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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Mar, 2011 12:22 am    Post subject: Park Lane Arms Fair 2011         Reply with quote

Coming up next weekend on the 6th of March is the Park Lane Arms Fair, 10 am - 4 pm.
http://www.londonarmsfair.com/

Albion Europe will hold two tables and I shall stand by another, bringing two new swords, both available for interested customers.
One of the swords is a large-ish type XIV with double narrow fullers and a type W pommel (imagine a hand and half version of the "Solingen").
The other is a faithful replica of one of the Castillion swords, the IX.3683 in the Royal Armouries Leeds (original is now on loan to the Frazier Museum).

If you happen to be in London, or not too far away, you are very welcome to drop by for a look and a chat.
-Looking forward to meet you in London! :-)
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D Critchley




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Enjoyed talking to you on Sunday Peter. I thought (surprisingly perhaps for an antique sword collector), that your stand was one of the bright points on an otherwise mostly lacklustre fair compared to previous years.

To a collector used to the early British patterns of 1788 and 96 produced in their tens if thousands, discussing swords as individual pieces of craftsmanship whether ancient or modern was a pleasant change of perspective.

David
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you David!

There was quite a bit more interest in contemporary made swords than I had expected on a fair for antique weapons.
I never did get much time to go around the fair myself, but I much enjoyed meeting all those who came to the table.
Thank you all, who came and made the show such an enjoyable event.

The Castillion sword is now sold and the XIV(a?) shall be brought along to Solingen in May, if it does not find a home before then.

The whole trip to London was tremendous, and I must thank Søren who took this initiative and arranged all details. This was an opportunity to do some more research at the British Museum, and I got to document a very ancient and rare type of sword kept in storage.

Vince and Grace Evans were able to make the trip to London for a planned research trip this very weekend and it was wonderful to finally meet them and spend time together in the Wallace Collection and the British Museum. It was also very nice to meet Philip Tom, who generously shared his knowledge of oriental arms and many tricks of the restorers trade. I learned much!

Below two snapshots of the swords brought to the Park Lane Arms Fair 2011.
I am sorry for the low quality of the photos. I shall post good images when I have had them properly photographed.



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The IX.3683 from the Castillion hoard.

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A large-ish type XIV
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That XIVa... Eek!
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hard to tell without seeing the entire swords which I would like best if I had them in hand but these are seriously attractive swords ! I really like the very wide blade of the Castillion sword with wide guard and short one handed handle: Very nice proportions.

Oh, and maybe you could give us a short description of the " ancient & rare " ? Just curiosity if it's a type I haven't ever seen or read a description of: Some of these rare swords may be rare survivors of common types that unfortunately are not seen in artworks of the period leaving us with the impression that they where " uncommon " i.e. just accidents of what survived down to us distorting our mental images of how common some sword types where or where not popular.

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Markus Nußbaumer




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Jean,

Soeren of Albion Europe posted some photos on Albion Europe´s facebook page, with full length views of Peters swords and pictures from the British Museum.



Hello Peter,

fantastic swords. Just fantastic.


Regards,

Mark
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for kind words (Taylor, for some reason I happen to *know* you would appreciate this sword... Wink -Not the same, but similar and inspired by).


Jean, it is this one:



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Hallstatt sword found in the Thames.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Thanks for kind words (Taylor, for some reason I happen to *know* you would appreciate this sword... Wink -Not the same, but similar and inspired by).


Jean, it is this one:


Ah, antenna sword ! Normally I would assume that it's an early Iron age sword but I'm sort of " fuzzy " about the exact time period.

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Peter Johnsson wrote:
Thanks for kind words (Taylor, for some reason I happen to *know* you would appreciate this sword... Wink -Not the same, but similar and inspired by).


Jean, it is this one:


Ah, antenna sword ! Normally I would assume that it's an early Iron age sword but I'm sort of " fuzzy " about the exact time period.


In the catalogue of the museum, it is labeled as a La Tène sword, but that is too late a dating.
It was added to the collection in the 19th C and has not been subject to much research since.

It is in fact an sword of the Hallstatt period, from about 650 BC. Before the La Tène period.
A hauntingly beautiful little sword from almost the beginning of the time iron swords were forged in this part of europe.
It was a powerful experience, spending half a day with this outstanding relic of ancient blade smith art.

EDIT:
While the sword was on display in the museum, it was dated to 700 - 600 BC, not just given a vague La Tène period dating.


Last edited by Peter Johnsson on Sat 12 Mar, 2011 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful.

I have a special appreciation for all the Castillon/Dordogne swords.

Peter, what is the purpose of the protuberance inside the J1 pommel recess? Is it some sort of key or assistance for mounting a coin/medallion/relic in the recess? Or is it a rivet to lock the pommel to the tang? (see Oakeshott, Records XV.8)

I wish I could have attended the Park Lane Arms Fair.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger, when I documented the original, I got the impression that there was some sort of gritty stuff remaining in the corners of the recess: something chalky red.

Could perhaps have been red rust, but it did not look quite like that. The oxide on the sword was otherwise black, with no red spots.

My impression was that the red stuff may have been sealing wax.

Perhaps swords that were of issue type, being housed in an armoury until needed and handed out to groups of fighting men, were given a mark of ownership by a glob of sealing wax with a mark of origin/ownership (coat of arms or other symbol) pressed into it.
The little protuberance in the middle of the recess reaches almost to the rim in height. It would help keeping sealing wax securely in place. It is not a rivet. It is shaped as the recess is forged. The forging tool has a dome shaped hole in the middle, that allows for this little build up of material to stand proud.

This is an alternative function for the recess in the pommel to what we usually hear of, when a personal coat of arms medallion or coin glued in the recess (a more permanent solution). I think that sealing wax goes together well with the find: a group of swords that may have seen action together, but perhaps not as personal side arms, but issued weapons.

Just a hypothesis, mind you. But it did look like the sealing wax crumbs that remains on wrapping paper after the gift has been unpacked.

It may also be that the little dome is to stop an insert to "drown" in glue or resin before it has set, keeping it level and close to the surface.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sealing wax! Fascinating....
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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D Critchley




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Mar, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter, it may be irrelevant but it was the practice in the late 18th century to apply a seal with sealing wax to the grip of swords lodged in the Tower as examples of the approved patterns, to allow cutlers to sketch and measure them. Hence the phrase “sealed pattern”. In the picture of the 10th Dragoons pattern pictured in Robson you can still make out the remains of the wax.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Mar, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David, I did not know that.
Interesting :-)
Thank you for that information!

To make sure, the first thing would be to make an analysis of the red stuff remaining on the sword, naturally.

Perhaps a red dot in the middle of the pommel is something that could have been depicted in art?
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