wounded honor is only cured with steel.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
Romans 15:1-2
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Wade McManus




Location: Baton Rouge
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Jan, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Cost ?         Reply with quote

What would a sword like this cost the unwashed and untalented like me ?
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