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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: C20317 - The Steinvik Nordland Sword         Reply with quote

As some of you know my period of particular interest is the High Medieval period. It's what I study when I have spare time etc. However, as a modern scabbard maker I have discovered that I don't have the luxury of focusing on a single period in time. Today I am building a scabbard for an Oakeshott Type XVIIIe, tomorrow it's a Petersen Type L, the day after that it's an Urnfield bronze sword and next week I've got a swept hilt rapier to work on. As your swords come into the shop my interests become ever more diffused, and to some degree have become as varied as those of my customers. That doesn't mean I know as much about Maintz style gladii as you do and no doubt some of the finer points of that falcata continue to elude me, but I still have to know at least something about your sword, how it was used and the historical context to have a chance of building a scabbard that is at least passably acceptable. Inevitably this means that I become enamored of sword types that I never considered before which sometimes leads to... well you will see below... Happy

A few years back I purchased Mr. Pierce's excellent book Swords of the Viking Age. In many ways it's what Records of the Medieval Sword is for medieval swords... but with better measurements and more precision. I have found it an invaluable resource. In particular I was fascinated by the Steinvik Nordland sword (if I can presumptiously name it after its find place) or catalogue number C20317 from the Universitetets Oldsaksamling, Oslo if you had rather I didn't. I thought it was a beautiful piece and couldn't help wondering what it would have looked like new.





About two years ago I worked on a group of Viking style scabbards. It wasn't by design, but by happenstance I ended up doing about a half dozen scabbards for various viking style swords, seaxes and even an A&A Danish ax. This got me to thinking I really needed to add a "Viking sword" to my collection. One of the current production pieces available from some of the better production outfits would probably have been fine... but I just couldn't help thinking that for just a little more money I could get something special. In June of 2012 I made my annual pilgrimage to the Blade Show in Atlanta. As is usually the case I spent most of my time talking to the ever patient Mr. Vince Evans and his wonderful wife Grace. Mr. Evans has been a veritable fount of information over the years. Many of the best research books I have found result directly from pointers that he and Grace have given me. He's always discovering something new in some moldy basement of some museum somewhere and he is always willing to share his hard found knowledge. I've no doubt that I've had both he and Grace shaking their heads in bemusement sometimes but they are always kind, always helpful and in a few words "good people." On this particular occasion I was taking a peek at the latest award winning Viking sword he had on display (already long before sold). As usual I was trying not to drool to much and asking some technical questions. I mentioned that I hadn't managed to find a Viking sword that struck my fancy just yet when out of the blue Mr. Evans said "I'll build you a Viking sword if you want." I was floored. Mr. Evans doesn't do that many swords a year, and the ones he does do, are usually sold well before he ever comes to an event. Of course I took him up on his offer.

We corresponded on and off over the next year, but I knew he wasn't going to get to the piece until this fall. This fall he got started and asked a question about a preference every now and then. Honestly, with the exception of the grip I pretty much left everything up to him, knowing that when a customer allows me my head I do my best work. Finally he told me it was done and ready to ship. I sent my address and he said it would be there on Wednesday. It was a busy week of work and honestly the whole thing kind of slipped my mind. I got home that Wednesday and noticed a sword box in the foyer but didn't think much of it, sword shaped boxes showing up are normal routine at my house. I didn't even bother opening the box I had other things going on that evening. At about 1:00 in the morning I sat bolt upright in bed. I remembered! About five minutes later I was opening the box... and this is what I found:






I was of course speechless (not that you can tell it from the length of this post). If you had any doubts, Mr. Evans is an artist of incredible talent (or the proud owner of a time machine take your pick). The fancy I had to pick up a Viking sword fueled by those of you that sent me swords for scabbarding ended up being the genesis for the premier piece in my collection.



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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am now absolutely convinced that Mr. Vince Evans has a time machine secreted away in his shop.

There are many other members of myArmoury that much more qualified than I to comment on the beauty of this weapon and its particular qualities. A simple "wow" is not appropriate, yet I lack the eloquence to properly convey my thoughts.

I'm simply stunned. Mr. Ellis, you are very fortunate indeed!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Greg E




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My my my. That is a work of art, not just a weapon. I envy you for receiving that sword. But i envy Mr. Evans more for being able to make such a piece. Thank you for sharing and giving me something to think about when I go to bed in a few minutes.
Bravo!!
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Jerry Monaghan




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Russ.
That is an really nice sword worthy of an Viking King congratulations on your new art work.
Wonderful blade and fine metal work really envious fantastic work Vince.

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Mike Jia
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Location: Canberra
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is just unreal. It's literally so unbelievably beautiful that I'm scared to look away in case it disappears. Can't imagine what it must feel like to see it in person Eek!
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Dec, 2013 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Russ. That's an amazing piece anyone would be proud to own. A perfect combination of form, artistry and function. In other words, typically Vince Evans.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 4:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Russ. I've also always been a big fan of the original. I am pretty sure it is my favorite Viking sword. The original really must have been owned by someone very important. All the inlay and decoration is excellent. Plus I just love the shape of the pommel and guard. One day I need to have one of those made for me. For now I just have the old MRL Ragnar's sword modeled after the same original with a Del Tin blade. Thanks for posting the great pics!
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's sort of humbling in a way to own a piece like this. I feel like a caretaker more than an owner really. This one gets a scabbard. Ironically most of my swords don't have them (the shoemakers children go shoeless and all that). However, this one I'm going to have to go all out on. At some point I'll be posting some pictures again! Happy Thanks for your kind words guys, I'm sure Mr. and Mrs. Evans are appreciative that their hard work is recognized.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We will now have to call you King Russ I. Only a king gets to have a sword like that.
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very very nice! Vince never fails to impress... I love the collar in the middle of the grip. Funny how a little detail like that can bring a whole piece together.

Bet you won't touch it without white gloves on Laughing Out Loud

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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That is a gorgeous sword! I've always wanted to see a good repro of that sword too! Now you have to make a scabbard worthy for this sword and show us the whole kit when it's done!
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow - that's my favorite sword in Pierce's book, and this is a splendid rendition. Can you provide some quantitative data? The original was quite huge as Viking swords go. -JD
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm just speechless!
The words are not enough to express the feelings I got - that's why it's better only to look at the pictures more and more.

Congratulations for this wonderful masterpiece, Russ - I'm waiting to see the scabbard also.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
We will now have to call you King Russ I. Only a king gets to have a sword like that.


Shhh... don't tell anyone they'll take it away from me. According to my geneology I come from a long line of peasants. Happy

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:
Very very nice! Vince never fails to impress... I love the collar in the middle of the grip. Funny how a little detail like that can bring a whole piece together.

Bet you won't touch it without white gloves on Laughing Out Loud


Mr. Evans is Mr. Detail. He said he did have to get out the Optivisor for this project though!

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Dec, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Wow - that's my favorite sword in Pierce's book, and this is a splendid rendition. Can you provide some quantitative data? The original was quite huge as Viking swords go. -JD


I can, and I should have done it last night, honestly after typing all that and taking the pictures and everything I got lazy. I'll do it up for you and let you know the stats. I can say that it is by far and away the largest "Viking" sword that I've ever held, I asked Mr. Evans about that and he said he tried to conform to the statistics in the book as nearly as possible taking some liberties to extrapolate the pristine rather than the perished blade of course.

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Robert Môc
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Dec, 2013 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is one of my favourite swords.Really nice sword and beautiful work.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Dec, 2013 6:05 am    Post subject: C20317 - The Steinvik Nordland Sword         Reply with quote

This reproduction of the Steinvik Nordland sword looks great and one thing that is the centre of my attention is none other than the patterns of the blade itself. Surprised

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 10:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay the vital statistics for any of you that are interested.

Overall length: 39 inches (basically dead on the original)
Blade length: 32.5 inches (again basically dead on)
POB: 8 inches (impossible to tell on the orginal since it is so perished)
Weight: 3.1 lbs (again can't tell what the original was
Pommel/Cross: Petersen Type 1
Blade: Geibig 2
Width at tip: 1.5 inches
Center of Percussion: 22.5 inches from cross

I will say that in handling the sword is very much weighted forward as you can probably tell from the Balance Point. Thati is quite different then any of the other reproductions I have held.

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: C20317 - The Steinvik Nordland Sword         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
This reproduction of the Steinvik Nordland sword looks great and one thing that is the centre of my attention is none other than the patterns of the blade itself. Surprised ]


It is easy to overlook the blade because of the fittings but you are correct, the pattern welding is very nice. Mr. Evans is a master at that, and was even able to reproduce the pattern of the Sutton Hoo sword which to my knowledge no one else had figured out how to do.

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