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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Sep, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Gen 2 River Witham Viking         Reply with quote

I've had my eye the Generation 2 River Witham sword for a few months, and recently read some quite complimentary reviews of it on http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/swords-online.html . Now I really want one.... Anyone here have one of these, or an opinion on it?
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Emil Andersson




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Sep, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

You can get this sword (from within the US) from Kult of Athena. Here's a link to it.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword

I've never seen or held one myself, but Generation 2's swords have a good reputation for being sturdy and durable performing pieces despite not being all that historically accurate in specifications.
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The River Witham is perhaps a little better presented here
http://www.armsofvalour.com/miva/merchant.mv?..._Code=ICIB
I've also been looking at the Christian Fletcher Castile - its a beauty, not a Viking sword but I sure could own one...
http://www.christianfletcher.com/Christian_Fl...stile.html
It would be nice to see them "in the flesh" prior to making a decision
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

However the Christian Fletcher Signature Hedemark Viking might be the better choice - there seem to be a lot of choices available at fairly reasonable prices - this Fletcher Signature line sure looks impressive in pictures anyway
http://www.strongblade.com/prod/sbva-hedemark.html
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Ballantyne wrote:
However the Christian Fletcher Signature Hedemark Viking might be the better choice - there seem to be a lot of choices available at fairly reasonable prices - this Fletcher Signature line sure looks impressive in pictures anyway
http://www.strongblade.com/prod/sbva-hedemark.html


The grip on that sword looks way too long. The proportions of the hilt are off IMHO.
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might be better for my big hand - I'd rather have a good 5" or slightly more grip between guard and pommel - most seem to have 4"
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Ballantyne wrote:
Might be better for my big hand - I'd rather have a good 5" or slightly more grip between guard and pommel - most seem to have 4"


It would depend on how important historical accuracy is to you. This grip is too long if compared to historical examples and would result in using this sword in a way other than how period swords would have been used.

Now if this isn't important to you than it's a non-sequitor. I just like to point out when pieces differ from historical examples so that others who may not know can be aware.
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I go back and look at the specs the grip is 4 1/4" long. Perhaps the shape of the grip makes it appear longer. When it comes to historical accuracy, we tend to base everything on the relatively few examples left to us. I've no doubt that much like today those who could would hire the swordsmith to make a sword custom fit to the wielder. If that were to result in an "out of spec" configuration according to a more modern study of the remaining historical record, it still was likely quite preferable to the customer. Much like buying a suit of clothes, one size does not fit all. Sorry to get on a soap box somewhat, and I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that I think I'm an expert as I'm clearly not. I do really enjoy and learn from reading postings by those far more knowledgeable than myself.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Ballantyne wrote:
When I go back and look at the specs the grip is 4 1/4" long. Perhaps the shape of the grip makes it appear longer. When it comes to historical accuracy, we tend to base everything on the relatively few examples left to us. I've no doubt that much like today those who could would hire the swordsmith to make a sword custom fit to the wielder. If that were to result in an "out of spec" configuration according to a more modern study of the remaining historical record, it still was likely quite preferable to the customer. Much like buying a suit of clothes, one size does not fit all. Sorry to get on a soap box somewhat, and I wouldn't want anyone to get the idea that I think I'm an expert as I'm clearly not. I do really enjoy and learn from reading postings by those far more knowledgeable than myself.


This is poor logic. I can't help but point out that this is completely against any scientific method and I don't want such opinion propagated on this site.

Regarding "custom fit", of course swords were made to the needs of the owner. One must understand how Viking-era swords are intended to "fit" the wielder and realize that modern samples with overly long grips are simply wrong for the way in which this period's swords are intended to be used.

But that's a red herring and this whole train of thought is moot because the sword discussed in this topic is intended to mimic a specific extant example. One need only look at the photos of the sword next to the photo of the antique (as shown on the maker's site) and see that the two are drastically different from one another in nearly every single aspect.

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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Frankly, I think the answer is pretty obvious. The Valiant Armoury Sword has a threaded pommel, it would be a pretty minor modification to shorten the grip. I think doing so would provide someone with a better sword than the River Witham Generation 2 sword and one which also has a very nice scabbard and suspension system as well.
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William M




Location: Buckinghamshire , England
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Ballantyne wrote:
Might be better for my big hand - I'd rather have a good 5" or slightly more grip between guard and pommel - most seem to have 4"


Hi,

I am not sure if this is relevant but I found this sword at the Ashmolean in London. Certainly shows that there were significant differences in hilt size although the actual grip length seems to be the same size.

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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Overall, I think Valiant has done a great job bringing attractive sword-scabbard combos in their signature series for a budget.

Having said that, I briefly owned a Hedemark and found it to be attractive but rather uncomfortable to wield. The combination of poor mass distribution (little change in width or thickness of the blade toward the tip), overall weight, and the odd shaped grip all contributed to this. So shortening the grip might make it more historical looking, but might also make the handling even worse.

It's hard to find an inexpensive viking sword that gets everything right. That's not to say you can't find one that you like and enjoy, for a given budget. I also like the ones with lobed pommels that curve away from the hand. Here are some others in a range of prices:

I used to have the Windlass version of the River Witham Viking sword and thought it was OK, except for the gaudy silverish plating over a copperish core pommel and handle. I did some antiquing on that and then gave it to my nephew. http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword

Here's a newish one with a curved lobate pommel that looks fairly nice, but I haven't handled it so I can't say with any authority. However, from the overal weight and shape it does not look hard to handle. They say the grip is 5.5", but that must include the pommel because it does not look near that long: http://edgefair.com/prod_Detail.aspx?id=SH2456

The Tinker-Hanwei Viking sword does not resemble the type you are after and is not perfect in several wayas, but it has more sophisticated blade geometry than most in this range. Maybe worth considering. http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...rd+-+Sharp

Del Tin offers severl lobated Viking types for about the price of the Hedemark, but tend to be on the heavy side and are blunt. http://www.kultofathena.com/deltin.asp

For about 100 more than you would pay for the Hedemark, the Albion Squire line offers some much better lobated swords through the Viking Shield Web Site: http://www.viking-shield.com/category/69-albion-mark-swords.aspx

If you want to go further upscale, Arms and Armor has come out recently with their version of a Viking sword found in the River Thames, which is similar to the Witham Viking sword but smaller in proporition. Can't go wrong with this: http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...axon+Sword

After that it gets pretty expensive. Good luck with your sword search.
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Carl W.




Location: usa
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A (old? but still works) link to perhaps another option to consider...

http://www.christianfletcher.com/Christian_Fl...aider.html

I kept hoping someone would get hold of one & report / review it. There was a Chimera thread in the makers forum but don't recall it having more specifics about this model.

Good luck!
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, upon checking my copy of Pierce*, most Viking swords there had grips between 8 and 10 cm, with a few just a bit longer. I found one with an 11cm grip (admittedly, it was a quick, cursory glance-through, but I think I'm safe here). So, while a sword with a grip as long as 11cm or so may be historically okay, such a sword would certainly not be common.

I could go on a rant about how we moderns just don't understand how ancient swords were properly used, but I won't. Suffice it to say, ancient warriors did NOT have little tiny girly hands. They just didn't. Prove to me otherwise. Come on, I dare ya. They just used swords differently -- and effectively, despite (or maybe, because of?) the size of the grips.

That being said, I like my Hedemark. Good looking, sword and scabbard. A bit massive, but not unweildy at all (MHO). And the grip is oh so comfortable -- OOPS! Sorry, not going there. Razz


*Ian Pierce, Swords of the Viking Age. The bible of Viking swords.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Wilson wrote:
That being said, I like my Hedemark. Good looking, sword and scabbard. A bit massive, but not unweildy at all (MHO). And the grip is oh so comfortable -- OOPS! Sorry, not going there. Razz


Heh, heh, well as my Dad used to say, 'different strokes for different folks'. Otherwise we are in complete agreement about Viking age grips. I particularly like a short grip combined with a flattened pommel that curves away from the hand - great for transitioning between handshake and hammer grip. Happy
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W. Knight




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are so many versions of this sword type out there. The first viking sword I got was the Windlass Leuterit sword (http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword). Windlass swords can be hit or miss, but this one is fairly good IMO. It has a peened pommel and feels great in the hand. Only downside is that it has some kind of wax coating or something on the pommel and guard, which is german silver or something (mystery metal Confused maybe?), and if the coating gets scratched off during use, it tarnishes brown very quickly.

Albion has the Jarl (http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword), and Armart has the Witham pattern welded sword (http://www.armart.antiquanova.com/Viking_pattern_welded.htm). I really consider this one a couple years back, but I read alot of things about difficulty in getting things from that company, so I decided against it. It really looks like a great sword, though. Anyone ever bought this version of the Witham? Also, was the original (from which all these were copied) pattern welded? I know this thread is supposed to be about the Gen 2 version, but while we are on the subject of this sword type, just thought I might ask.
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Sep, 2011 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

... and don't forget the Del Tin 2104, which is also a copy of the Witham sword....
David K. Wilson, Jr.
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Sep, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great set of responses. Thanks to all, mostly quite constructive and informative. My search for the right Viking sword got a little more complicated as a result..... but the search is a significant part of the enjoyment. I've got a lot more factors to consider, and a number of new choices to weigh. I'll be making a choice over the next 3 or 4 months.
Thanks again
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W. Knight




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Sep, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're right about the enjoyment the search provides. The period research is the best part of this hobby, I think. But when it comes time to buy a new sword or something else, the web searches and gathering info on various makers (which company or craftsman is better) and what they offer (which company or craftsman can deliver what one is seeking) and then considering the options (and discovering new or better options) -- this is just as much fun as anything else in this hobby, to be honest Big Grin

Maybe you will want to post back here with your decision when your search is done and why you decided on the one you did. With the large number of different "Witham" swords available, I, for one, would be very interested in knowing the outcome.
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Greg Ballantyne




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Sep, 2011 2:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll post back when this comes to conclusion, or if the need some additional advice from those more knowledgeable arises. I'm fairly certain that the outcome will depend heavily on my ability to sell a higher investment option to a skeptical audience, namely the wife.....but then one day last year I went to town to buy a set of guitar strings, and came home with the strings - but there was a new guitar attached to them. Perhaps a similar strategy can be employed.....
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