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Owen Bush
Industry Professional



Location: london
Joined: 31 Aug 2007

Posts: 221

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 3:39 am    Post subject: value of a patternwelded sword when they were made ?         Reply with quote

I often find myself in conversation about the relative values (financial)of swords especially patternwelded swords .
does anybody know of records that state the value of patternwelded swords in there time .
I am also interested to know the value of iron and steel ???
would a patternwelded blade be worth more than its hilt furniture (which of course depends).
It is hard to put a modern context on 7th century values .but would a decent sword cost as much as a car in modern day values or possably more like a super car?
any pointers would be greatfully recieved .

forging soul into steel .

www.owenbush.co.uk the home of bushfire forge school of smithing .
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might want to look at this collection of prices by Regia Anglorum. Its hard to tell because the economy wasn't based on money, because few records survive, and because swords come in such a wide variety of qualities that just seeing "spatha 10s7d" doesn't tell us whether that's a high or a low price. Prices in laws are also tricky ... the Law of the Ripuarian Franks charges twice as much for stealing a sword and scabbard as the sword alone. Does that mean that scabbards were expensive, or that stealing a sword in its scabbard was especially heinous?

We know that sword blades were traded long distances, and that swords could be prized possessions. I'd expect that a fine sword would be a treasure like gold or a fine horse or a byrnie. There might be smiths around who could discuss how much work goes into making a good sword with period techniques ...
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well from what I can recall off the top of my head, a good pattern welded blade (hilt furniture styles changed so better to exclude them to a degree) even when "mono-steel" became more common/the norm, was worth something like three oxen or fifteen slaves.
Hold that kinda helps.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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