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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2011 6:06 pm    Post subject: The Rebirth of a unique Albion Sovereign....         Reply with quote

Hello all! Happy

I started this project about 3 months ago, when I purchased a very used and abused Albion Sovereign from fellow forumite, Bill Grandy. From my understanding, the sword was a factory made blunt which Bill used extensively over the years while instructing with his WMA organization. However, the sword was put away into storage, and soon fell into a pretty neglected state, as it was forgotten about for an extended time.

I will not criticize Bill at all about this sword, for had he not forgotten about it, it would have not came into my care! Razz

Here are the photos of the Sovereign as it came to me:







Now, many of you know that I am currently serving in the Middle East as a Department of Defense subcontractor. As such, I am completely unable to personally work on any project. I had a vision for this blade when I purchased it off of Bill, and I set out contacting those who might assist me in returning this blade to something of it's former state.

I first contacted Albion about reprofiling the blade from a blunt to a sharp. The blade on this Sovereign was a factory blunt, marked with the crowned Albion Museum Line mark rather than the standard Albion Next Gen mark. However, the folks at Albion explained to me that it would be cheaper to just buy a new sword rather than to have the blade reprofiled to a sharp. Naturally, though I completely understood Albion's reasoning, I still wanted to get the sword reworked into a sharp.

I next contacted Sonny Suttles of the Custom Sword Shoppe, who agreed to take on the project, along with my plethora of ideas I had for re-creating this sword into something that could be drooled over. In order, the list of things I wanted done was a laundry list of modifications and custom work which I have listed below:

1. Refinish and sharpen blade.
2. Refinish and blue furniture.
3. Rework grip, add corded under layer, add original risers, then wrap in oxblood leather.
4. Inlay coins into the pommel.
5. Create wood core scabbard with oxblood leather cover and distressed black integrated suspension.
6. Create riser pattern to accent the dual fullers of the Sovereign.
7. Add metal detail work, including antiqued chape and locket.


The sword was shipped to CSS in mid-February and completed in late April. Not a bad turn-around time for such an extensive project. I will not mention my price, but I will say that it was more than reasonable. Happy

Below is the completed project, which hits right on the mark of what I was wanting created. I wanted something different and unique, to give the sword a near-fantasy appearance - not based fully on any one historic design. In my opinion, this is a perfect rebirth of a wonderful sword that will be cherished by me for years to come.



The furniture had all rust and damage removed. It's now not only smooth and in original condition, but bears a deep blued finish that is nearly black in color.



Identical replica coins have been inset into the pommel and backed by a black finish.



The blade has been refinished with all pitting, rust, and other damage removed, with a proper sharp edge applied. Note the Museum Line maker's mark on the blade instead of the Next Gen maker's mark.



Good as new, and solid as a rock - this blade rings true as the day it was made. A testament to Albion quality after years of hard practical use by a noted WMA practitioner and instructor.



Antiqued locket and risers at the throat offer a tight fit.



Intergrated suspension with distressed black leather. Note the detail of the distressing, not too much, yet just enough to give it a used, yet cared for appearance. The lower level of the suspension allows the sword to hang close to the combined PoB of the sword and scabbard which allowed the sword to float on the hip when being worn. The risers here are executed perfectly - being both even and crisp.



The terminals of the suspension straps and risers. Again, perfect execution.



The chape is a perfect match to the antiqued locket.



The whole package emerged exactly as I wanted it. There is nothing that I would change about this commission, I am an extremely happy customer, and will be returning to CSS in the near future to have more work done while I am overseas.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott


Last edited by JE Sarge on Fri 06 May, 2011 3:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a shame you can't carry it on you when you get deployed.
Aren't people in the military allowed to pick their own knives? Wink
And it looks awesome btw.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject: Re: The Rebirth of a unique Albion Sovereign....         Reply with quote

Wow, that looks like a brand new sword! Happy

JE Sarge wrote:
However, the sword was put away into storage, and soon fell into a pretty neglected state, as it was forgotten about for an extended time.


Actually, you want to know the sad thing? It looked that way before I'd put it away for the past year. I'm just terrible at cleaning my blunt swords. Eek! This particular one was quite often passed around for little kids to handle when I did demonstrations, and after a couple of years of constantly cleaning finger prints off, I eventally started getting lazier and lazier, until I stopped cleaning it all together. I'm glad you've given it the full makeover! Happy I looks great!

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Lancelot Chan
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Location: Hong Kong
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PostPosted: Thu 05 May, 2011 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a very impressive of work! It even made me consider having some of my swords sent to Sonny to get reworked in such way.... Wow, consider how financially poor I am, this means that's REALLY impressive!
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking good JE!

Seems to me that the custom shope guys are really crusing now, as quality seems really constant on what I've seen of their work.

There is a bit too much going on on this scabbard for my own taste considering the period (triple raisers, a locket below the guard and a full belt), but it's a matter of aesthetical preference and the execution is very good in any case.

Too bad you could not handle this yourself as I'm sure you would have done an equally good job on it Happy
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 3:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Looking good JE!

Seems to me that the custom shope guys are really crusing now, as quality seems really constant on what I've seen of their work.

There is a bit too much going on on this scabbard for my own taste considering the period (triple raisers, a locket below the guard and a full belt), but it's a matter of aesthetical preference and the execution is very good in any case.

Too bad you could not handle this yourself as I'm sure you would have done an equally good job on it Happy


Thanks man. I would be the first to agree with you that there is too much going on here for a period piece, but I wanted something that was over the top, skirting the realm of fantasy - such as with a CF Redeemer and like styled fantasy pieces - with a bit of Hollywoodish flair. I wanted this package to look insanely different than anything else out there, so that it were unique in all the world at a glance, and CSS nailed it pretty good - they created exactly what I asked for.

I've not named it yet, but once I return home on leave in a few weeks, I will think of something just as unique as this blade is itself.

Thanks for the other compliments as well! Happy

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice!

Coincidentally, Yesterday i happened to be looking at the original thread when Bill was selling that sword, and thinking that it was too bad I had missed it. But you did a much better clean up than i would have. Partly because I also tend to pass my swords around to kids at demos.

I think the sovereign has become my favourite of the Albion single-handed next gen line, although only based on observations online. It's definitely on the list of swords I would buy instantly if i won the lottery.

But I particularly like your set up.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 06 May, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks great!

That came out to be beautiful! As I was reading this and looking at your list I was skeptical of how the blued furniture would look with the coins within the pommel Worried But after seeing the final piece, I am speechless!

I was never a huge fan of blued furniture on weapons, but this totally changed my mind Wink Everything accentuates really nicely with each other. I hope to see this thing in action some day Cool

Congrats on your new toy! Razz
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