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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Albions Svante arrives. (cutting pics added) Reply to topic
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Albions Svante arrives. (cutting pics added)         Reply with quote

Several years ago I had the pleasure of handling Peter Johnssons original recreation of this sword. Even though its design is quite a bit later than my beloved 11th century, I was absolutely blown away by the swords design, handling, aesthetics, etc. Several times I commented, "If I could own only one sword this would be it." Due to the swords significant cost, I had pretty well resigned myself to worshiping from afar. Imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to own one of my own.

I placed my order back in february so the wait was a bit longer than usual. Apparently Peter had conducted further research on the original and decided some changes needed to be made to the guards design. The changes don't seem to be overly significant, as far as I can tell by comparing the sword to older photos. The arms of the guard might taper a bit more towards the center and the horizontal s-curve may be a bit different, but it's a pretty subtle thing. I think this stands as an example of Peters drive for excellence as most would have seen the original design as "good enough". I may have had to wait longer for my sword due to this, but that drive is part of Peters character. Without it we wouldn't be able to own such fine swords. I think this also serves as an example of Albions commitment to getting it right. Many companies wouldn't have considered stopping production on an expensive item like this, for such a seemingly minor thing. However, in Albions philosophy it wasn't as good as it could possibly be so back to the design table it went.

Between the time the order was placed and when the sword actually arrived, Mike Sigman had to put up with several calls of "Where's my Svante b****!", but Mike being Mike he handled an impatient customer with skill. Big Grin Once UPS tracking advised me the sword was enroute, my friend Greg had to endure my rainman behavior of, "72 hours to Svante, 36 hours to Svante......" Last night we all had to endure the annual pre-school session faculty cookout for the local highschool, and I was repeatedly abused in a verbal fashion for continually checking the time. At long last I was able get away and head home where a big wooden box was waiting for me with this inside.



While I had handled Peters original, as well as several other production samples in various stages of assembly, I'd never been able to spend any significant time with this design. Now that I've been able to do so I'm even more impressed with the swords design. The blade itself is enormously complex in its shapes and geometries. The hollow grinding itself is perfectly achieved and the central ridge on both sides of the blade are perfectly machined. The blades cross-section is nearly half an inch thick at its base and even with fairly aggressive distal taper its still fairly thick at the tip. One interesting thing I've noticed is the hollowgrinding stops about an inch from the point. In this area the cross-section transitions to a flattened diamond section. When combined with the thick central ridge this results in a point that is reinforced and very strong. Not only does the blades aggressive hollow-grinding yield an effective cutting surface, but the point also looks like a dangerous armor puncher.




The swords grip is beautifully covered in cord and leather. The grip itself has a very natural look to it that provides and excellent contrast with the cleanly done lines of the steel components. The other completed Svantes I've seen had a grip and raingaurd of a lighter brown color. I'm very happy with this darker chocolate brown. It has a much richer and more subtle look to my eye.



The hilt components are very clean with nearly no casting flaws in evidence and the guards octagonal cross-section is perfectly finished.

The rosette on the rivet head is also a nice touch of detail.


The swords handling is a marvel in itself. My example weighs just under four pounds. Albion lists the Svante at four pounds even, so perhaps the redesign of the guard also shaved off an ounce of weight. Regardless, the swords static weight is significant yet it literally floats in the hand. The relatively short, thick, blade and the long grip result in a sword that is very quick and effortless in its handling qualities, both single and two-handed, yet should also provide a heavy and decisive striking capability. This sword is a masterpiece in the melding of mass-distribution, points of balance, proportion, blade geometry and a host of other attributes. It also has a very solid and powerful feeling about it. This isn't a piece of masculine jewelry but a real battle weapon. When I handed the sword to Greg I asked him, " Doesn't it feel like a sword you could slay a dragon with?" He agreed.

I've always considered Albion swords to be the best overall package on the production market, and better than 75% of the so-called custom offerings available. Even so, the swords I've seen from Albion in the last year or so are even better than they were before. The finer details of assembly, such as the fit of the blade into the guard, overall blade finishing, grip work, etc., have always been a distinguishing feature of Albion swords. Yet recently they seem to have taken those aspects even further. We talking about fine points of distinction here but they're there if you know to look for them. The folks at Albion really seem to be hitting their stride. This is a very complex sword and everyone in the Albion shop had their chance to bugger it up at their individual stage in the process. Happily the opposite is the result. The folks in New Glarus were really on their A game when they put this one together. This sword immediately won a very close second place in my heart behind my Big Johnsson. You can bet I'll be doing some cutting this weekend!

Wow.


Last edited by Patrick Kelly on Sat 19 Aug, 2006 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very impressive and a really interesting post & photos congratulations. I really understand what you mean about the tracking as I usually check where my packages are supposed to be 50 times a day.

I can be incredibly patient for months on end but once it's in transit it seems like minutes feel like hours. Eek!

I have the extra joy of loosing a few days to custom clearance ........... AAAAAAAAAAAH. ( Running screaming in circles. )

I think this is one of those swords that one has to handle to really believe as all the numbers scream boat anchor but from what you wrote it sort of just floats there ! Sort of like my Tritonia but even more so. Wink Cool

Looking forward to your next post about cutting with it. Big Grin

Really happy for you. Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

I can be incredibly patient for months on end but once it's in transit it seems like minutes feel like hours. Eek!


I was the same way about this one. This sword has one of the longest productions times in Albions line so I didn't expect it any time soon when I oredered it. When Mike told me the guard was being redone I thought "Okay, whatever, it gets here when it gets here." However, as soon as I got that e-mail from UPS it was like I had ants in my pants. Big Grin

Quote:
I think this is one of those swords that one has to handle to really believe as all the numbers scream boat anchor but from what you wrote it sort of just floats there ! Sort of like my Tritonia but even more so. Wink


This is very, very true. One might look at the price and gag. But once you have it in hand it's obvious what a big job it is putting one of these together. The Tritonia is a big sword and though nicely balanced it feels like a big sword. This one feels nearly weightless due to its dynamic qualities. It feels like it could go mach 2 in a second.

Quote:
Really happy for you. Cool


Thanks Jean. This one was very cool to get.
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick;

How very, very cool for you! Congratulations on your fabulous sword! I am indeed envious, and what better way to enjoy your new acquisition but through the envy of your friends and peers? It's like having a gorgeous woman on your arm at an event filled with your friends, and with a *********grin on your face to boot! Cool

Absolutely fabulous for you! Now you can come to the light of the 16th Century.... Big Grin

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick,

How does the Svante compare to a sword like the Regent in terms of handling?
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Joshua Reptsik




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are all of Abion's hollowground blades of this caliber? That blade is hypnotic. Congrats.
" You little fool who wanted to be the best, see what happened." -MS 3227a
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug, 2006 11:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Exclamation Patrick, I know how long you have been waiting for this sword and how badly you wanted it, this has been a long wait and now you of all people know the wait was well worth the end result! It's really great for me to see a buddy get something he has wanted so earnestly for such a long time, because I know what that kind of joy is like.
I remember the long drawn out decision of which would be my first sword and then when the A&A German Bastard Sword arrived I was the happiest I'd ever been since I got my dream dog back in 1991 which was a "Puli" puppy.
Now I too am going through what you have been in waiting for the Svante, as time draws near to when the Albion Vassal will be sent out to it's new owners. I fell in love with the Vassal the first time I laid eyes on the art work, just like you did the first time you came across the Svante. As a matter of fact, before I joined myArmoury, last summer my wife and I were admiring the Svante and we were both completely blown away by it, especially the pommel, I remember telling my wife "yeah it's very expensive but look at the work on this thing and the facets of the pommel, it's worth every dime Gayle", she readily agreed.

I am really happy for you Patrick and again a Huge Congratulations to you!!!!

Sincerely,

Bob
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bob Burns wrote:
I remember the long drawn out decision of which would be my first sword and then when the A&A German Bastard Sword arrived I was the happiest I'd ever been since I got my dream dog back in 1991 which was a "Puli" puppy.


First I want to congratulate Patrik to the happy times of swinging a Svant that is his own. I think it´s the sword of dreams for most of us on this forum and other. I also have had the oppertunity to handle it when I met Peter the first time. It moves like a "lightsabre" or as Jochim Nilsson said, I have held pakets of milk that feel much heavier than this sword.


Bob, is this the Hungariean race of dogs uhat grows dreadlocks, my parents had one when I was a boy. Her name was Quaiza and was the most intelligent and stubborn dog I´ve met, and she ad a wonderful personality. My first own dog was her daughter. (A cross between Quaiza the Puli and dads Bordercollie Kim, kind of a accident Big Grin ). I miss all three dearly!

Sorry guys for the Hijack and OT!

M

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Patrick, welcome to the club! Since the Johnsson sword is number one and the Svante is number 2 can I make you an offer on Milestone? Wink

There's nothing exactly like adding one of your top favorite swords to the collection. For many years now I've had a top three. Number one was the Svante, number two was the Records Xa.1 and number three is the Bayeriches (undoubtedly spelled wrong) sword. I was asking Albion about the Svante years before they even came out with their next gen line but they finally came through. The Xa.1 dropped unexpectedly into my lap thanks to the fine folks over at OlliN sword design. The Bayeriches sword is still out there... somewhere...

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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Chris Last




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:

This is very, very true. One might look at the price and gag. But once you have it in hand it's obvious what a big job it is putting one of these together. The Tritonia is a big sword and though nicely balanced it feels like a big sword. This one feels nearly weightless due to its dynamic qualities. It feels like it could go mach 2 in a second.


I completely agree Patrick! I got the chance to handle a Svante recently for the first time recently while I was at the shop. Mike made the comment "Once you hold this one it will ruin you." And boy was he right. With a 4lb weight I expected a brute of a hand and a half or even two hand sword, but when I held it I was dumbfounded. The weapon is so well balanced that it it felt as light if not lighter than my Lutel Rapier. I had problems convincing myself that I needed two hands on the long grip, it moved so easily. I was totally blown away.

Congrats on the best sword, next to true originals, that I have held!

It truly did ruin me as I was driving home from the shop I kept trying to figure out ways to convince the wife that "I" needed that sword more than "we" needed a new minivan. Happy

" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:

I can be incredibly patient for months on end but once it's in transit it seems like minutes feel like hours. Eek!


I was the same way about this one. This sword has one of the longest productions times in Albions line so I didn't expect it any time soon when I oredered it. When Mike told me the guard was being redone I thought "Okay, whatever, it gets here when it gets here." However, as soon as I got that e-mail from UPS it was like I had ants in my pants. Big Grin


Congrats Patrick! Sounds like the Svante was worth the wait. Just a few days ago, I was finally able to do something I've been trying to do for 6 years: place an order for my dream sword (A&A Edward III). ETA about twelve weeks. Fine by me; that oughtta put it around Thanksgiving (maybe I'll stick it under the Christmas tree even though I'll already know what it is Wink )Anyway (sorry for going off-topic), the design of the Svante has really grown on me. I especially like that pommel!

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes Martin, this is the breed you are thinking of, our puli "Kelley" was kept trimmed and brushed, brilliant indeed, euthenized and cremated VIP 03/10/04.
Edward, congratulations on the Edward III, this is also a sword I want badly someday.

Chris, was the Svante that you handled the specific sword sent to Patrick? Personally, I'd consider the Svante a centerpiece in any replica sword collection. I would think that even a wealthy collector of original swords (such as the man in his 60's I met at Borders Books talking about swords with) even he would be proud to own this masterpiece.
I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar that the replica that Peter Johnsson created feels better than the original.

Why do I get the distinct feeling that Patrick is running around with the Svante like a kid at Christmas that just got that bicycle that all the other kids dream to have? Laughing Out Loud

Bob
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Patrick,

How does the Svante compare to a sword like the Regent in terms of handling?


If you don't mind some commentary from the peanut gallery, I have handled both, but not both at the same time and I have not been able to freely swing the Svante in earnest.

IMO, from what I can remember, the MUCH longer grip of the Svante makes it feel quicker in transition (don't know if it really is), although it does seem to give up some reach to achieve that feel. The Svante also feels very neutral in the hand, neither blade heavy or lacking substance. The interesting part of this IMO is that the Svante managed to do this for me in one and two handed use. It is perhaps the closest I've felt a larger sword come to feeling good used either way. By way of comparison, for me the Regent does a decent job handled with one hand, but I'm really only able to feel like I'm getting its full potential with two hands on the sword.

I usually grip the pommel for leverage and acceleration when cutting with two hands, but I didn't on the Svante im very cautious dry handling only, because there is sufficient handle space for a very wide grip to begin with. By way of comparison, on my Regent my hand always ends up on the pommel, even though I don't like it there because the pommel is slightly uncomfortable for me to grip.

Unfortunately the only way I can imagine a Svante in my collection is if I win the lottery, or via the classifieds. As nice as it is, it is not my dream sword (I don't have one). I also suspect that if I ever spend so much on a sword, its going to be antique.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Thu 17 Aug, 2006 7:22 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Greg Griggs




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats again on your Svante, my friend.
Having held this baby close up, I can honestly say that it is truely a wonderful piece of work; from the pommel to that lush leather wrap, to the curving lines of the hilt, to a blade which begs for thrust-n-slash. It is one of those marvels of steel that just can't weigh 4 pounds because it only feels like 2 in the hand. Can't wait for the weekend to see how she slices through those poor tatami mats.:} Glad the wait was worth it, and thrilled you had the chance.

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just want to add my congratulations as well. I'm sure that purchasing this sword has required some sacrifices, so I am glad to see they have finally paid off.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
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Alexander Hinman




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Patrick! What a beauty it is, too. That pommel is absolutely amazing, and the lines of the blade are so smooth and attractive... That's one magnificent piece of work.

Wow. Just wow.
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Bryce Felperin




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Damn Patrick, you've convinced me to get one now! I can just see my friends at my salle scoffing at my purchase of one...until they handle it. :-)

Did you get a scabbard for it too? I figure if you're going to go whole hog, then shelling out four thousand for the combo would an interesting way to go. :-)

Best of luck to you with your new baby! You've really got me thinking now!
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Paul Watson




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sometimes I hate logging onto this site. The close up photo's you have shown here Patrick just make me want this sword even more.

Some how the blade looks longer in proportion to the hilt than the photo's on the Albion site, obviously an illusion. With regards to the reinforced point I think Peter Johnsson once made a comment about one of the NG swords having the most reinforced point of any Albion sword.....apart from the Svante. So I think that's a pretty good reference there for how much damage the business end of this sword could do. This swords POB is quite close to the cross isn't it? Surely that's what helps make such a relatively heavy sword so dynamic in it's handling.

Finally a belated welcome back to myArmoury Patrick, your insight and wit were both missed.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick, you are extremely lucky...I am so envious righ now Big Grin

Congratulations!
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Douglas G.





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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2006 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pat!
I was lucky enough to get my doughy mitts on a Svante last April when
Mike brought one with him to the Oregon Knife & Custom show. I can
safely say it changed my sword priorities, if not my finances. Some how
some way I'm going to have to join you in having one. In the meantime
I look forward to envious reads of your performance reports.

Neat Sword, Guy!
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