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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Musée de l'Armée J4 reproduction?         Reply with quote

Has anyone ever reproduced the sword from the Musée de l'Armée with the accession number J4?
This sword is mentioned on page 230 of Oakeshott's Records and in more detail on 142 in Peirce's Swords of the Viking Age

It is a type X dating probably to the early 12th century. The blade is especially broad for it's length, which makes the grip seem almost short, I find the overall effect rather striking. The grip itself is wood, wrapped in silver wire, with silver bands/ferrules and each end. Oakeshott says that despite it's size (and weight), it is well balanced.
Peirce has the more accurate dimensions I believe:
OAL: 85cm
BL: 72cm
LOC:19.9cm
LOG: 8cm

The blade width is about 3 inches at the hilt. Oakeshott gives the weight as about 3 3/4lbs, he says the blade is very thin and well balanced.

Does anyone know if a reproduction of this sword has ever been made? I am very tempted myself to find someone who would be willing to make a copy.

I've attached some pictures that Manouchehr Korasani was kind enough to upload to myArmoury from his visit to the Musée de l'Armée. There are more detailed photographs in Peirce's book, but I'm sure they are copyrighted.



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'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Thu 14 Nov, 2013 5:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always loved that sword and hope you do get it made and post lots of pics!
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Nov, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is the first I've seen of this sword. Damn, what a blade!...............McM
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D. Bell




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Nov, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is on my wishlist, but I have not seen a reproduction of it.
An armed society is a polite society.
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Nov, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Michael Pikula did one that was similar to this a few years back. Though I don't think it was an exact reproduction.
“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Nov, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Corbin wrote:
I think Michael Pikula did one that was similar to this a few years back. Though I don't think it was an exact reproduction.


He did a very broad bladed type XIII a few years ago. I'll bet that's the one you're thinking of. It was different but reminded me of this blade too.
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Márk György Kis





Joined: 02 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Nov, 2013 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Holy moly!

I will order this sword from my friend soon, it seems so cool.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Nov, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, I've seen pictures of that sword and it appears in SWORDS OF THE VIKING AGE by Ian Peirce. I've always wondered how it wound feel and handle it's so very different than any other swords of that time that I know about.

I also can't help but wonder how it came to be. Did some swordsman ask a smith to make a sword to a sketch of a model or bib a smith"invent" this sword himself? This, of course, is an almost impossible question to answer but is the one I always wonder about when I see this sword.

I doubt that this sword would have enough general market appeal to ever be mass produced but I have to admit I would be very curious to get the feel of a replica if one was ever available.
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Nov, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My hunch is that it was the early equivalent of a parade sword. That is, it was a sword for display, and not actual use.... This is just my own personal speculation, mostly based on the oddness of the blade and the silver wire wrap and silver ferrules.

No way of knowing, just my theory...

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Nov, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
My hunch is that it was the early equivalent of a parade sword. That is, it was a sword for display, and not actual use.... This is just my own personal speculation, mostly based on the oddness of the blade and the silver wire wrap and silver ferrules.

No way of knowing, just my theory...


Hey Robin,

I've thought that it might have been a ceremonial piece as well, but what is odd if that were the case, is the effort that went in to making it balanced. For example, it supposedly has an acute distal taper, with the metal being quite thin at the point, as well as a very generous fuller. If it wasn't meant to be swung, why bother balancing it or refining the blade profile?


EDIT: Just re-read Peirce's description. He also says the blade has well-defined cutting edges with 'evidence of much use'.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Nov, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps a re-hilted, older blade?
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Nov, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't imagine that there would be much mass market appeal for such a piece but it would be interesting to know how a reproduction handled. I also wonder about it being a presentation or bearng sword. Typically those are a bit more impressive in terms of visual impact.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Nov, 2013 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe this sword handles well. It's short and wide blade combined with shortness and dramatic distal taper might very well make it very fast...
And I doubt it is 3.75lb. Oakeshott gave the wrong dimensions, perhaps wrong weight too...
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Nov, 2013 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Perhaps a re-hilted, older blade?


It is possible, Oakshott had heard that the grip had been replaced, but he felt the current grip was 'ancient'.

Luka Borscak wrote:
I believe this sword handles well. It's short and wide blade combined with shortness and dramatic distal taper might very well make it very fast...
And I doubt it is 3.75lb. Oakeshott gave the wrong dimensions, perhaps wrong weight too...


I've also wondered about that. I believe when Oakshott included it in Records he was working from memory and sketches he drew. He got the dimensions wrong as a result (he recalled it was much larger than it actually is), I wonder if it is possible that he 'estimated' the weight and was off. I wish Peirce had been able to weigh it when he collected his, more accurate, measurements.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword in the Arma Bohemia catalog looks like it might have been inspired by the same sword. Or maybe by Oakeshott's oversized rendition (I don't know le Duc's book cited below):

http://www.armabohemia.cz/imgnew/epees/epees/mec6_v.jpg

Description:

copy of a broad 1-hand sword,
France, 2nd half XII th century.
length: 95 cm, blade very broad (8cm), sharp
described in Viollet le Duc´s ENCYCLOPÉDIE MÉDIÉVALE

smaller version
length: 90 cm, blade broad 5cm.
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