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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 6:15 am    Post subject: Fischer Auction Report 2015         Reply with quote

Hello all.
Last month I once again I had the pleasure of doing a research trip to Fischer Auction House in Luzern, Switzerland.
I had hoped to get this out sooner, but I’ve been waylaid by a myriad of life’s obstacles.
A big thank you to Dr Stephan Mäder for his kindness and hospitality.

1117


North Central European
9th/10th Century
Blade Length: 79.8cm
Blade Width: 5.3cm
Hilt Length: 14.9cm
Cross Length: 11.5cm
Balance Point: 19.5cm from cross
Weight: 1.0995kg

1118-1121


1118
German or Italian
11th/12th Century
Blade Length: 85cm
Hilt Length: 16cm
Cross Length: 18.5cm
Balance Point: 14cm from cross
Weight: 0.9535kg

1119
German
1250/1300
Very light, flexible and well balanced!
Blade Length: 91.8cm
Blade Width: 5.4cm
Hilt Length: 22cm
Cross length: 24cm
Balance Point: 11.5cm from cross

1120
Hungarian
14th Century
Very Beefy!
Cleaned via electrolysis in the 1930/40s
Blade Length: 99.5cm
Hilt Length: 24cm
Cross Length: 23.1cm
Balance Point: 12cm from cross
Weight: 2.0065kg

1121
Central European
14th century
Blade Length: 88cm
Hilt Length: 18cm
Cross Length: 19.8cm
Balance Point: 13cm from cross
Weight: 1.1945kg

1122-1125


1122
German
1300/1350
Light and well balanced
Blade Length: 87cm
Hilt Length: 21cm
Cross Length: 20cm
Balance Point: 12cm
Weight: 1.3985kg

1123
German
14th Century
Cleaned via Electrolysis
Beefy, but well balanced and flexable
Blade Length: 96.2cm
Hilt Length: 26cm
Cross Length: 26.2cm
Balance Point: 8.5cm from cross
Weight: 1.858kg

1124
English
1350/1400
Thin and light. Blade droops slightly under its own weight.
Blade Length: 99.8cm
Hilt Length: 23.6cm
Cross Length: 22.8cm
Balance Point: 10cm from cross
Weight: 1.4945kg

1125
English or French (possible Castillon find)
Before 1453
Thick and blade-heavy
Blade Length: 73cm
Blade Thickness at Cross: 0.5cm
Hilt length: 14.5cm
Cross Length: 13cm
Balance Point: 16.5cm from cross
Weight: 0.996kg

1126

English or French (possible Castillon find)
Before 1453
Thick and blade-heavy
Blade Length: 80cm
Blade Thickness at Cross: 0.5cm
Hilt Length: 15cm
Cross Length: 16cm
Balance Point: 23cm from cross
Weight: 1.444kg

1128

English or French (Castillon find)
1st half of the 15th Century
Thick and heavy
Blade Length: 78.4cm
Blade Thickness at Cross: 0.5cm
Hilt Length: 16cm
Cross Length: 15.9cm
Balance Point: 7.5cm from cross
Weight: 1.555kg

1141

Northern Italian Ceremonial Sword
1510/1520
Blade Length: 90cm
Hilt Length: 29cm (including chape)
Cross Length: 26.5cm
Balance Point: 3cm from cross
Weight: 1.646kg

1147

German or Swiss
1500/1550
Very well balanced/quick
Blade Length: 94cm
Hilt Length: 27cm
Cross Length: 23.5cm
Balance Point: 7.5cm from cross
Weight: 1.620kg

1148

German/Swiss Saber
Around 1530
Sharpened swedge
Amazing balance
Blade Length: 92.7cm
Swedge Length: 34.7cm
Hilt Length: 20cm
Cross Length: 20.8cm
Balance Point: 14cm from cross
Weight: 1.494kg

Downloadable catalogue can be found here:
http://www.fischerauktionen.ch/downloads/kata...oid=157414

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately, my pictures were too large and plentiful so I had to remove them from my post.

You can find them here:

http://imgur.com/a/8g4Xp

http://imgur.com/a/RcBgu

http://imgur.com/a/HbsiD

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for posting these Derek. I have to say that 1120, 1121, and 1126 all have peaked my interest. The Swiss saber is also superb looking. Do you have access to the widths of the first three by chance?
Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So all these items sold September 15 at auction?
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Difficult to say for certain from the photos, but it is remarkable that at least five swords share a very unusual property: swords no. 1118, 1119, 1120, 1122 & 1126 all seems to have fullers that were forged to shape but not finished by grinding afterwards.

This is exceedingly rare in original pieces. I cannot remember seeing a single original sword that did not have all surfaces ground and finished after forging.
From the photos, it really looks like the fullers on these blades were never taken to a file, a grinding wheel or a stone to remove the irregularities from the forging tool.

-Peculiar would´t you say?

???
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Tim Harris
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek, thanks for the information.
I'm intrigued by your description of item 1124: "Thin and light. Blade droops slightly under its own weight." I made something that came out just like that recently. Australia is very poorly supplied with period weapons that non-academics can get to handle, so I was wondering about the prevalence of flexible blades in the past. How much flex did you find in the examples you noted?

https://www.facebook.com/TimHarrisSwords
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2015 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter,

This same problem affects the sword I purchased from them last year. I cannot recall the lot number of my sword off-hand, but the sword in question can be seen here (immediately to the right of the Viking sword): http://www.luegisland-scholars.com/apps/photo...195154289. Given that nearly every medieval fullered sword for sale at Fischer these days has this same problem, it looks as though a single forger or single workshop is producing fakes. In addition to the fuller, the appearance of the metal on my sword looks "funny" when compared with the close-up photos I've been looking at from The Sword: Form and Thought exhibition.

Given that my sword is almost certainly a fake, I wonder what I should do. I don't really want to send it back for the simple reason that it's too easy for the sword to be relisted with a different antique seller and ends up duping someone else in the process. I'm not sure if I can get a refund on the basis of this evidence.

Thoughts?
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Stefan Maeder




Location: Freiburg, Germany
Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear fellow swordsmen,

Like Mr. Wassom, you are welcome to take the opportunity to visit and handle the medieval swords that are delivered to my employer. Just make an appointment and I will take some time. I know that you, Peter, know the trickyness of judging by - even good- photos. However, if by the majority of more or less experienced sword-handlers it truly should be deemed one of the easier feats to cast doubt on the merchandise that we receive here by just viewing pictures I will gladly step aside and herewith encourage everybody to try to do my job significantly better. Please apply to: Dr. Kuno Fischer, c/o Galerie Fischer Auktionen AG, Haldenstrasse 19, CH 6006 Luzern.

In the meantime quite a few medieval swords in European museum collections, private collections, archaeological storages etc., have been handled by my undiscerning self. A note also to Mr. Peters and Peter: When following the corroded surface in the fullers of the swords 2014-1082, 1118, 1119, 1120, 1121, 1122, 1123, 1126 with the fingertips (which I did more than once) it is obvious that these have been treated in the same way as the other surfaces of the blade, i.e. ground and polished before being neglected for a longer space of time. These are definitely no products of Mr. Edward Pajewski of Stargard, Poland, or his colleagues who indeed age their unground/-polished replicas to a similar finish.
Some of the blades mentionned (also No 1180 from last year, Mr. Peters' weapon) come from a collection reliably assembled between 1930 and 1938 in Italy. These were cleaned shortly after apparently by the electrolytic method of choice until the 80s and already build up a new "Edelrost-" Patina. As I wanted to get more information three swords (last year's 1081, this year's 1119, 1120) were analyzed via non-destructive EDX-RF element analysis. There are no indicators for their having been made with modern material. What I have learned from the museum and self-dug archaeological pieces is that when viewed closely, hardly two corroded blades look the same and the preservation conditions can vary greatly even within one and the same grave. Unfortunately due to the work here which includes also firearms until 1869 I have hardly any time left any more to research and publish on one of my favorite fields, let alone spend much time on internet-forums. So please feel free to apply or at least use any chance to handle "real swords" of which there indeed is a too big variety. When on the free market most of the contents of the Hofruestkammer in Wien, the Musée de l' Armée etc. would be viewed with considerable scepticism to say the least. When seriously desired a hold on swords should also be possible in some US museums and the Oakeshott institute. It definitely is in Switzerland and Germany.
with best regards, sincerely, Stefan Maeder
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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
Thank you very much for posting these Derek. I have to say that 1120, 1121, and 1126 all have peaked my interest. The Swiss saber is also superb looking. Do you have access to the widths of the first three by chance?


Hello Scott.

Unfortunately I had limited time and neglected those measurements. They aren't listed in the catalogue either. Sorry!

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
So all these items sold September 15 at auction?


Hello J.

I assume so.

If they weren't sold I would also assume they will be up again next September.

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Harris wrote:
Derek, thanks for the information.
I'm intrigued by your description of item 1124: "Thin and light. Blade droops slightly under its own weight." I made something that came out just like that recently. Australia is very poorly supplied with period weapons that non-academics can get to handle, so I was wondering about the prevalence of flexible blades in the past. How much flex did you find in the examples you noted?


Hello Tim.

I know it's common to dismiss a lot modern swords as being "too whippy," and so on.

However, in my experience flexible swords like this were not uncommon (especially on two-handed/great swords).

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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Derek Wassom




Location: Fribourg, Switzerland
Joined: 25 Feb 2004

Posts: 96

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In response to the seemingly unfinished fullers:

Obviously my knowledge is dwarfed by both Peter and Stephan, but..

I can't say that when handling them in person nothing jumped out at me as odd, nor did I get the impression they were unfinished. Perhaps it's a trick of the lighting.

Craig, do you mind sending me pictures of your sword outlining your concerns?

wassomde(at)gmail(dot)com

Regards,
Derek Wassom
Luegisland Scholar
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek Wassom wrote:
J. Nicolaysen wrote:
So all these items sold September 15 at auction?


Hello J.

I assume so.

If they weren't sold I would also assume they will be up again next September.


Hi there,

I didn't see a price at auction for a few items including the swiss saber from your first post. I was curious if that one in particular sold and for how much. Thanks for the reply.
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James Moore





Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 61

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Peter,

This same problem affects the sword I purchased from them last year. I cannot recall the lot number of my sword off-hand, but the sword in question can be seen here (immediately to the right of the Viking sword): http://www.luegisland-scholars.com/apps/photo...195154289. Given that nearly every medieval fullered sword for sale at Fischer these days has this same problem, it looks as though a single forger or single workshop is producing fakes. In addition to the fuller, the appearance of the metal on my sword looks "funny" when compared with the close-up photos I've been looking at from The Sword: Form and Thought exhibition.

Given that my sword is almost certainly a fake, I wonder what I should do. I don't really want to send it back for the simple reason that it's too easy for the sword to be relisted with a different antique seller and ends up duping someone else in the process. I'm not sure if I can get a refund on the basis of this evidence.

Thoughts?


My first thought is, these details need to be raised.

My second thought is, these details should not be raised publicly, because I'll wager that if the suspicions are true, the workshop making them has already read this and will be acting accordingly for their future creations.

Catch-22, isnt it?
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek Wassom wrote:
Scott Kowalski wrote:
Thank you very much for posting these Derek. I have to say that 1120, 1121, and 1126 all have peaked my interest. The Swiss saber is also superb looking. Do you have access to the widths of the first three by chance?


Hello Scott.

Unfortunately I had limited time and neglected those measurements. They aren't listed in the catalogue either. Sorry!


That is okay Derek. Thank you for replying and posting the information and photographs that you did.

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Tim Harris
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 06 Sep 2006

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2015 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek Wassom wrote:

I know it's common to dismiss a lot modern swords as being "too whippy," and so on.

However, in my experience flexible swords like this were not uncommon (especially on two-handed/great swords).


Yes, and I've never completely understood that. From my own experience, flexible blades behave perfectly serviceably with the right edge alignment, and reward good technique. It's good to know that there is historical precedence in larger swords. Thanks.

https://www.facebook.com/TimHarrisSwords
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