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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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Posts: 683

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Sword of the Duke of Alba         Reply with quote

I'm looking for images of the sword of this man:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Álvarez...ke_of_Alba

The so-called "Sword of the Duke of Alba" is a fairly popular subject of wallhanger replica's. Here are a few links:

http://www.swordsandarmor.com/images/SD526_Duke-of-Alba.jpg
http://readytogoebooks.com/collection/DuqueDeAlba.html
http://www.epees.fr/swords/collection/duc-of-alba-p-568.html

However, on the well-known portraits of Alva, this sword is not present. On the painting by Anthonis Mor, 1549, he is shown with a rather more modern looking sword:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...or_020.jpg

Does anyone know the basis of the wallhanger replica's? Is there a painting which shows such a sword? Or is the original still around somewhere? Or is it simply a fantasy variation on the historical sword of "El Gran Capitan" Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, which is kept at the Real Armeria in Madrid?
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dWVumuUO-e4/ToJfasX...en+006.jpg
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,822

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Paul

There is a recent thread on the Viking Sword boards and the premise was originally cup-hilts and bilbos as used in the Spanish navy. Run down past a few threads of general resources and there is a post with several plates of Spanish swords generally associated with the Spanish explorers and seamen. There are examples and notes from the late fifteenth to the 17th century and beyond being discussed. Some of those plates do reflect what we see in art and as examples on sites such as Swords Of Toledo. One espada ropera not al all unlike the Oakeshott early 16th century piece and one such as your last link as late 15th century.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14941

I confess to mostly skimming your post and a couple of pictures but the post in the linked thread (also one I was basically skimming) seems to relate in a fairly specific way.

Cheers

GC
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José-Manuel Benito




Location: Medina del Campo, Spain
Joined: 25 Nov 2008
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi.

There is a big problem with business of souvenirs from Toledo, its wallhangers are far from historical accuracy. On the other hand, the House of Aba has a proper historical and artistic heritage too great, that we hardly know.

The Gran Duque de Alba (Fernando Alvarez de Toledo y Pimentel) was a rich, powerful and warlike man who has many portraits of important artists, not only by the English painter, Anthonis Mor; but also, by the flemish painter, Rubens, and the flemish miniaturist, Willem Key; also by the Venetian master Titian, or by the Roman artificer Cesare Arbasia; and several sculptures, one by the Italian Leone Leoni; also by the flemish Jacques Jonghelinck, and so on.


By Willem Key


By Leone leoni

In the more realistic portraits he appears with only one parade armor; but, at least, he wears three (or four) differents swords. Two of them seem to be war weapons: the first one is on the portrait by Antonis Mor and, the second one (not the same), appears in a work by a Spanish disciple of Mor, named Alonso Sanchez Coello.


By Mor, straight quillons


By his pupil, Sánchez Coello, turned quillons

Look out!, Because I've seen other versions Antonis Mor's picture in which the sword has bent quillons, and could be the same sword that in the portrait by Sanchez Coello.

Look out!, Because I've seen other versions of Antonis Mor's picture in which the sword has bent quillons, plus knuckle-guard, and I don't know what is the original.

By Mor, sword with turned quillons and knuckle-guard.

And, the third one, apparently lighter (maybe a dress sword, a rapier), appears in the portrait by Rubens, which is the only in civilian clothing. This picture belongs to a private collection, and I think (although, it is listed as a portrait of the Third Duque de Alba), there was some mistake. Because, on the period that Rubens was named a master of painting (since 1600), the Great Duke was already dead: year 1582. So it can't be the same person, but an heir with the same name: Antonio Álvarez de Toledo.


By Rubens, dress-sword

None of them seems to the Toledo's wallhanger.

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