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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Apr, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Where to see the best 10th-12th century swords?         Reply with quote

I may be going to Europe in a few months. What is the best museum for viewing 10th-12th century swords? Any country... I just want to see a lot of good stuff. I will be in London for work so please mention someplace other than London as I intend to visit the museums there...
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Hr, Skane
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I live reasonably close to Copenhagen, and can really recommend the National museum http://natmus.dk/ of antiquities there.
While the amount of swords from your period is not over the top (Their exibit of swords of the medieval era has some interesting specimens, but classification and dating seem to be done a long time ago and might not be perfectly up to date)

What they do have, however is an absolutely superb collection of iron age and bronze age findings. Denmark, as a flat and boggy wetland seem to have swallowed entire generations whole, and then spitting them out for archaeologists to collect for us to see later on :-)

If you have any sort of interest in the germanic iron age, or earlier era, it is fantastic venue. In denmark you will also have the museum of Moesgard, I have not been there myself yet, but for viking age it is supposed to be rather splendid. Also I think the finds from illerup and kragehul is displayed there. http://www.moesmus.dk/da/udstillinger/vikingemuseet/

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But Tim, London IS a good place you know?... Happy

I don't know how many swords are needed for you to find a journey worthwhile, but there are some at the viking exhibit at Historiska museet here in Stockholm, Sweden.

http://www.historiska.se/home/exhibitions/vikings/

There's about 10 viking age swords on display varying from huge brutes to tiny short or "child sized" sword specimens. If you contact the curators well ahead of time and explain your research, you can probably schedule a private viewing of some more that are not on display. They have remains from hundreds in the archives, though most are just pieces and not complete swords.


If you visit Paris there's the Cluny (aka Muse de moyen Age) of course. Mostly medieval religious artifacts, but they have a Frankish Merovingian sword or two on display in a special pre-medieval section (I know, earlier than you wanted though). Lovely museum but like I said, mostly medieval stuff.

Then the Louvre has the "Sword of Charlemagne". Could be way later age of course, but under all the extra frills it seemed to me there's a type X gaddhjalt. Well you might know a lot more about that than me. Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Christian Borglum




Location: California
Joined: 21 Feb 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Tim,

The National Museum of Ireland has a very nice collection of 10th to 12th century swords at their Archeological wing on Kildare St. in Dublin. When I was there in 09', they were displaying an awesome exhibit about the Viking age in Ireland. As I understood it, some of the swords on display then were loaned to the exhibit from other museums, but the majority belonged to the National Museum. The collection of artifacts is really good for your time period. I highly recomend it.

Cheers!

Christian
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Apr, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan-

Oh, I'll be at the British Museum and the Wallace collection for sure.

Thanks everyone else!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Apr, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to second the National Museum of Ireland. It has one of the best collections of Viking and slightly later swords I've come across.

In the Netherlands, the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden is probably the most interesting. Website: www.rmo.nl

And perhaps it's a bit out of your way, but the Moravian Museum in Brno is also highly recommended.

If you do visit the Netherlands, send me a PM.

Btw, you can "preview" many museums through Jeroen Zuiderwijk's museum photo website: http://1501bc.com/page/index2.html
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