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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: La Tene III Organic Sword of Spheres         Reply with quote

The blade for this sword is based a specific group of blades found at the Port find as well as other locations that had activity in the La Tene III period. These go against the idea of the clumsy monster cutting swords typically associated with the Celts. Blade lengths in the 32-34" range is common and also counter to what we typically see at this time period is that these often had shallow curved bell guards when most from this period were deeply curved or straight. This sword has a 33 1/2" long slightly hollow ground blade by Mark at Ollin Sword design. The guard plate/bell guard is wrought iron.

The biggest influence in the hilt design comes from the Sword of Spheres of this time period. These are the iron age rapiers or smallswords for the time. They have very narrow diamond shaped blades and iron hilts that have spherical and/or lobed shapes. So I wanted to stay with similar styled hilts associated with thrusting swords from the period. I also believe that the later Gallic Calvary lobed hilts likely have roots from the swords of this period. I do have one of these Gallic Calvary lobed hilts as well as a spatha from Illerup planned for the first part of next year.

For this hilt, I used Juglans regia (common, english, or persian walnut). This is a wood that I have been wanting to use for some time, and finally scored a large amount of quality wood. This is the walnut of europe and can have very different colors and figure depending on the region it is grown. Typically you see the Persian or Turkish named walnut being darker then english walnut for example. One of the major reasons that I wanted to use this wood is that it is believed that this wood was spread from the east across Europe by the Celts. When we look at the Roman name for this wood, they called it Gallic nut. So even the Romans seem to have associated this wood with the Celts.

For the palm swell I tapped into my shrinking supply of boxwood burl.

Overall length: 39 1/2"
Blade length: 33 1/2"
Blade width: 1 3/4"
Weight: 1 1/2 lbs




http://www.ironagearmoury.com/sword_of_spheres.html

Shane
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T Franks




Location: Chicagoland Suburbs, Illinois
Joined: 20 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Top Notch! This sword turned out really nice looking. Nice reproduction of a long/thrusting type la tene sword... and the hilt looks beautiful!
"I would rather be first in a small village in Gaul than second in command in Rome." - Julius Caesar
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Justin H. Núñez




Location: Hyde Park, UT
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks wonderful! How does it feel in the hand? It would seem like it is pretty lively.


I really like this type, maybe because I am fencer and I like things that handle similar to what I am used to so I can do "the moves". The longer blade lengths have led me to a theory that there is possibly a favored length of sword for each type of combat but the length of the blade is sometimes dictated by the technology of period. In other words, warriors would have like to have had a certain length of blade in some periods, but could not because of tech limits so they used what was available. And it seems to go in cycles. Am I making any sense? It is a rough, very rough, like tree bark rough, theory. Also it would not surprise me to find that these same warriors would have used similar techniques the use today, meaning the BC guys would have fought alot like us AD guys. I mean there are really only so many ways sword technique can be taken before you come full circle and find that what you thought was different is really the same as what was learned in your fencing class you took in college..

Back to the sword, Shane that is a way nice piece. I wish there more of those around.

"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Once again, a really interesting and well executed sword Shane!
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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a very fast and lively sword. Right now it is sharp, but I would expect that originally these would have been very sharp. Most of the fighting of the Celts was very small scale and most often with other tribes. There are Roman accounts of individuals of the warrior class challenging others to settle conflict. They were said to have been undisciplined in fighting, but it is really just more of a small scale vs the large scale at which Greece and Rome fought. When you have a small warrior class that fights very frequently they are going to develop martial combat that is very specific to individual and small group combat. I think this mentality is also why we see what looks like very exotic type of spears and even swords.

You would be fighting with a large shield and this would be a sword to reach out there and make thrust and quick cuts while trying to get around other guys' shields. Spear combat would likely have been very interesting as well since many of them had thin cutting blades and often cut-outs and features to aid in cutting and possibly to open gaps in others shield defence. I think there is a lot to learn both from looking at an anthropological look at more recent tribal warefare as well as the basic martial arts that have been used to see how things might have looked with large shields with spears and swords.

And Thanks Guys...

Shane
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Stephen Curtin




PostPosted: Thu 11 Nov, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well done Shane, another very nice piece of work. Good to see someone expanding peoples choices of La Tene types as there was so much variety back then and so little now. Can't wait to see your version of a Illerup sword.
Éirinn go Brách
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T Franks




Location: Chicagoland Suburbs, Illinois
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword seems perfect for the aristocratic Aeduin who engaged in gentlemanly duels with... well... the boisterous upstarts who tried to claim the hero's portion! Laughing Out Loud

Kind of like an earthly/ancient version of Count Dooku's weapon and fighting style. Ok, bad Star Wars reference. Now you all know how nerdy I am. Blush

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