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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject: Identifying a Gotland sword         Reply with quote

Does anyone recognise this sword. all I know is that it was found on Gotland. I'm trying to establish a rough dateline for it.
The overall hilt form, with organic guards and metal reinforcement plates, looks distinctly 6th century to me, whereas the configuration of the scabbard fittings (two edge reinforcements carrying a decorated plate, much like the Ultuna scabbard) seem to be more common in the 7th century.
However, it's the decoration on the scabbard plate itself that is bothering me, as it looks like it could be executed in the Urnes style, which is much later, 11th/12th century.

So, if anyone knows this sword or knows of a higher resolution picture of it, I'd appreciate the information.



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Gotland sword.jpg


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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 3:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It also looks alot like the Sword from the Högom Grave in Sundsvall, Sweden.


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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The shape of the grip is roughly the same and it looks like there might be metal collars at each end of the grip (although the entire grip may well be metal-sheathed), otherwise I don't see much similarity.
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Jarno-T. Pälikkö
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

Here's a pic from István Rácz's book: 'Viikinkien Perintö' (The Heritage of Vikings, 1984):
'A sword hilt and horse harness decorations made from gold plated bronze from Broa, Gotland. The harness parts have been decorated with figures of animals and birds, each in their own separate square or ovaloid field. The objects of the Broa find have been made by the same goldsmith. The objects have been made around year 800 AD.'

-Sorry for the crappy translation...

Cheers,
JT



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Broa sword 40913b_1.jpg

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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, that answers that one then.
Many, many thanks for that information JT.
At least I can rule that one out from my 'what Gotland sword should I have to go with my Broa helmet' list.

I really like the Vallstena sword, but my child can only spare the one kidney and I don't think that's enough to get a replica made.....

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E. Storesund





Joined: 10 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, the grip of the Broa sword struck me as well. I would very much like to know more about the sword in the first post myself.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

E. Storesund wrote:
Yes, the grip of the Broa sword struck me as well. I would very much like to know more about the sword in the first post myself.


I think it's clear that the sword in the line drawing that I first posted is the Broa sword that JT posted a picture of. The detail on the grip would seem to confirm this.
Presumably the original line drawing was made before the upper guard and pommel were identified and reassembled.
Where the scabbard plate detail came from I don't know.

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E. Storesund





Joined: 10 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Fri 21 Sep, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, alas. My reply was a bit on the slow side.
I once considered the Broa sword a fitting piece for my 8th cent kit, but considering the weird habit of Gotland standing out from it's contemporaries in terms of material culture I figured it would be sound to just envy it from the distance. Great find though.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 22 Sep, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IIRC, this hilt is also in Behmer's catalogue.

I'll look it up tomorrow.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Sep, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're right, it is in Behmer (Type 6, Plate 52)....they both are so my apologies for my previous assertation.

The one I posted is from Bjars, the second from Broa...very similar looking pieces...similar enough to imagine the grip elements being made in the same workshop.

8th century...so too late for my purposes.

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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Dec, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Identifying a Gotland sword         Reply with quote


The Gotland sword looks more like a Migration-period sword rather than Viking to me judging by its hilt.

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Ellen Bergwerf





Joined: 04 Dec 2012

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed 05 Dec, 2012 3:12 am    Post subject: Gotland sword         Reply with quote

Of course it’s a migration period sword. But I think that makes this piece more interesting. There are a lot of 6th century objects found in Gotland. It’s not a typically ‘’Viking sword’’. It’s difficult to find out where he is today. But the decorations are made in a very strange manner. Probably in a more Germanic or Saksen style of art.
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