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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct, 2016 3:55 am    Post subject: Irish Sword in German Museum?         Reply with quote

Does anyone here have more information on this sword?

http://www.museum-digital.de/nat/index.php?t=...oges=15395

It seems to be a previously unidentified Irish ring pommelled sword in a German museum. Hopefully it's not a fake.


Éirinn go Brách
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K. Robert




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct, 2016 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting find! But comparing it to other ring pommeled swords I've seen it looks more as if someone took an irish ring pommel and put it on a non-irish sword. The hilt design looks just too out of place for me.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Sun 23 Oct, 2016 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K. Robert wrote:
Interesting find! But comparing it to other ring pommeled swords I've seen it looks more as if someone took an irish ring pommel and put it on a non-irish sword. The hilt design looks just too out of place for me.


Thats exactly what I'm afraid of.

Éirinn go Brách
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Cornelius Engelhardt





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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 2:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K. Robert wrote:
Interesting find! But comparing it to other ring pommeled swords I've seen it looks more as if someone took an irish ring pommel and put it on a non-irish sword. The hilt design looks just too out of place for me.


According to the descriptions, the maker's mark indicated that this is an Italian blade.
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This prob. does not help much but MRL had an "Irish two-hander" a few years back that looked very similar to that sword minus the side rings.
The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryan Heff wrote:
This prob. does not help much but MRL had an "Irish two-hander" a few years back that looked very similar to that sword minus the side rings.


I have that Irish two-hander from MRL. The museum piece is indeed a quandary. Wonder if it's a Victorian composite sword? Did the Irish use Italian blades during the 15th - 16th centuries? I'm sure I have read they used a lot of German manufactured blades.

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hm.
the description says "probably italian"
but the descriptions seem very odd.

like this one for example,
which clearly is some 1880ies sword bayonet, they describe as "kurzer degen" ("short epee")

so it might well be, that said sword really is irish, maybe it came to germany in the course of the 30-years-war, if i might speculate a bit.
irish mercenaries were not so uncommon.

edit:
one of the most famous irishmen serving in the 30-years-war, is walter butler, who murdered wallenstein, probably on the emporers behalf, as he after the deed got bestowed as count of friedberg
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryan Heff wrote:
This prob. does not help much but MRL had an "Irish two-hander" a few years back that looked very similar to that sword minus the side rings.


I have that too and they are indeed similar. Its based on the cover art of a modern book, which in turn was based on an historically contemporary etching (which is reproduced in another book on the gallowglass). The well-known names of both authors and the original artist escape me right now but I can look them up if nobody else remembers.

I don't think it would be surprising if an Irish cutler received an Italian or German sword, refit it with a local style pommel for sale, and then it ended up back on the continent for some reason. As Oakeshott said, swords travel and have a life of their own.
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Bryan Heff wrote:
This prob. does not help much but MRL had an "Irish two-hander" a few years back that looked very similar to that sword minus the side rings.


I have that too and they are indeed similar. Its based on the cover art of a modern book, which in turn was based on an historically contemporary etching (which is reproduced in another book on the gallowglass). The well-known names of both authors and the original artist escape me right now but I can look them up if nobody else remembers.

I don't think it would be surprising if an Irish cutler received an Italian or German sword, refit it with a local style pommel for sale, and then it ended up back on the continent for some reason. As Oakeshott said, swords travel and have a life of their own.


Angus McBride . I have the Osprey book..Celtic warriors I think is the title. It was a pretty awesome Windlass... I owned it but sold it several years back when I got back in to collecting swords,in a big way. I miss that sword...quite a nice piece.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
I don't think it would be surprising if an Irish cutler received an Italian or German sword, refit it with a local style pommel for sale, and then it ended up back on the continent for some reason. As Oakeshott said, swords travel and have a life of their own.


All Irish sword blades from this period would have been imported from the continent, but usually they were hilted locally. What's odd about this piece is that the pommel is a distinctive type, which so far has not been found outside of Ireland, but the crossguard is typical continental style.

Éirinn go Brách
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Irish Sword in German Museum?         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
Does anyone here have more information on this sword?

http://www.museum-digital.de/nat/index.php?t=...oges=15395

It seems to be a previously unidentified Irish ring pommelled sword in a German museum. Hopefully it's not a fake.


That an Irish sword would end up in a German museum is not really that surprising. Irish soldiers served as mercenaries in German armies as well as Scots and even Englishmen throughout the Middle Age and Renaissance.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Irish Sword in German Museum?         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
That an Irish sword would end up in a German museum is not really that surprising. Irish soldiers served as mercenaries in German armies as well as Scots and even Englishmen throughout the Middle Age and Renaissance.


It's not the fact that an Irish sword would wind up in a continental museum, It's the combination of pommel and guard that I find questionable.

Éirinn go Brách
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Wed 26 Oct, 2016 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a couple other examples of ring-pommels that pop up in odd continental contexts...



Ignore the Osprey caption of the first one - it's from a private collection in Denmark, not really "from Denmark". The blade resembles some Italian type XV's with pronounced central spines, but the hilt with one straight quillon, one bent at 90 degrees, seems more similar to several German swords (with different blade types). I could easily believe this is a composite piece...

The second is in Vienna, number A451. The blade is marked with the (spurious) date 1530 and it was apparently at one time reputed to have belonged to the emperor Charles V, but the blade also bears the mark of Johannes Wundes from Solingen, working around 1600.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Oct, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing those images Mark. I had not seen them before. My first thought was that the sword I posted had the look of a composite piece, and as its unprovenanced, we likely will never know the story behind it.
Éirinn go Brách
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct, 2016 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
There are a couple other examples of ring-pommels that pop up in odd continental contexts...



Ignore the Osprey caption of the first one - it's from a private collection in Denmark, not really "from Denmark". The blade resembles some Italian type XV's with pronounced central spines, but the hilt with one straight quillon, one bent at 90 degrees, seems more similar to several German swords (with different blade types). I could easily believe this is a composite piece...


The "Danish" sword is from the E.A. Christensen collection and in "Gammelt Jern" by Ada Bruhn Hoffmeyer (1968) we learn that he acquired it at the auction of the collection of Richard Dreger in Luzern (Lucerne), Switzerland, August 1927, catalog number 65.
It says that in Dreger's catalog the sword was described as Italian (?), though no mention why that was believed.
Perhaps it is based on the description of two inlaid brass figures on one side of the sword blade, which sadly is not explored in further detail and neither do we get an image of them in Hoffmeyer's book.

Apparently the sword was tested by "Søværnets Prøveanstalt" (Testing facility of the Danish Navy) the 17th of June in 1935.
It was constructed of slag-filled "smedejern" (low carbon "wrought iron" !) with no valsning (rolling) of the metal.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2016 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Must ring pommels always be Irish? I'm willing to bet that the examples shown on this page are more likely to be one-off instances of highly unusual swords made on the Continent. There might have been some awareness of irish ring pommels involved but it's really hard to believe that nobody on the Continent could have just thought of making something weird and ended up with ring pommels that looked like Irish ones by pure coincidence.
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