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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri 06 Mar, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Small sword, river find         Reply with quote

Hi, bought this sword today from someone who told me he found it during dredging. What type of sword would it be?


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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nobody? I gues that it had ones the size of a roman gladius but it looks different though.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is the blade profile the same both sides?

I'd be very surprised at a roman iron age date. I'm tending to late 17th early 18th myself.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My immediate reaction is that this is reminiscent of later medieval types.

So possibly a variation on either (Oakeshott) Types XV or XVIII?

Could that be a reinforced tang for heavy hand-and-a-half use?
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry; I just noted the measurement... obviously no hand-and-a-half blade is going to be that small, even with the end being rusted/broken off. Interesting find.
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James Moore





Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If that thing's Roman, my name is Augustus.

Almost certainly a 17-18th C sword. And having looked more at the photos, I'm pretty certain its early 17th C.

Earlier than that? no chance.

Reasons for that assessment:
The shape of the blade profile, with the shoulders tapering in by about 5-8mm, to a rectangular block ricasso, with the very slight hollowgrind to the centreline in the strong of the blade. If its tapering to a lenticular section 10-15cm out from the ricasso, that is a classic, slightly wide 17th C smallsword style blade. More likely, I think that the diamond section has simply been lost to corrosion, and become vague. In which case, its a characteristic 17th C blade shape.

The ricasso block's shoulders would've been seated behind the projecting arms of a pair of guards as part of the hilt, (or encasing the hilt parts if its a later date) going by the usual fashions of hilts then. As a single-handed weapon, it would have had a tang of about 12- 15cm (5 - 5 1/2 inches), with about 25-30mm, (1 inch or so) that would've been inside the pommel, and which has broken off. That part of the tang might only be 5mm wide, perhaps rounded a bit. its no surprise the pommel would come away after years underwater - the rest of the blade clearly broke off in the same manner.

I would expect it was a blade similar to this one in the Wallace Collection, possibly changing to a lenticular shape along the profile.

Notice how its got the same sort of shoulders where it transitions to the ricasso, and also that little line scribed in the centre of the ricasso which matches that on the one found.


Also, this one is particularly relevant given your one's find-place; the Wallace collection describes it as:

Sword
Clement Horn (born 1580)
Hilt- Netherlands, blade- Solingen, Germany
c. 1610
Iron or steel
Length: 73 cm
Width: 5 cm
Weight: 0.92 kg
Maker's mark: Unicorn's head Clemens Horn of Solingen
A539
European Armoury II

Given the find-place of this one is the Netherlands, and the similarities, I think its the most likely suspect - a similar solingen blade, exported and hilted for someone around 1610.



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James Moore





Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and to explain what I meant about the scribed lines, I've just marked them in in red on this image for comparison.


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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sat 07 Mar, 2015 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! That must be it, looks very similar!
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 3:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Spot on bit of detective work there!
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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