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Patrick Gilbers





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:14 am    Post subject: 3rd century Celtic sword?         Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I found an interesting sword which is claimed to be Celtic. It is dated to the 3rd century AD and is found in Croatia. But I have my doubts about the age and origin. Could someone help me please? The sword is 65 cm long. Please find pictures attached.

Thanks in advance!



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder about the " red rust ": To me this may be artificial aging or neglect in not stabilizing the rust in some way ?

I could be wrong but except for very old swords that are almost just rust some form of chemically neutralizing the rust would be what I would expect from a Museum piece ? ( Disclaimer: I'm not that knowledgeable about standards of restoration and preservation for Museum artifacts but " fakes " will at times be left very rusty to convince people who don't know better that the object is old ! ).

Anyway, fake or genuine I can't really tell you for sure.

( Note: I'm also assuming that the pic's colours are accurate in showing what I perceive as very rusty ).

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





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I could be wrong but except for very old swords that are almost just rust some form of chemically neutralizing the rust would be what I would expect from a Museum piece ?


Thanks for your reply.

As far as I know, the pic's colours are accurate. It is, however, not a museum piece just a find. I didn't see the real piece yet.
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Markus A




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this is an fake
and an ugly one
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Patrick Gilbers





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus A wrote:
this is an fake
and an ugly one


Thanks for your reply, could you please clarify your statement?
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Markus A




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

simple
it does not look like as an celtic sword not the slightest resemblance of an original
its an bar of iron peeded on to get some rust
neverless its from top to tip an crude fake
cheers
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Patrick Gilbers





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Markus A wrote:
simple
it does not look like as an celtic sword not the slightest resemblance of an original
its an bar of iron peeded on to get some rust
neverless its from top to tip an crude fake
cheers


Thank you for your explanation!
Is there anyone else that has an opinion concerning this matter?
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Scott S.




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Gilbers wrote:
Is there anyone else that has an opinion concerning this matter?

Yes, it might very well have been peed on.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I doubt you can talk about specific Celtic swords from the 3rd C AD in Croatia.

The patina on the sword is suspect: it is gritty and red and still very superficial: such rust looks new. It is still eating away on the surface, but has not yet done any deep damage, nor has it transformed into thicker layers or deeper colors. You would expect the patina to be of a deep black, purple or perhaps dark brown with or without areas of deep pitting and flaking.

The grip is very suspect: it is made by a rather lazily twisted iron wire. This is not in line with any celtic sword I have ever seen.

The guard and pommel is not of a shape otherwise seen on celtic swords.

The blade is of a form that is not seen on celtic swords.

The strange shield shaped device below the guard does not look like anything you see inlayed on the blades of celtic swords, or any kind of scabbard mount used for celtic swords.

Overall the sword has an immature and rather clumsy design. It looks like a theatrical prop or something made to flicker by in a low budget film.
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott S. wrote:
Yes, it might very well have been peed on.


It would be very interesting to see a close up photograph of the oxidation. It would be fun to compare results, having recently experimented with techniques in The Instant Antique: A Practical Guide feature article. I used a spray bottle filled with salt dissolved in vinegar with similar looking results.

[Self edited for low-brow content Blush ]

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere


Last edited by Scott Hrouda on Tue 31 Aug, 2010 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Scott S.




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh great!

Mr. Johnsson chimes in right after my low-brow comment. Apologies to all!
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Felix Kunze




Location: Bonn, Germany
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I totally agree with Peter Johnsson. The blade looks more like a canaanite or mycenaean blade form, which were made of bronze, and not of iron. The thick iron crossbar is also highly unusual for a sword made before the 8th century AD. And 3rd century AD and Celts in Croatia, the famous whereabout for retired roman emperors, also makes no sense.

The date must derive from the ornament in the bronze sheet on the blade, somebody made it using a late roman 3rd or 4th century coin as guideline or even as stamp.

Looks like a stage weapon that was badly cared for, even 19th century would be very old for this one, it's more likely quite new.
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T Franks




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's definately not a La Tene or Hallstatt design. Maybe the maker could have spoken some lingering remnant of a Celtic language ( Worried ), but that's as "Celtic" as this sword could possibly get. Gallic was still spoken in 3rd Century AD.
"I would rather be first in a small village in Gaul than second in command in Rome." - Julius Caesar
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Douglas S





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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Felix Kunze wrote:

The date must derive from the ornament in the bronze sheet on the blade, somebody made it using a late roman 3rd or 4th century coin as guideline or even as stamp.


It may even be an ancient coin?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Aug, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott S. wrote:
Yes, it might very well have been peed on.

It deserves to be peed on.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Sep, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Scott S. wrote:
Yes, it might very well have been peed on.

It deserves to be peed on.


Agreed. Wink Laughing Out Loud

I just focussed on the red rust due to neglect or an attempt at making it look old by someone who assumed that old means red rust !

Stylistically I wasn't particularly convinced it was real but didn't feel confident enough to declare it " bogus " but the handle wrap, guard style and odd " whatever it's supposed to be " decoration below the guard seemed odd to me but Peter nailed it.

Stage prop, at best old victorian opera prop or Victorian period decorative piece that has recently been neglected: I say recently neglected, if old at all, because red rust like this would have turned the blade into dust if left to corrode the blade over decades or a century ! So if it's even a bit old the red rust would have to be recent neglect or the piece would be seriously flaking and pitted.

Or it could be the sword of Xena Warrior Princess. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Sep, 2010 5:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Or it could be the sword of Xena Warrior Princess. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Joxer the Mighty! Laughing Out Loud

"I would rather be first in a small village in Gaul than second in command in Rome." - Julius Caesar
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Patrick Gilbers





Joined: 25 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 01 Sep, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Or it could be the sword of Xena Warrior Princess. Wink Laughing Out Loud


In that case, my advice to Xena is to take more care for her sword in future Laughing Out Loud
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