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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 7:35 am    Post subject: Victorian copy of a type XVI sword?         Reply with quote





This sword was an Ebay purchase and I am currently waiting for it to be shipped to me. I thought I would share the pictures I have in order to get the thoughts of the experts on this forum. I don't have any sword expertise, but I have owned a few. My thoughts when deciding to buy this sword were that it looks like a 14th century arming sword except possibly for the pommel which looks a lot like a rapier pommel. Considering the condition of the sword, I assume it must be Victorian, but I am unsure. The maker's mark could be a clue it appears to be a "t" or an "i" with a dot over it in a shield. It looks similar to some Toledo maker's marks I found online. Of course I will know more when I have the sword in hand. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 10:30 am    Post subject: Length         Reply with quote

I forgot to add, the only useful information in the auction was the length;
102cm. The weight was not given. I really did not expect to win the auction, so I hadn't asked for more info.
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
Joined: 20 Aug 2019
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum Shannon!

I would be interested to know the total weight and the balance point. It would also be good to know the thickness of the blade just after the end of the fuller.

Once you receive it and have a chance to clean it up, it would be good to get a close look at the steel of the blade. It's pretty faint, but there appears to be a change in color near the hilt which could be indicative of a wrought iron base/tang on the blade (see picture). If this is the case it's a sure sign that the blade is a real blade.



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Wrought Tang 2.jpg

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Shannon Glenn





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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Tyler. I will definitely be going over the sword with a magnifying glass when I have it in hand.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It appears to be 'inspired by' swords like this, which is a real 13th century medieval sword with a modern grip: https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-7997.html

However, its all wrong.

It is certainly not medieval: the pattern of aging on the blade is not consistent with the corrosion or patina that one sees on ancient artifacts, and an intact grip is always suspicious. But it goes deeper than that.

The geometry of the blade is wrong for a medieval blade ((e.g., concave profile, exaggerated diamond cross section toward end, abrupt spade-like point...compare to the beautiful curves of the sword linked above), and the workmanship poor - note the wavering profile and the poorly executed fuller. The rest is off too: the tips of the guard look more like swords from a later age. As you've noted the pommel is more like a rapier pommel. It seems to be cobbled together to obtain an overall look but with the individual parts wrong. It was not made by a master from any age, whether medieval, Victorian, or modern.

My guess: a 20th century Indian-made blade that has either seen some wear or has been distressed to look older.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 20 Aug, 2020 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks J.D. I agree the tips of the guard look wrong as well. I do hope it isn't a cheap India blade. I had hoped it was a decent European blade with a little age to it (mid to late 1800's or so). The blade geometry seemed okay to my uneducated eye but now that you point it out, the tip does seem wrong. My worst nightmare will be to get it and see a threaded tang with a pommel nut instead of a peened tang. I never thought it was Durendal, but I hope it is at least a sword and not a sword-shaped object.
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
Joined: 20 Aug 2019
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
It appears to be 'inspired by' swords like this, which is a real 13th century medieval sword with a modern grip: https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-7997.html

However, its all wrong.

It is certainly not medieval: the pattern of aging on the blade is not consistent with the corrosion or patina that one sees on ancient artifacts, and an intact grip is always suspicious. But it goes deeper than that.

The geometry of the blade is wrong for a medieval blade ((e.g., concave profile, exaggerated diamond cross section toward end, abrupt spade-like point...compare to the beautiful curves of the sword linked above), and the workmanship poor - note the wavering profile and the poorly executed fuller. The rest is off too: the tips of the guard look more like swords from a later age. As you've noted the pommel is more like a rapier pommel. It seems to be cobbled together to obtain an overall look but with the individual parts wrong. It was not made by a master from any age, whether medieval, Victorian, or modern.

My guess: a 20th century Indian-made blade that has either seen some wear or has been distressed to look older.


Agreed that it is not medieval, but I don't think that was in question. To me it looks like it had moderate corrosion at one point and this has been ground off so I don't think the patina can be trusted. I'm basing this off the small untouched section of the blade near the hilt. Hasty grinding could also be the source of the poor wavering geometry.

The geometry is of course not medieval, but if this is a Victorian reproduction they didn't just use real medieval blades to make their reproductions. They used whatever old blade (or newly made sword shaped iron bar) they could get their hands on and throw together with some fittings that made it look plausible for the population at the time. In the mid 17th and early 18th century blades with odd looking abrupt tips like this were a thing. Have a look at the tip shape on a Walloon sword. Walloon tips look wrong, but that's how they were done. One thing that concerns me about the blade is it looks like the central ridge after the fuller is too pronounced (hence my question above). This would make the blade too thick/heavy at the end and therefore unwieldy. If this is the case it is not likely a real blade from any era, but could still be a Victorian era reproduction blade made to be a wall hanger.

The age on the grip looks right for a Victorian reproduction. Definitely not done by a Victorian master, but it still may have been done by a Victorian antiques dealer for a quick sale.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not by any means knowledgable about Victorian-era reproductions, but I think it might be by eliminating the alternatives.

Possibility 1: Real medieval sword. Like J.D. mentioned, there is just too much wrong with it, so that's not likely. Although I think that poor(ish) workmanship is an argument that would be in favour of a "old" sword rather than a new one. It is well attested that in the middle ages, much less emphasis was placed on super clean workmanship than nowadays. If you look at medieval swords, uneven fullers, assymetrical fittings, undulations in the blade etc. are quite common.

Possibility 2: Modern replica. It's clear that it is not a product of China / India mass production. Several things are wrong, but those companies get different things wrong Wink. It's also clear that it's not a (reworked) reenactment sword. I suppose it is possible that it is a modern replica from a Czech / Eastern European smith, because some do work in such a style, including such a artificial patina.

But all in all, I think Victorian-era reproduction may be a fairly good bet.
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Jonathan Fletcher





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 2:26 pm    Post subject: ? Del Tin         Reply with quote

Hi Shannon.
I wonder if this is an old Del Tin sword. The blade looks a lot like Del Tin's model 5142 which is attached, though yours is a few cm longer. The profile, fuller, shape of the point all look like the 5142. Fulvio Del Tin would be able to tell you pretty quickly if it is one of his or his father's swords.

http://www.deltin.net

I quite like the look of it: Knock off that pommel and put on a wheel and you have a nice looking sword. If it is a Del Tin, at least you have a good blade.

Good luck
JF.



 Attachment: 13.03 KB
5142.gif

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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the posts. I am leaning towards it being a Victorian copy of a medieval sword, which is what I thought it was when I purchased it, so I think I will be quite happy with it. I do hope it isn't artificially aged, that would be a disappointment. Looking for other Victorian Medieval copies on the internet, they do tend to run the gambit from really accurate to not even close.
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
Joined: 20 Aug 2019
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shannon,
I'm guessing you found this already since you mentioned that the mark on this blade is similar to the marks of Toledo smiths, but #50 on the sheet below is one such mark that indeed is very similar to the mark on your blade. This is the mark of Juan De Salcedo (who also worked in Valladolid). the text on the top of the sheet says something like "Marks that the last and most famous armourers of Toledo saw on their swords until the extinction of this factory that was at the beginning of the present 18th century. Whose names are in the plan", so I assume these are makers marks from the early 18th century or late 17th.



Here is the table of makers:



These are from: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?...&pp=30
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri 21 Aug, 2020 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes I found those maker's marks. I am excited that the mark on my sword at least conforms to the style of marks used in the 17th and 18th century. I am cautiously optimistic that the blade may indeed be pretty old. I mean if it is a complete forgery of a medieval sword, then they did a pretty lousy job. It makes more sense to me that it is a Victorian or slightly earlier era blacksmith's interpretation of a medieval sword. I don't know if I will ever know definitively.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Type XVIII Tip         Reply with quote

I have been looking at some old swords in anticipation of receiving my sword (It has made it through Customs in Chicago, but still in IL. last I heard) It seems the tips of type XVIII blades are a lot like mine.

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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep, 2020 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That tip shape is very nearly identical.

I would find it hard to resist removing the pommel and grip (or perhaps just the grip) to have a look at the tang. Like a Japanese blade, the tang can tell you a lot about a blade.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler C. wrote:
That tip shape is very nearly identical.

I would find it hard to resist removing the pommel and grip (or perhaps just the grip) to have a look at the tang. Like a Japanese blade, the tang can tell you a lot about a blade.


Yeah, but there are ways to do it less destructively...

X-ray photography for instance. Even chemical composition testing can be done almost non-destructively nowadays (it will leave a mark on the surface though).
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2020 4:30 pm    Post subject: It's Here.         Reply with quote

Well, the post office did everything they could to destroy it. So much so that I took several pictures of the box before I opened it. Somehow, it survived. Here are my sword's measurements:
Weight 3lbs 2 oz
Point of balance 5.5 inches from guard
Grip 4 5/16
Pommel peened
Crossguard 7.5 in.
Blade 2 1/8 widest 33 3/8 in. long
Oal 40 3/8 in
Blade thickness past fuller 3/16 in.
Some pictures to follow.
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2020 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote






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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2020 7:46 am    Post subject: An expert weighs in.         Reply with quote

I think the mystery is solved. I spoke to an expert at one of the big auction houses, and my sword would appear to be a Victorian Composite with some older parts.
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 102

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2020 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: An expert weighs in.         Reply with quote

Shannon Glenn wrote:
I think the mystery is solved. I spoke to an expert at one of the big auction houses, and my sword would appear to be a Victorian Composite with some older parts.


Did he give any insight to age/origin of the various components - blade, cross, and pommel?
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Shannon Glenn





Joined: 19 Aug 2020

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2020 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

He did mention that the pommel looked older of all things. So maybe it was a rapier pommel at one time or something. Of course he said nothing definitive could be determined unless he examined it in person. I didn't ask about the cross guard. The blade is probably Victorian.
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