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Larry Lim




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject: Advice on Executioner Sword Etching         Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm toying with the idea of commissioning a European Executioner Sword project, possibly German-style; does anyone has any good close-ups of those etchings (on an executioner sword blade) where I may take reference to?

PM me if you have pics/references to share with me.

Thanks in advance Happy
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Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

found the following on the net:
inscription in somewhat clumsy new-high-german:
"Wan Ich Das Schwert Thue Aufheben
So Wünsch Ich Dem Sünder Das Ewige Leben"

translated litterally
"when i the sword do lift
so wish i the sinner the eternal life"

the incsription looks quite modern, and the language is later than early new-high-german, so i think, this sword dates from 1700+ earliest. i don`t know, how long execution was done by the sword in the german speaking area. probably as late as ~1800.



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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a sabre that appears to be etched in Latin (Which makes sense considering the Holy Roman Empire and language of the church). Some have suggested also that adding etches to old blades as headsman swords is somewhat of an industry and rather ongoing for a long time.

Cheers

GC



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term you want is "Richtschwert".

Purpose-built swords of this type appeared in the16th century and lasted to at least the 19th (decapitation was the typical German state execution through the 1940s but the guillotine was the preferred instrument by then). You'll have to narrow your chronological focus. These later examples can be finely decorated but the earliest decorations are sometimes quite crude.

See examples here:
http://www.google.com/search?q=richtschwert&a...mp;bih=930

Hermann Historica catalogs include some of these weapons, and the newer images allow extreme magnification.

Keep in mind:
Etching was still a relatively new process ca. 1500.
There are different types of etching--one style is distinctively German.
All etching processes have a specific chronology.
Not all Richtschwert decoration was etched. Some was engraved.

By the way--The Widlass Steelcrafts German Bastard Sword is, I think, a good and inexpensive candidate for a mid-late 16th c. Richtschwert conversion.

-Sean

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


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Thu 28 Jul, 2011 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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A. Elema





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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find about a dozen different inscriptions from richtschwerter in the following old catalogue for an exhibit of instruments of justice.

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924032600995#page/n1/mode/2up

Specialized German execution swords, the kind with the squared-off tip, seem to have shown up no earlier than the late sixteenth century. Some of them were still being produced quite late. There's an executioner's sword in the Karlsruhe municipal museum that was made in 1772 and used until 1820.

http://www.karlsruhe.de/b1/stadtgeschichte/st...schwert.de

I've seen a number of richtschwerter in a private collection. The engravings are often scratched in quite crudely. Just a simple wheel on one side and a posts-and-lintel gallows on the other.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See this thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ7JKmcLTsI&am...r_embedded
-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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Philip Melhop




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You need to allow for a couple of by-knives too, used for ..........smaller cutting tasks, and stored in the scabbard. The executioner meted out non-lethal punishments too.
Phil
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Jared Lambert




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darksword armoury actually has an executioners sword they came out with and it looks good. the Inscriptionon it translates as "I spare no one".


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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Lambert wrote:
Darksword armoury actually has an executioners sword they came out with and it looks good. the Inscriptionon it translates as "I spare no one".


More of the artist's interpretations

http://terrymaranda.com/author/terrymaranda/

Cheers

GC
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Larry Lim




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Executioner Sword Blade Etching         Reply with quote

Hi All,

Thanks very much for all your spontanous and kind sharing. Keep them coming, please Happy

It was Darksword Armoury's Executioner Sword that prompted me to commission mine. While the Darksword offering is pretty affordable, the real production piece came with a rounded tip with 3 with triangular furrows near the tip. I had wanted a squarish blade tip (like the one in their artwork) with/without 3 round pierced holes. DSA told me they are not able to custom it to my request, thus goes my quest...

I love this forum Happy

P/S: Glen, it is my first time seeing a single-edged executioner. It's an eye-opener.. Thanks Happy
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Ozsváth Árpád-István




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"MARIA MATER DEI, PATRONA. HUNGARIAE, SUB TUUM REFUGIUM CONFUGIO" means something like "MARIA MOTHER OF GOD, PROTECTOR OF HUNGARY, I FLEE UNDER YOUR PROTECTION".
Well, this was the text etched on the sword of János Hunyadi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hunyadi). He is best known for his victory over the Ottoman empire in the battle of Bratislava.
This text is common on later Hussar sabers within the Austro-Hungarian empire.
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ozsváth Árpád-István

That helps my thoughts on this one a great deal. There was a brief thread some time ago listing a couple of other examples ranging from the late 18th, oto the 19th century. So then, it is possible it is not a headsman sword at all but of the other arms mentioned (infantry/grenadier). It is time for me to revisit looking at this one, it has been in my files for a long long time.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11859


Hi Larry,

How am I not surprised that Darksword could not fulfill such an order. The options for swords seem to leather and accoutrement changes, with the sword parts themselves somewhat mass produced. Note they offer "damascus" for some models and at very much pedestrian prices truly not indicating in house billets forging.

For the life of me, I am not remembering one of the CZ organizations that was in business back to the 1990s and has been revamped a few times. Other readers may remember the name(s). The main site was always a suit of armor standing with a polearm, sword and flails with categories linked with red lines.

K&K????? something like that. A newer site was/has been listing zweihanders and executioners somewhat to taste.

Cheers

GC
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Larry Lim




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Hi Larry,

How am I not surprised that Darksword could not fulfill such an order. The options for swords seem to leather and accoutrement changes, with the sword parts themselves somewhat mass produced. Note they offer "damascus" for some models and at very much pedestrian prices truly not indicating in house billets forging.

For the life of me, I am not remembering one of the CZ organizations that was in business back to the 1990s and has been revamped a few times. Other readers may remember the name(s). The main site was always a suit of armor standing with a polearm, sword and flails with categories linked with red lines.

K&K????? something like that. A newer site was/has been listing zweihanders and executioners somewhat to taste.

Cheers

GC

Hi Glen,

I guess you're referring to this Czech site: http://www.kasto.org/29-executioner-_s-sword.html

I had wrote to the smith. After a long wait, he replied that it's too expensive to ship to CONUS. Period. Without mentioning cost or other details. I wrote to plead with him to re-consider, or at least give me a detailed cost to work towards, but I never hear from him ever since. That took place a couple of months ago Sad
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2011 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Larry

Here is another

http://www.swords-armor.com/products/others/e...at001.html

The old consortium I was thinking of offered some build your own in the later editions of the site and used to label the "good" stuff as their Eagle brand (I'm talking 1999-2000 now). I think in a large sense, then as now, there are collectives of smiths such as the two Lutel brands that can produce just about anything, some shops more reliably than others.

Cheers

GC
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

a) As Ozsváth mentioned i also don`t think this saber is an executioners device.
the blade may be unusually broad, but there are examples of such broad, inscripted hussar sabers, one i`ve seen myself in the military history museum in vienna.

b) stamped out holes of round or triangular section at the front of the blade are an important feature.
Swords alwyas have been a symbol of status, dignity, chivalry..... you all know. So swordbearers back then could not really cope with swords beeing used as a tool of execution and they demanded parts beeing stamped out at the tip, so a dirty executioner sword could not be converted into an "honourable" real fighting sword by reshaping it to a pointy end.

mfg
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Gottfried

Thanks for the additional information on the sabre. This had been listed for years at a dealer as a Hungarian headsman sword but the inscription now explained and attributed puts that one to bed, so to say.

The explanation of the three holes in interesting as well,because we see this on axes as well.

Cheers

GC
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The "honor" theory about the holes isn't convincing to me.There's absolutely nothing to prevent such a blade from being shortened by a couple of inches and re-profiled. Moreover, it's not clear to me why anyone would want to do that. These are not general-purpose blades. Even if you add a point you still have a weapon which, in the context of field use, would be excessively broad, blade-heavy and fragile at the center of percussion. Like putting a V8 engine in a Smart car, it misses the point of the original design of both.

Also, the specialized decapitation sword didn't develop until the 16th century, so it doesn't make sense that anybody was terribly concerned about the status distinction between field swords and execution swords.

Someone mentioned the trefoil decoration of certain German halberds/axes. We don't fret over calling those purely decorative. I think it's entirely possible that the Richtschwert holes are decorative or, at most, have a religious origin (holy trinity).

-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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Tom King




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its probably not helpful, but deepeeka makes a executioner sword shaped chunk of steel that could be a fixer upper http://www.bytheswordinc.com/p-1803-execution...-4192.aspx
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm, i do not have the "honour theory" about executioners swords from first hand, i was told this by some museum custodian (and as we all do know, these often tell wrong things).

but i do have an example which is statet by wiki do have been purpose-built at least in 1484.
i do have do admit that early 16th cent. decapitation swords do look like real twohanders... (i own a replica of the "weisskunig" where [famous in tyrolean history] emporer maximilian let behead the constable of the fortress of kufstein after he let himself be bribed to join the bavarians and the fortress was taken afterwards {in whatever war*})

btw. the inscription on the backside of the sword linked above
"Hütte Dich thue kein bößes Nicht, So Du willt fliehen diß Gericht" litteraly means
"Beware you do no bad nothing, so you will flee this court/justice"

*(there were too many, its the first time in the history of austria now since 996 AD, we don`t have war for more than 50 years)



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beheading of the kufstein defector Hans von Pienzenau in 1505
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2011 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a sword of german origins:
http://users.wpi.edu/~jforgeng/CollectionIQP/...996.01.3.a

You don't really get a great close up of the etchings, but you can get a good idea of the sword overall.
I hope this helps =)

Eric Gregersen
www.EricGregersen.com
Knowledge applied is power.
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