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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 1:26 pm    Post subject: Pictures of Swedish Bronze swords         Reply with quote

Hello!
The Swedish Historical Museum have created a search function for all historical items in Sweden, many with pictures.

I made a fast search for Bronze swords and created links for a forthcoming project.
Thought that some of you might be interested to see a couple of different swords, some are rather unique I think.

Search engine:
http://mis.historiska.se/mis/sok/start.asp?sm=0_7
Bronze = brons
Sword = svärd

http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225803
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303110
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225815
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303108
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/315213
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303134
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303112
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/309449
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303102
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303122
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/309451
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/240664
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/301256
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/309017
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/315201
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303040
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225811
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225856
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225855
This one is a bit special:
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225801
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225802
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303064
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/240771
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303104
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/18825
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303101
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/301530
This has the same strange grip:
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/303106
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/309013
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/240836
http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/309361

Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI
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J. Abernethy





Joined: 17 May 2009

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you so much for these pictures, they have really blown my mind. I am an artist and currently working on a series of Mythological sculptures and these really inspire me. Especially the one example with the curved tip and the scroll work designs on some of the grips. I could only come up with maybe 2 or 3 styles off the top of my head, but now I see how creative and unique they were.
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Justin H. Núñez




Location: Hyde Park, UT
Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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Posts: 142

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are amazing! I don't think that any one really comes close to that type of design and workmanship.
"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cool! Most of these swords I knew only as linedrawings in "Minnen fran var forntid" by Oscar Montelius. It's great to have photo's of them, particularly as I may make some of them in the future.
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://mis.historiska.se/mis/sok/bild.asp?uid=211744

"Sword of bronze with resin inlaid wave-lines elsewhere and two rivets with large heads"

Resin inlaid wave-lines? I'd never heard of that before! Cool!

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 3:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am glad you liked them. It was fascinating going through all these items.
I also love the single edged blade, with its curved "tip".

It's interesting to see how different and organic these swords shapes are compared to later forged and grinded steel swords.

I think it's partly up to the different manufacturing method.
It would be a pain trying to grind a lot of floating shapes in a steel sword.

Also many of these swords are filled with incised lines and pattern,
also this is possible partly thanks to the properties of the bronze material (perhaps)
I especially love this grip with its deep powerful shapes towards the blade.

http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225802

When it comes to bronze swords, "more is more".

Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephan Johansson wrote:
I am glad you liked them. It was fascinating going through all these items.
I also love the single edged blade, with its curved "tip".

It's interesting to see how different and organic these swords shapes are compared to later forged and grinded steel swords.

I think it's partly up to the different manufacturing method.
It would be a pain trying to grind a lot of floating shapes in a steel sword.

Also many of these swords are filled with incised lines and pattern,
also this is possible partly thanks to the properties of the bronze material (perhaps)


Although casting and forging are very different, difficult shapes are difficult to produce in either technology. Both have to be ground to be finished f.e., so standing ridges, ribs etc. on the surface are a pain to do in bronze or iron. Curved organic shapes are actually easier both in bronze and iron then straight. Straight lines are the most difficult to do, as any imperfections shows instantly. Plus f.e. a straight edge, with a minor dip along the line means you have to grind down the blade over the entire length to keep the straight line. With a strong curve you can get away with grinding just a small section. Regarding grooves, this becomes much easier when you get hardened steel scrapers. On bronze you can't carve with bronze, so the lines have to be punched instead, which is much more difficult. Until you start making things with the limitations of the technology at the time, you suddenly find that things that look easy become really difficult.

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen, thank you for the information.
This shows how important it is to do actual recreations of historical items. Just looking at them and draw "intelligent" conclusions as I did can lead quite wrong Happy

Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for posting the links to these fantastic images! This i way outside of my area of study but now you have me curious to learn more! Happy
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J. Abernethy





Joined: 17 May 2009

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also many of these swords are filled with incised lines and pattern,
also this is possible partly thanks to the properties of the bronze material (perhaps)
I especially love this grip with its deep powerful shapes towards the blade.

http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225802

When it comes to bronze swords, "more is more".[/quote]


I can invision other materials like wood or bone discs between those grip rings, and precious stones set in the sockets at the base of the blade. Though this may not have been the case....it makes for neat illustrations and sculpture ideas.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Pictures of Swedish Bronze swords         Reply with quote

http://catview.historiska.se/catview/media/highres/225815

This is my favourite. I don't even like bronze age swords but that one is now a noteworthy exception.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
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Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2011 5:34 am    Post subject: Pictures of Swedish bronze swords         Reply with quote

I must say that those swords would give rise to the iron ones used by the Vikings centuries later.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scabbards?
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Scabbards?


Yes, there are a some excellent Scandinavian wooden bronze age scabbards that I've been able to study in Denmark.

They both have designs carved into them, a tradition which seems to continue through the iron age, as evidence by the carved scabbards from Danish bog deposits from the 3rd-5th century and also seen in the 7th/8th century Vendel era scabbards.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can not remember seing any parts looking like belonging to a scabbard when I went through the pictures, but it was a couple of years ago, so I might have forgotten...
Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Yes, there are a some excellent Scandinavian wooden bronze age scabbards that I've been able to study in Denmark.


Photos??????
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
Yes, there are a some excellent Scandinavian wooden bronze age scabbards that I've been able to study in Denmark.


Photos??????


I posted one on your thread about Bronze Age scabbards earlier this year...
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=49276

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of the double-edged swords seem to have grips with round/circular cross sections rather than flattened oval/angular ones that'd make more sense for cutting blades. Am I seeing that correctly or is it just an artifact of perspective?

(A friend of mine made a big fuss about this when Mike Loades posted a news item about a bronze dagger/short sword found in China a short while ago. I hadn't thought of looking at the grip cross-sections of European bronze swords before, but now that the cat is out of the bag....)
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of Bronze Age swords had round sectioned hilts, some (possibly all...not my field of expertise) of which are multi-sectioned, built up around a wooden core.
"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can anyone speak from practical experience (whether from handling antiques or from experimenting with accurate reconstructions) about how well these round grips performed with regards to maintaining edge alignment, keeping the grip from slipping/sliding around in the hand, etc? I've had mostly bad experiences with round grips on steel swords since these grips not only make it difficult to feel the correct edge alignment but also provide a rather insecure hold (so that the sword can be easily knocked out of my hand with a strong beat or even a firm block/parry), but bronze swords seem to have shorter grips in general and I have to wonder about whether this would mitigate the problem of edge alignment and a firm grip by forcing the user to hold the sword in a different way or something like that.
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