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Which Czech Sword-Smith would you most want a piece from (money not a consideration)
Cervenka
17%
 17%  [ 7 ]
Templ & Barta
65%
 65%  [ 27 ]
Lutel
7%
 7%  [ 3 ]
Moc
9%
 9%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 41

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Wilson Francis Chessell




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 18 Jul 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 4:08 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on Czech Sword Makers         Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

I have been a long time but occasional reader of this forum and have throughly enjoyed reading about your collective knowledge and intelligence on swords and armour.

I've recently stepped up my interest in historical arms once more, after a reasonable hiatus (I don't know what got into me!) and have signed up to hopefully contribute something to this bastion of historical excellence.

I was hoping to draw on your knowledge of Czech sword-smiths and the quality of their work. I would prefer this purchase to be from a Czech maker, such is my patriotism.

As far as I can gather, there are a number of smiths that are talked about semi-regularly in these forums, which, I can assume, is a testament to either the accessibility of their items or the quality of said items.

As for the tiers/ levels of excellence, they seem to go as follows

Tier 1: Templ (Patrick Bárta); Vladimir Červenka
Tier 2: Lutel (Handicrafts); Pavel Moc
Tier 3: Fabri Armorum (Jiří Krond'ák); Armory Marek (Pavel Marek); Kovex Ars; Wulflund & Assoc. Smiths;

I am unsure whether Bárta's swords are in the same category as Červenka's as the price difference is quite substantial. It seems that while Bárta's work is incredibly beautiful, the price is high, and may not be suited to a sword that may or may not be used to hit things and get damaged.

I don't really have a budget for this new commission (however Bárta's prices do push the envelope) and I will most probably request small changes and adjustments to the design etc. I understand that Červenka is able to do these things.

My question is: do you think there are makers listed above that I should avoid? Do any of you have experience with makers not listed and would you recommend them over some listed here?

Your thoughts are very much appreciated. I look forward to being of service in return to you all one day.

Sincerely
Wilson

Francois de Rivia

Geralt is my soul-mate and it just so happens Ciri and I are an item.

"I drink (tea) and I know things" - Tyrion Lannister
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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have experience with all of the above except Mr. Bárta and also a few more Czech smiths and/or their products.

Fabri Armorum, Armory Marek, Kovex, Wulflund and JiNo mainly cater to a Central European re-enactment and showfighting crowd. They mostly make blunts that are (over)built to last through such rigors. They don't generally produce replicas of individual finds, their swords mainly being inspired by styles from the high and late middle ages.
They do all take individual commissions, though, but I can not ascertain to what extent they'll stray from their tried and true patterns. Even within their comfort zones not all of these makers are created equal. Distal taper, for example, is by default not a thing with these five.

Kovex Ars went through some serious troubles some years ago, would not recommend.. Used to be renown for extreme durability, achieved, however, through severy overbuilding. Still too heavy for what they are, not quite up to snuff in terms of finish.

Wulflund is a re-seller gathering swords from different undisclosed makers (only Arma Epona is disclosed) and putting them out through their shop. Have seen and handled a few, was thoroughly unimpressed.

Fabri Armorum is known for extremely durable blades, but the ones that are are rather heavy and, to my eye, ugly. Offers different blade types and finishes with different degrees of authenticity and ruggedness, but none have yet appealed to me.

Armory Marek also has different types of blades, the cheaper ones being considerably overbuilt, soft and generally not recommended, but also offers more reasonable blades in terms of handling and toughness. Makes sturdy, but quite rough, functional Schiavone, can provide beautiful etchwork and brilliant finishes if asked (and paid) to. In this price range slightly more on the authentic side than the others, with lots of experience doing customs.

Jirka Novak (JINO) makes rather shiny, pretty rugged and moderately overbuilt blades. The hilts are mostly done individually, but often have far too heavy pommels. Can produce very appealing HEMA simulators if specifically tasked to, but I probably would not commission an accurate replica from them. Likes doing things that are very much out of the ordinary: Wolf's head pommels, twice quenched (and thus blackened) blades, such like.

The other makers you mentioned are more focused towards collectors and historical accuracy.

Lutel and Pavel Moc (who also supplies Arma Bohemia with a lot of his swords) have well deserved their good reputation, but I've never been smitten with any of their creations and they did always appear slightly generic to me. They strike a balance between the mass market of the above makers and the attention to detail and exclusivity of the ones below.

Vladimir Cervenka makes very good replicas at a fair price. From what I've seen he puts quite a bit more effort into details than the above. Pleasant communication in decent English, always has an open ear for individual wishes. Used to be very popular with full-contact sparring re-enactors in the CSR, but equally (if not more so) famous for his sharp replicas.

Patrick Bárta is in my eyes one of the premier people to commission a pattern welded blade from. His work in this regard is absolutely stunning, easily on par with Paul Binns. I consider him more of a peer to exclusive custom makers like JT Palikkö, Stefan Roth, Lukas MG and perhaps the venerable Axon (may he rest in peace).
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 30 pages

Posts: 641

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well it seems to me that you should consider what type of sword from what time period, for what type of use, for you to decide since all of these makers and outlets have their own specialty and place in the market. If you just want to spend money for a Czech made sword, that's fine, but it seems a bit of a waste of appreciation, especially if you are going to put the sword in a potentially damaging situation.

And you forgot Gullinbursti/Petr Florianek, who I would certainly place in the top tier of not only Czech smiths, but sword smiths worldwide.

Arma Bohemia as well, like Lutel.

But it will be nice to see what you get eventually, so whatever it is, please post your thoughts on it.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 445

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2016 11:07 am    Post subject: cervenka         Reply with quote

I have three Cervenka's and a couple of his daggers. Very satisfied. I have an early gothic XIIth century, a XVth century and a schiavona. Love all of them to bits. As mentionned above, these are sharps, repros, not intended for playing around with, except maybe for those into cutting.
Bon coeur et bon bras
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Robert Muse




Location: Washington
Joined: 28 Sep 2009

Posts: 460

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2016 7:51 pm    Post subject: Barta         Reply with quote

I have one of Barta's swords and it is near perfect to me. But you are correct, who would whack on plastic bottles with a work of art?
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Juraj S




Location: CZ
Joined: 22 Jul 2016

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jul, 2016 5:02 am    Post subject: Czech out Jan Aksman         Reply with quote

I´m not sure how he ships and what export payment conditions he has, but it might be worth checking out Jan Aksman. I have a very nice machete by him and it both looks and works well (used in real conditions). Very open in making what you want (without making ahistorical nonsense). Been in the business for quite a long time now. Not sure about his response times.
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 769

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jul, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have swords by Patrick Barta, and Lutel. Barta is, of course, one of the masters of the craft, and a genius at pattern weld. His swords are pieces of art, certainly functional but you wouldn't want to use them because they're so beautiful. Lutel is closer to the level of Del Tin, much more affordable and meant for use. The Lutel swords I've handled seem to be a bit overbuilt, so they're a bit heavier than they probably should be.

Haven't seen or handled a Cervenka up close, but I'd love to.... ditto with Pavel Moc....

Anyway, it depends what you want. Sword makers of all skill levels and styles are coming out of the Czech Republic and Slovakia these days, and many of them are extremely talented.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
Joined: 16 Jun 2016

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have two swords by Lutel: a rapier (and its companion dagger) and a custom sidesword made according the same design. Their weight is normal compared to historical swords, and the balance is good, but I thought they feel heavy. The rapier blade seems to be a bit too floppy for me. But the finish is very nice, and I'm happy to have them.

I didn't use them at the moment, but I would like to do some cutting (or thrusting) with in the future...

Barta swords sure are absolutely stunning.
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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 351

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2016 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of Petr Florianek's work, not listed on your list, but an incredibly gifted bladesmith and carver. He's Czech, but really specializes in Viking era.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Andrej S





Joined: 01 Jun 2016

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2016 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All of the makers mentioned above are good. If you want sharp sword, maybe you should avoid Moc, from what I know his sharps are just sharpened blunts, with low weight and POB too close to the guard, which makes them pretty inefficient cutters. Maybe something has changed by now, if you want to order from him it's best to tell him to make blade sharp from beginning.

Anyways, if you don't want to limit yourself to Czech makers, you should contact Viktor Berbekucz from Hungary and Szymon Chlebowski from Poland, their price/quality ratio really seems to stand out from other Central Euro makers.
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Steven Lussenburg





Joined: 20 May 2013

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2016 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Arma Bohemia could be added to the same category as Lutel.
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