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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject: Sword fround in dig         Reply with quote

Hello all,

So we are presently restoring our old prison (oldest modern prison in Canada actually, 1808-1867), and while removing the floors we found a sword blade underneath it. Now the blade looks a lot like either a small broken rapier, or a main gauche blade, the ricasso is rather long and large, the blade is slender but not as much as a smallsword and has two distinct edges and two small fullers.

This is highly unusual considering the age of the building, but it could be an antiquity put there by a prisoner (this was the "maximum security" row). After all there are mid-17th century swords found in late 18th century dig sites. Now it could be something entirely different that I am not aware of. I do know that the prison guards had swords, but they never mentionned which type, and I would have guessed some kind of cutlass. but let me know what you guys think.

The dimensions are (bear in mind it is corroded, bent, maybe broken):
18 inches overall
1 inch large ricasso
2 1/4 inches long ricasso
1/4 inches thick ricasso
5 inches long tang

Here is a list of pictures:
http://img829.imageshack.us/gal.php?g=cimg2871.jpg

Since it is highly corroded I also included a view of the sword with drawn lines to show the ricasso and fullers:
http://img101.imageshack.us/i/cimg2871b.jpg/

Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 307

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't remember the exact details nor have a picture, but in the mid 19th century the gangs in Ottawa, especially an Irish gang called the "shiners" carried cut down swords, mostly basket-hilts iirc.

I know the Bytown museum here had one on display for a long time, but I don't know if it's still there.

I'm not saying that I see a direct similarity, but it could be that a prisoner had it because it was a weapon they were familiar with and used, and that they smuggled it in somehow.

I'll see if I can track down some information.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could very well be a possibility, a lot of Irish were imprisoned in Quebec, and they smuggled things in and out quite often.
Maxime Chouinard

Antrim Bata

Quebec City Kenjutsu

I don't do longsword
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