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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Please help ID a hunting sword         Reply with quote

I have here a hunting sword I want to show in hopes of getting some thoughts about it. In particular, I'm hoping to date the piece or at least get a direction for further study.

It weighs 2.1 pounds, is 34.125" long with a 28.5" long blade. It has stag grip slabs and ornate rivets attaching it to the full tang. There's a clamshell guard, and a knuckle-bow that sweeps into a forward guard. The blade is fullered and has a passau ("running wolf") mark on each side. No additional markings are present.

It's solid throughout without any rattles and is well-balanced and very handy. I like the dynamics quite a bit.

As you may have noticed, it's relatively large and this is a bit unusual for a typical European hunting sword that might resemble this style. The clamshell guard is also an odd combination with the other parts. The grip style is recognizable but not generally found with the other hilt details.

The blade style is recognizable and perhaps of an earlier make. It's not simply cut down from a longer blade, as the "pommel" end is wider than the width of the blade would be. Strong distal taper exists throughout the grip perhaps indicating a forged tang to "widen" the material to shape. The blade style reminds me of many basket-hilt backsword blades and so perhaps this was made from one of those, cut and worked into this final tang size.

It has been suggested to me that it may be an early colonial Spanish Espada Ancha or perhaps even a Spanish hunting sword (which is a style from which the Espada Ancha derived). Here are a couple links with an article about Swords of Mexico and Spanish Colonial America: Link #1 and Link #2.

It's an unusual piece. Perhaps it's a composite of parts that has resulted in a nicely-assembled final piece. Perhaps it's simply a unique late 18th Century European hunting sword. Or maybe it's something completely different. Any info is appreciated.

Thank you.

Photos below:









Click images for full-sized photographs


Here are the passau ("running wolf") marks on the blade:

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,
There is a nearly identical sword in Harvey J.S. Withers' World Swords 1400-1945: An Illustrated Price Guide for Collectors. He lists it as German c.1870. I am not sure how he arrives at the date or place of origin. The photo credit is to Michael D. Long Ltd.

Jonathan



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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The grip is similar to plates 67 and 68 (swords 1 and 2) in the link below, with its riveted antler grip and long ferrule:

http://swordlinks.com/courtswords/p26.html#1

So it definitely hearkens back to earlier sword designs. Happy
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Jonathan.

That sword looks very similar indeed! Only a few details differ, such as the blade type and mark within the fuller as well as the number of grip rivets. Very interesting.

Your link has all kinds of great info in it. Attached is a sword with a similar grip to those shown in the link. It's a different type than the sword in this topic, but the grip is of the same style. It belongs to the collection of E.B. Erickson.

These are some of my favorite "hunting swords" and one of the reasons that I like so much the sword shown in this topic.



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An antique sword from EB Erickson's collection, German, circa 1660

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,
I am not sure if this book only covers official pattern hunting swords, but it might be worth looking into:

Imperial German Edged Weaponry (Vol 3)

Jonathan
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is another one from Frederick Wilkinson's Antique Arms & Armor.


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Here is another one from Frederick Wilkinson's Antique Arms & Armor.


I love that particular sword. It's been something I've wanted to have made recreated for some time. It's that same sword, actually, that got me so attracted to the sword in question that I posted! I know the only similarity is the grip style, but it's such a unique characteristic.

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,
Leslie Southwick also pictures that sword in The Price Guide to Edged Weapons (1982). Attached is the caption for the photo in that book.

Jonathan

P.S. Your antique is screaming for a scabbard with by-kinives. I'm just sayin'. Wink



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LS FW Hunting Sword caption.JPG

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is yet another, also from Southwick, but listed as Italian:

(There are several similar examples in the albums here, too, but I am sure you already know that! Happy )



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan found this at Hermann Historica and it even has a clamshell guard!

Quote:
A German hunting sword

2nd half of the 17th century
A straight, single-edged blade, double-edged at the point. The obverse side has a double groove, the reverse side has remnants of an orb inlaid in brass. Iron knucklebow hilt, sparingly cut, with a shell-shaped guard plate and stag horn grip scales. Iron parts with patina. The decorative rivets on the reverse side of the grip are missing. Length 79 cm.



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German Hunting Sword, 2nd Half of 17th Century
Copyright Hermann Historica


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jul, 2010 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's more from Hermann Historica!

I guess the combination of the parts is not as unusual as I had thought!



First one:

Quote:
A German hunting sword,

middle of the 17th century. A heavy single-edged blade with a double-edged point. Curved, S-shaped quillons with flat finials. Shell-shaped guard plate. Grip with staghorn grip scales and three decorative iron rivets on both sides. Length 74.5 cm.


Second one:

Quote:
A hunting sword

17th century
Fullered single-edged blade with a double edged point, slightly spotted. The back of the blade saw-toothed. On each side in the upper third of the blade etched hunting scenes. Simple iron knucklebow hilt with clam shell and stag horn plates, partially subsequently replaced. Florally cut grip ferrule. Grip panels of stag horn with large, hemispherical rivets, one later replaced. Length 84 cm.



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Copyright Hermann Historica

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Copyright Hermann Historica

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Markus A




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jul, 2010 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

saw this on ebay too watched it and was very soon sure-historismus or in english victorian copy
its simply the running wulf which does not suit the time and its the surface which is simply not old but looks in some way artificially.the blade is to smooth as is the rust pattern.
so i say with an 25 years in the trade not real but neverless good for the price paid for
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John Lundemo
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The construction methods on these is amazing. In some ways looks undoable. For instance how does the guard slide over the full tang when the tang is wider than the blade. Is the collare one piece? Is the shell guard through tang and peened. The last one looks like the whole sword profile including hilt was cut from a solid piece of steel and then all slabs even collar was rivited. The first ones look like the guard slid over blade first and then pownded on and rivited by the shell guard much like a Messer. Some of these things blow me away, thanks Nathan;)
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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am right there with you John. I think the thing we are looking at and assuming is the tang is actually a piece of the hilt. Either that or they slid the guard on and forged the end of the tang afterwards. I have seen that done before on some bowies.
Matthew Stagmer
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ran across this hunting sword over at Bolk Antiques, and remembered this thread.

!7th century German hunting sword, 85cm overall length, enscribed with "Peter Wupper in Sollingen".

More photos over at Bolk, at least until it is sold.



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger, thank you for posting that sword. It's quite a bit nicer than the one I own and so it's nice to see it here. I had not heard of Bolk-Antiques before and so have added the site to our Links Page. There's quite a lot of nice things to be found there.

Cheers

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, now that I've had this sword for several months I can say that I like it more now than when I got it. It's much more "sword-like" than I would have guessed, perhaps expecting it to feel more like a larger dagger or at least not have the presence of a sword. It really feels quite a bit like the earlier styles that inspire this era of hunting weaponry. It was a good purchase for me, regardless of the questions left of its origin or age.


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Dmitry Z~G





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PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus A wrote:
saw this on ebay too watched it and was very soon sure-historismus or in english victorian copy


I agree. 19th c . [20th c. ?] replica of the 17th c. type.
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Danny Grigg





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PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan

Not sure if this contains any relevant information or not, but I stumbled across it while doing a search for swords at the Metropolitan Museum.

http://www.metmuseum.org/publications/journal...nnered.pdf


Danny
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Danny-

Thank you for the link. I've just downloaded it and will give it a read tomorrow. It's not something I've seen before!

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