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James W Rogers




Location: England
Joined: 16 Sep 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: 15th century fireplace find.         Reply with quote

whilst doing some minor alterations to a 15th century fireplace about 5 years ago i found this piece of sword being used as a lintel. it was bedded in lime mortar and also exposed to fire, so was quite badly corroded. after a lot of careful soaking and cleaning i managed to find some markings but so far have not had any luck identifying, so was wondering if anyone has any ideas, i've highlighted as much of the markings with black pen as possible! any info greatly appreciated.

http://imageshack.us/g/1/9921097/
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! What an amazing find. This was found in England? It certainly looks like an authentic 15th-16th C sword. The markings in the fuller look like either "running wolf" or "unicorn." I have never seen a marking like the one past the end of the fullers. The sword shows some distinct similarities to some Italian swords of the very early 16th C, paricularly this one http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=italian Interesting that it has a narrow but short ricasso. It does not seem to really fit any of the Oakeshott types but shows characteristics of types XVIIIe and XIX. Could be 15th C, but if so it was well ahead of the fashion curve. My gut tells me it is from the first few decades of the 16th C. Perhaps a 16th C repair to a 15th C fireplace? It is also interesting how the fullers run out at the shoulders, as though the shoulders were recut out of the ricasso. Perhaps someone altered their Italian XVIIIe longsword to be more like a type XIX single-hander?
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James W Rogers




Location: England
Joined: 16 Sep 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply scott, very interesting. It was found in Essex, England in a niche of a massive open brick and lime mortar built fireplace of a 15th century thatched cottage, the blade looks well used and damaged before the detrimental effects of the heat and lime, has lots of other dents from contact with other blades, which i find quite exciting! But now i'm wondering if it was made more locally as this might account for characteristics of the ricasso and the 'what appears to be an as yet unknown makers mark. but your info has opened a few more avenues to investigate so many thanks, i appreciate the time and effort on your behalf.
The marking at the bottom end of the fuller is a cross with dots at its terminals and small curves top and bottom similar to a mariners anchor mark, i did find a reference to this once and it did fit a certain period but as yet haven't been able to find it again!
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me of this sword from another ongoing thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=
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James W Rogers




Location: England
Joined: 16 Sep 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Luka, that is so similar and the closest match ive seen so far, apart from the fullering on the ricasso, but cant find a bigger picture to tell what the rest of the blade looks like, might have to bite the bullet and take a trip to leeds to see it for myself.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,229

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it does seem there is a lack of full length pictures of this interesting sword, so some new pictures would be very welcome in our community. Happy
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