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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Two-Handed Great Sword         Reply with quote

Are we showing off? Ok, here is a Two-Handed Great Sword.




Last edited by Dana Williams on Sat 20 Oct, 2012 3:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, who made this? What are dimensions and weight?
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe that this sword dates from the early 16th century. It has several markings, but I have only just started researching it. It weighs about 6 lb and is surprisingly well balanced.

Handle 15” long
Guard 14” wide
Blade 48” long
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wonder If that's the original furniture...

The flukes and rings seem redundant, plus the rings prevent you from grasping below the parrying flukes. I've never seen a blade so angular either, but then again, I haven't seen many originals so I have limited exposure.

Any data on the distal taper? Center of gravity? Does the diamond cross section thin out towards the point at all? It's a striking piece!

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I get some time I'll take some better photos.
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Peter Messent




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is an intriguing piece - I've never seen one with the flukes so close to the cross guard, nor have I seen flukes so basically triangular, which would initially make me question whether or not this is a status/ceremonial/dress sword - but then again, if the flukes are close enough to the cross that the hand cannot get betwixt them, then perhaps the downward curve on the flukes is unnecessary and they are purely ornamental. Regardless, it seems strange to have these seemingly impractical interpretations of practical features if it is indeed a fighting sword - and I have to say that to mine eyes at least, the hilt furniture looks contemporary and even built for the blade, even if they may not be original.


Beautiful sword, thank you for sharing.
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wish that I could tell you more about it. The sword hung from the ceiling of my fathers Museum of Weapons in St. Augustine. He had it for as long as I can remember. Recently I have been photographing some of his collection and putting the pictures up on-line. There is a link to the site in my profile.

The sword is relatively hard to photograph because of its size. I just wanted to throw up two quick shots when I saw a post that encouraged forum members to show off their long swords. I'll get around to taking some better shots when I finish with the 17th century Miquelet Locks that I am working on now.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could be a 19th century Victorian era reproduction ? That would still qualify as an antique of sorts.

It does seem to have an odd combination of features and " illogical design " proportions between the semi-complex guard and the flukes that are very close to the guard ?

Could make sense if an older blade with flukes had been re-hilted with the blade ricasso shortened to make a longer tang for a longer handle? ( Just speculation ) It does seem well proportioned as far as blade to handle ratio, but maybe the angular point means that it was also shortened at the pointy end ?

I think I remember seeing some original two handers with flukes very close to the guard making gripping the ricasso behind the flukes difficult if not impossible ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have seen triangular parrierhaken before, but not so close to finger protection and ridges of blade and haken crossing themselves between the haken look weird to me. Grip also don't look like 16th century. Overall I don't think this piece is a fighting sword, maybe not even ceremonial but probably 19th or early 20th century replica. (That's why I asked who made it, I thought it's rather obvious it's not a 16th century sword.)
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ya, I agree, it seems like a replica, based on how angular the whole body of the blade is.
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe these extra shots will help. Who is the definitive expert on Two-Handed Great Sword?













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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dana

Your mention of a Florida Museum Of Weapons had my gears sinning a bit but the outfit I was remembering was a Museum Of Arms in Miami. Digging out that catalog to be sure, I also looked through the pages and found (a bad shot of) another odd bladed decorator. Probably just coincidence but a "go figure" moment anyway for two Florida collections with odd swords Wink

Cheers

GC



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James Moore





Joined: 27 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it strikes me as particularly iffy looking, the angular nature of the entire thing, particularly the blade point and the cross arms look wrong. So I'd be very inclined to say victorian era replica at best.

that said, the markings on the blunt ricasso are the two arms of Milan. - serpent/dragon swallowing a man, and a st george's cross. that might help to trace its origins, but i'd be very surprised if they go back more than 150 years.
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks James, the marking info really helps. It may well turn out to be a Victorian Era replica. I have some of those, one is a Main Gauche form of parring dagger. The Two-Handed Great Sword just looks like it has more age on it. I need to look at a few more contemporary examples.
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it looks like its very outside of the two hander pattern. the parierhaken resemble something like the iberian two handers or the early german ones, their parierhaken is usually close to the hilt only about a hands length apart. but i see a lot of inconsistencies with other period two handers.

first off, parierhaken don't look to be beveled or sharp looking at all and here it looks like their other blades, their function is to protect - not be used offensively.
the ricaso is far to small. the iberian swords i've looked over have a ricasso extending far beyond the parierhaken, the same is true for the german style two hander.
the tip of the sword has a really acute angle to it. the iberian sword is usually a rounded tip, late german examples come to a rather blunt tip because they were made more to cut than thrust.
i don't have a problem with a diamond cross section, but it begins too early in the blade. if the sword did not have parierhaken i wouldn't see a problem with this.
the quillons look a little short for a sword of its size, and the quillon rings look like its more from a hand and half rather than two hander.
i do love the grip and its style, but it looks far to fancy to be piratical.

i'd like to know the distal taper for the sword, i think that's going to tell more than just the looks of it. for a sword of its size 63 inches is right in the butter zone for two hander, so you'd be looking for a taper starting from about 6mm - 9mm tapering to the tip to about 2.5mm - 5mm. of course that still doesn't tell us if the sword is an original but would tell us if the sword was built around the specs of an original.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Disregarding the components of the hilt themselves, it is not assembled in a fashion that lends it to be very old.

If you can, please show the butt end of the pommel and how it is fastened. What is the projected diameter of that tang end? Does it unscrew?

The fit between the grip and guard is not done in a swordlike fashion. More like a a ferrule and grip on a chisel. There is no flow to that fit and shows it was never made with real fuctin in mind aside from being a bearing sword or decoration. Despite the angular cross section of the grip, the terminus on each end of that is quite round. This is (again) not sensible sword construction 101 for the 15th/16th (or earlier).

Disregard overall condition as well but note how fresh that turned grip looks under enlargement. Instead of condition, look how the sword is put together and showing an example matching in its proposed period.

Cheers

GC
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Dana Williams




Location: Florida
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I measured the width of the blade as .2” (approx 5.08mm) just below the parierhaken and .12” (approx 3.05mm) just above where the the blade begins to curve to a point.

The diameter of that tang end is .42” (approx 10.67mm). The tang doesn’t unscrew. What may look like threads at the base of the Tang and Pommel in the photos are circular decorations.





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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me ask this a different way then, as I am still not sure what I am seeing. What is the thickness of the blade at the guard? You mention 5mm +

When you write that the tang end is 10mm, do you mean the button or blade/tang end?

If the blade thickness is not 10mm thick, something doesn't exactly jive, if you get my drift. 10mm being a bit more than 3/8". 0.42" is fine as well but 5.08mm blade thickness does not a 10mm tang make. The thinness of the blade 9and I doubt there is much distal but you can measure that) also shows a sword build that does not resemble historic examples of swords this size.

Cheers

GC
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Dana Williams




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry I misunderstood what you were asking. The diameter of the button is .42”, the blade thickness of the blade at the guard is about .23". It is a little hard to measure. Most of the blade has a diamond profile. At it's thickest point below and above the parierhaken it is about .20".
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my experience, original grips are very, very rare. Most have been replaced, so it is not a good idea to pay much attention to whether the grip is original or not when evaluating whether a sword is old or not. I would say that there are plenty of other reasons to be suspicious of the piece.
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