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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 12:54 pm    Post subject: need help identifying antique fencing swords (pics updated)         Reply with quote

I recently obtained these for helping a friend move out of his house. The place belonged to his grandfather whom originally lived in Italy during the WWII era so there was lots of antiques and photographs from this era in the house hold. Can anyone help me by naming a manufacturer or craftsmen for these fencing swords?

0150209_161818_hdr_zpsa8135c0e.jpg.html][/URL]




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I'm having trouble uploading pictures with few enough pixels for this forum yet clear enough to see


Last edited by Thomas Walsh on Mon 09 Feb, 2015 6:51 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hope you don't mind these pictures in separate messages I can't figure out how to do it on my tablet
They are each about 43 inches long





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Last edited by Thomas Walsh on Mon 09 Feb, 2015 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can't tell much from the quality of those pics, but, from the look of the 2nd one, they remind me very much of the sort of touristy "Sword-Like -Objects" you could pick up at any flea market in Spain in the 1960's. And probably still can today. In NO way could they be considered usable "weapons" Happy
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oops..duplicate post, please disregard this Sad
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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They stick to a magnet so I assume they are made of steel except the knob on the end of the handle I believe is brass
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 619

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, they're clearly not made to be functional weapons, given the flattened tips, but I also suspect that they're not really meant to be serious fencing foils, either, since those tend to get scratched up and your weapons are just a bit too pretty for that. My vote is for decorative versions of the sporting implements. They're nice looking foils, but if you're a fencer, I'd be very cautious about using them. They might be made of steel, but they may not have been tempered to withstand the rigors of a fencing bout.

Also, they may have come from Italy, but that hilt configuration is actually French. Just thought you should know. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 619

PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2015 9:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that I think of it, a cord on the hilt might be like the straps that are usually used with the Italian foil (it secures the hilt to the wrist), but it's missing the rings on the underside of the guard that one usually sees along with it. If it's decorative, the issue of nationality is moot, but it may point you in the right direction for further research.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At least we can all agree that they are fencing swords, right? wether they were meant to be used or not is a different story. Do you think I might have better luck on a fencing forum?
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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Posts: 619

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are absolutely, 100%, no doubt whatsoever fencing foils. Not epees or sabers, and certainly not smallswords or rapiers, but definitely foils. You can tell by the shallow guard and square cross section of the blade. The hilt looks French, but that has nothing to do with where they might have been made, it's just a style. I agree with an aforementioned opinion that they look like the sort of thing you can get for cheap in many tourist markets throughout Europe. The usual way to tell by whom a fencing weapon was made is to look at the blade close to the guard. It will say something like FRANCE LAMES or have a distinctive makers mark. That sort of thing is like the Nike swoosh; if there isn't anything like that, its a good sign the maker didn't care who knew that was his work, and that says tourist souvenir, not antique.

You can try a fencing forum, but I doubt you'd have better luck there. I am a fencer, and mostly that crowd only cares about things they can use in their sport. This is perhaps the best historical site going, and we mostly care about authentic pieces, good recreations of authentic pieces, and the martial arts used back in the proverbial day. Since there appears to be no brand, and barring some wild coincidence such as someone else having the exact same ones and being able to recall exactly where they bought them, tracking down the maker might be difficult or impossible. If you're wondering what they might be worth, I'd say not a whole lot. They might give better value hung dramatically over a fireplace and serving as the starting point for stories at parties than for any money they might bring. Ultimately, with this sort of thing, it doesn't really matter who made it since it is neither an antique, nor an accurate recreation of an antique, nor a practical implement for fencing. I would just enjoy them for what they are or give them to any precocious nephews or nieces you might have to earn cool uncle points.

Then again, I could be dead wrong. Perhaps they really are the final masterwork of a renown swordsmith, made for Aldo Nadi himself, but tragedy befell and the poor man died before he could sign his greatest creation, and the smith's own nephew was a bitter rival of Nadi's, and stole them before Nadi could arrive, secreting them away in a Gypsy caravan where they eventually arrived at a night market in Florence. You may have a genuine treasure there. And if not, and you need a story to tell when they're hanging above the fireplace, feel free to use mine. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A little Google-Fu found this old thread here at myArmoury:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=20423&view=next


and this sales site:

http://getasword.com/fencing-sword/2320-frenc...raved.html

Not identical swords, but the detailing on the cups and the blade of the new item suggest shared production. Looks like you've got some older generation of a Spanish-made (probably genuinely made in Spain, at some point, although heaven only knows where they are actually made these days) decorative product line. If they are older than the 1970's they might be antecedents to the Marto company that still sells stuff like this today.

I think Sam is spot on here - value them not with the wallet but with the eye and the heart. Even old tourist knock-offs accumulate cool factor as they patina, survive the years, and their origins are half-forgotten (and half-invented Happy ).

-Eric
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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lol carp I was really hoping I'd be able to trade them for a Japanese sword but based on what your telling me no one is going to go through the trouble to trade one fake item for another

Last edited by Thomas Walsh on Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Thomas Walsh




Location: long island
Joined: 09 Feb 2015

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2015 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hidden in the crazy markings it says spain toledo
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