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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Identification Reply to topic
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Chad A





Joined: 07 Oct 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Identification         Reply with quote

Hello All,


I'd first like to say I have little to no knowledge about swords, but I have a sword that was brought back from Europe about 25-30 years ago by my German grand mother and I'm trying to find out a few things about the sword like, about how old is the sword/what year or age was it manufactured, what do the symbols on the hilt mean, what type of sword is it, and is it worth anything at all. If anyone could offer some assistance, I would appreciate it.


Here is a LINK to all of the pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/82639918@N03/sets/72157631714837687/


What I know about the sword:

-Apparently it belonged to a left handed person as the hilt/hand guard was positioned for a lefty when I first was given the sword. I have since taken the hilt and grip off so much that It sometimes ends up back together as a right handed sword.

-The sword was brought back from Europe 25-30 years ago.

-The sword has a decent amount of detail in the hilt/pommel.

-It isn't in the best condition. Some surface rust and nicks in the blade.

-The hilt has a design that has a shield showing three Fleur-de-lises matching the Arms of France Moderne.


Everyone in my family was given a sword. They are all very unique. This sword seems like it's more modern to me, but again I really don't know much about swords. The wide array of tool markings and such makes me think its not a mass produced sword from China or something. I can't locate any sort of makers mark..only the mark with the three Fleur-de-lises. Thank you for your help!
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 321

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hate to say it..but it sure looks like what you have is a pretty cheap touristy wall-hanger, maybe made somewhere in Spain ? Cry
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like it has the style of a Bilbo from around 1800. I have no idea whether it is an original or a recent replica
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Chad A





Joined: 07 Oct 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Grinly wrote:
I hate to say it..but it sure looks like what you have is a pretty cheap touristy wall-hanger, maybe made somewhere in Spain ? Cry



Thanks for getting back with me. Care to elaborate?
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Chad A





Joined: 07 Oct 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
It looks like it has the style of a Bilbo from around 1800. I have no idea whether it is an original or a recent replica



Thanks Roger.
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm afraid it does look like a cheap tourist wallhanger, probably made in Spain.....

The blade tang is completely unsuited for use - it has what is called a rat-tail tang - that looks as if it would snap as soon as it was struck with force (be careful when swinging it!). The hilt/pommel looks like the cast zinc-based white metal that is found on cheap replicas. The blade profile (and the strange ridging/saw edge) are not as you would find on a functional original sword (is it tempered, even?). It also looks like it has been smacked with a hammer to give the impression of being hand forged. Definately not something found on a real sword. The multi-faceted hammered surface of the cup hilt is often seen on wallhangers to give the impression it is hand-beaten rather than stamped out. The guard is not left-handed - it covers the knuckles/outside of the hand as a shell guard for a right-hander should. It vaguely looks like a late Spanish cup hilt, but only vaguely.

These things were cheaply mass-produced for the Spanish tourist market.

It has sentimental value, and I guess that is enough.

Julian
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Posts: 1,493

PostPosted: Sun 07 Oct, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a modern replica of an 18th century sword. This is a common style for Spanish decorative wallhangers. Unless sold as a generic rapier or sword, it's usually "King Charles 3rd sword", "Charles III sword", "Charles III rapier" or similar. (Charles III was King of Spain in the mid/late 18th century.)

Made in Spain, as a tourist/collector item. I have one in this general style, probably made in the 1970s. At that time, the replica sword market was much smaller, and these Toledo replicas were a big part of it (this, the Carlos V, and the El Cid swords being the most common).

The signs of it being a modern decorative wallhanger sword are:

Tang is threaded all the way (instead of just the end, for a screw-on pommel or pommel nut). It looks like a threaded rod has been welded on.

The blade is a flat sheet with edges ground on.

Often the blades are etched, but yours appears plain. Unusual to see a plain blade with an ornamented guard. These usually have a plain cup, made of sheet steel like yours. Sometimes the quillons and knucklebow and pommel are plain (my sword like this has plain ones, knucklebow and guard fabricated from steel rod, welded, and a lathe-turned pommel).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Chad A





Joined: 07 Oct 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone of the clarification. I plan on cleaning it up and hanging it on the wall since that's what its made for. Big Grin
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Likes: 16 pages

Posts: 354

PostPosted: Fri 12 Oct, 2012 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spanish wallhanger, I think these were around longer than we think, maybe even from just after WWII. They do bring some benfit, I buy them for a dime when I can, if the hilt is made entirely of steel, I use the parts to fit practice rapiers with an epee blade.
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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