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Levente M.




Location: Hungary
Joined: 19 Aug 2009

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jul, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Viking swords, inscription and pattern welding         Reply with quote

Almost all the viking swords I saw in books or on the internet are either pattern welded or have some sort of inscription. Petersen type F, G and M are exceptions, but it's true for most others (especially the swords with fancy hilts).
Lots of reproductions however, have simple hilt elements and no pattern welding/inscription. Is this just to decrease cost?
Or are there any (original) simpler versions of, let's say Petersen type S hilts? Are there fancy hilts with a blade that isn't pattern welded or doesnt't have an inscription?

All the later Petersen type X swords, and early medieval "brazil nut" swords, I saw have, some sort of inscription. Does anyone know/have any pictures of type X/Brazil nut swords with NO inscripton?
Thanks!
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jul, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The lack of inlay and/or pattern welding on reproductions of this period is one of the major faults with most modern repros IMO. It is almost certainly due to cost and difficulty. That said, I have included a couple of Pet type X without inlay from Geibig's book... There are also Brazil Nut examples without any inlay in the Geibig's book.

http://livinghistory.cz/~sidney/Zbrane/swords...at0057.jpg

http://livinghistory.cz/~sidney/Zbrane/swords...at0168.jpg

However, if you are trying to have a sword representative of the period, IMO it should have inlay (either on the blade and/or inlaid decoration on the hilt) or a pattern-welded blade as that is more common than a sword without any inlay. Though there are examples to be found without any, the norm is inlaid.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Levente M.




Location: Hungary
Joined: 19 Aug 2009

Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's what I thought.
I found some without inlays too, but inlayed blades are more common, at least in books.
I plan on having a brazil nut type x made, probably with an Ingelrii inlay. I need to do more research though.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

High quality blades with fancy decoration tend to get passed down to the next generation while typical working swords are more likely to be discarded in favour of the latest fashion. Just because we have a lot of inlaid swords today, doesn't mean that most of them were like this when they were in use.
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
High quality blades with fancy decoration tend to get passed down to the next generation while typical working swords are more likely to be discarded in favour of the latest fashion. Just because we have a lot of inlaid swords today, doesn't mean that most of them were like this when they were in use.

Doesn't mean they're not either though... What you're stating here is purely you're own conjecture. All we have to go on is the evidence we have, and that seems to indicate inlay was common in all different find contexts.

ETA: Also I think Dr. Williams work has clearly shown that just as many of the inlaid blades were low quality. In fact inlay can be found on swords across the spectrum which would seem to point to them not being exclusive to high quality expensive swords.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine


Last edited by Robin Smith on Wed 03 Jul, 2013 6:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Levente M. wrote:
That's what I thought.
I found some without inlays too, but inlayed blades are more common, at least in books.
I plan on having a brazil nut type x made, probably with an Ingelrii inlay. I need to do more research though.
I have a spot with Robert Moc coming up very soon for a Tea Cozy pommeled INGEL-group variant. I'll post a thread here when its done...
A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jul, 2013 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
Also I think Dr. Williams work has clearly shown that just as many of the inlaid blades were low quality. In fact inlay can be found on swords across the spectrum which would seem to point to them not being exclusive to high quality expensive swords.

What I meant to say was "high quality blades and those with fancy decoration..."
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
Joined: 14 Feb 2011
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Posts: 233

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jul, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reading Ian Pierce's "Swords of the Viking Age" and Ewart Oakschott's "Archaeology of Weapons" it seems most Viking sword finds have highly decorated hilts and pommels, either inlay or the addition of decorative metals beaten onto bade metals, and/or the addition of other decorative materials. The finds where the base metals are no longer in evidence show the preparatory working of the base metal to accept the covering. Most reproductions do not have this feature, but some will sport a representation of the preparatory work as though it were the finished surface. The contributions of cost, ability, and required effort to this fact is self evident. However, some hilts with inlay can be found in some lower price point reproductions, but as is commonly true of these types of swords historical accuracy is sacrificed in many areas to bring a lower cost product to market. Better reproductions are available, usually more in the custom arena where cost and wait times are greater than the production repros. Pattern welded and inlay blades also seem to follow the same general availability/cost/quality scenario in the reproduction market.
Perhaps like many here I've had far more opportunity to learn by reading books and viewing the research of others than to actually see or handle period swords........
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