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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Strange dating of museum sword.         Reply with quote

Just visited my local museum for a quick tour of their new medieval displays. I was puzzled by a sword that has no description besides estimated date and where it was found. The blade is very corroded but current length is approximately 70 - 80cm. The crossguard is long and slightly downturned ending in a small folded quillon. The grip is approximately 30cm long (plenty of place for 2 hands). The pommel is small and octagonal.

What struck me as odd was the dating. The museum say it's 1150-ish. I do not claim to have any other knowledge of swords than reading Oakeshott's typology and playing with reproductions. But from my uneducated guesses I would place this sword at least well into the 15th century. The reason the sword is on display is that it illustrates weapons used in the 12th and 13th century Norwegian civil wars and if it's off by 300 years I suppose someone should tell them. Any guesses on dating?



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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
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Posts: 226

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with you, looks 15th century to me. But then again my limited experience is also based on Oakeshott's typology, reading, museums and playing with reproductions...

Where was it found?

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword was found in Stokke, Norway. East coast.
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Nils Anderssen




Location: Drammen, Norway
Joined: 08 Dec 2005

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, it definitely looks like a later piece. Design, proportions etc. It is not uncommon for museums to date things a little bit wrong from time to time.

Is this piece at the Slossfjell museum? I have been looking forward to their new stuff for a couple of years now... looks like I have to take a trip to Tønsberg again Wink
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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Posts: 605

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Individually, the blade (XVa), cross (curved type 1 with back-curled finials) and pommel (I1) styles existed in the early 14th Century, but the sword could easily be as late as 1500. Oakeshott dates a sword found in the Thames at Westminister with similar blade and cross to 1325. Some of these 15th century longswords have curved guards with back-curled finials: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...amp;start= I can't get the link to work, but at universitetsmuseenes archaeologislamer there is a single-hander with similar cross.
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Tjarand Matre




Location: Nøtterøy, Norway
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 11:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's from Slottsfjellmuseet Nils. They have a small but good display on the civil war and early medieval warfare from a local point of view. Local arrowheads, spearheads and a few axes. And this misdated sword.
The castle Tunsberghus was looted and burnt in 1503 by Swedish troops and local rioting peasants (typically from Stokke where there still are rioting peasants ;-)). This sword could well have been a trophy from the castle or even belong to one of the larger farms surrounding Tunsberghus. Adding unqualified dating and a suiting context like this is highly un-scientific but I still think this sword is in the wrong exhibition. Thanks for the input, I will forward it to the curator.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks 15th c. to me as well but I'm no expert.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like late 14th to early/mid 15th century to me as well. I recon that it is simple case of mislabeling the sword.
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