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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2015 8:02 pm    Post subject: Swords based on Greco-Roman and Neoclassical sculpture         Reply with quote

I wonder if somebody here can make swords based on both Greco-Roman and Neoclassical sculpture. How do they look like? They have rectangular guards and spherical pommels. Some of them have coiled guards as in the sword held by Horatio Greenough's George Washington statue. Here are some photos for reference and to swordmakers out there, please make the blades longer. Wink

George Washington


Ludovisi Gaul




Arc de Triomphe


Hadrian

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

- Marcus Aurelius


Last edited by Shahril Dzulkifli on Wed 18 Nov, 2015 4:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Nov, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, a couple of things:

--First, the statue you call 'Dying Gaul' isn't. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dying_Gaul

What you display is actually the Ludovisi Gaul. And its Gaul-ness is questionable :P

--Secondly. Many, many, MANY of the Hellenistic statues we have were 'restored' back when they were discovered, generally during the Renaissance period in Europe. Often they were dug up in somewhat fragmentary condition, missing pieces here and there. It is quite possible, if not probable, that most swords, being easily broken parts, would have been replaced with contemporary depictions of what they believed to be period appropriate weapons. See Benevenuto Cellini's statue of Persus with Medusa; Persus, a Grecian mythological hero, bears a rather anachronistic falchion.

It's also possible that when original, the statues bore metal weapons. They were certainly painted back in the day, and metal trimmings were common-- there's a statue of Augustus with an iron rod in its hand, as I recall. It's quite possible that swords may have been a separate piece made of cast bronze or whatever added onto the statue, as they may not have wanted to carve the stone too much. These metal pieces would have corroded away or been stolen for scrap over time. When dug up, the Renaissance patrons would have wanted these weapons restored as well.

Along those lines, most modern Greco-Roman styled statues like the one of Washington copy the Renaissance restorations of sculpture, including the incorrect weapons. Unfortunate, but what can you do.
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Nov, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think your answer can be found in what are known as "artillery swords". These were 'modeled' (loosely!) after the popular conception of classical swords during the 1800's. You may also look for theatrical swords dating from the same time period (which have the same inspiration as the artillery sword), and a few fraternal organizations used stylized "classical" swords for ceremonial use.

As noted, none of these actually represent real swords from the ancient era. If you are still interested, google "artillery sword".

David K. Wilson, Jr.
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Nov, 2015 4:53 am    Post subject: Swords based on Greco-Roman and Neoclassical sculpture         Reply with quote

Actually I was wondering if we could turn those swords into real ones.
Wouldn't that be great? Wink

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

- Marcus Aurelius
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Jerry Monaghan




Location: melbourne australia
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2015 12:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi
Are you going to buy one I would love to see it.

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2015 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are links to a few 'artillery sword' reproductions along these lines from Kult of Athena. You can see the Neoclassical interpretation of a gladius fairly clearly in the form of the blade and hilt design.

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=AH3116

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=USD206

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=USD207

Essentially they were copying their conception of Roman weaponry as gleaned from statuary, such as Trajan's Column:

(linking because this is a very large picture)
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Colonne_trajane_1-34_rec.jpg

This is actually a casting from the column itself, but as you can see, while it's quite weathered, there are some weapons clearly visible but due to a certain degree of stylization adopted in order to distinguish between the Romans, Dacians and various other factions they have been simplified somewhat. Without archaeological evidence-- and remember that archaeology was very much a nonexistent science until very recent times-- they would have had no real reference to historic Roman weapons, and would have used these simplified forms as their ideal version of the Roman sword.

Neoclassic forms are in large part inspired by Renaissance art as much as they are inspired by Hellenistic and Roman artwork, and thus this is the result of an extended series of derivations.
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2015 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were plenty of real swords made when Neo-Classical style was all the rage. For example the foot artillery (and musician etc.) swords already mentioned, an originally French design copied by the US and to some degree various other countries. It was popular enough that antique ones in decent condition are still quite common and cheap, if you want one (the Deepeeka and Universal Swords replicas posted are not really worthwhile, IMO).

There's also the academy or court sword of l'Ecole de Mars, designed by the painter Jacques-Louis David in 1795, which also inspired a slew of more or less shameless copycats:



And of course there's always Asterix. Big Grin


The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2015 3:43 am    Post subject: Swords based on Greco-Roman and Neoclassical sculpture         Reply with quote

A nearly-accurate representation of the Ludovisi Gaul's sword is mirrored in this replica of a gladiator's dagger.


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

- Marcus Aurelius
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Dec, 2015 4:43 am    Post subject: Re: Swords based on Greco-Roman and Neoclassical sculpture         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
Actually I was wondering if we could turn those swords into real ones.
Wouldn't that be great? Wink


Not necessarily. The guards look unnecessarily thick and clumsy, especially if we interpret them as being made of metal. Many of the swords in the sculptures also have cylindrical grips rather than more flattened forms that would have helped with both edge alignment and point control. Even the artillery swords made based on such designs -- not particularly practical or useful swords in their own right -- significantly modified the size and proportions of the guard, pommel, and grip to make them usable at all.
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Ralph Grinly





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PostPosted: Thu 10 Dec, 2015 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I doubt any of the items shown in statues or based off them could really be classed as "weapons". They are/were articles of military "bling" , designed to make the wearer feel like they were armed. I mean, look at all the so-called "Bandsmen Swords", supposed to resemble a roman gladius - did anyone *honestly* expect a bandsman to actually engage in serious combat ? The French were very correct, when they contemptuously referred to their military issued ones as "cabbage cutters".
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