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Sean Belair
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Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 4:50 pm    Post subject: not an everyday visit to the MET         Reply with quote

Yesterday was my first time handling original medieval swords. John Lundemo (of Odinblades)and I were allowed to enter into the depths of the MET to examine five swords from their storage. The collection consisted of three single handed swords, one rather short bastard sword and one gorgeous rapier.
The assistant curator explained to us that that the swords he had picked for us were the most trustworthy of the pieces on display. That means that two of them were most likely composites of different blades and hilt pieces but were not 19th century fakes, and the third single hander had something off about it but nothing to say itís a fake or even composite (I think John was more suspicious than the assistant curator was).
The bastard sword is shown in Oakeshottís records of the medieval sword on page 189. It has a stunning hollow ground blade and chocolate brown grip. I could go on and on about this sword but Iíll speak in generalizations for now.
I was amazed at just how light all four medieval swords were, and just how close the balance was on the swords. None of the medieval swords even reached three pounds and all of them balance within four inches of the guard. Now a lot of weight is lost to corrosion and overenthusiastic polishing/ grinding by previous collectors but even taking that into account these weapons were quick.
Another surprise was that all of the swords, without exception had very thin edges. Not quite the apple seed edge I expected, the edges in cross section resembled the head of a sewing needle.
It could not have been a better experience. The combination of the assistant curatorís knowledge of the swords as artifacts, and Johns in depth knowledge of the sword making craft made the experience far more the just handling antiques.
I have no real question to ask, just hope you all have questions or comments
Unfortunately I canít put the pictures we took on the site because that constitutes publishing museum property (they had us sign an agreement) but if you would like to see some pics for personal study let me know.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: not an everyday visit to the MET         Reply with quote

What a wonderful opportunity. Congratulations on your very special visit!
Sean Belair wrote:
....The bastard sword is shown in Oakeshottís records of the medieval sword on page 189. It has a stunning hollow ground blade and chocolate brown grip. I could go on and on about this sword but Iíll speak in generalizations for now....
That piece (XVIIIa.4) is, indeed, a beauty, and one of my (many!!) favorites. If it's not too much trouble, I would love to see a few of your photos of that piece.

If you are at liberty to say, I would also be interested in comments as to how John and you expect to make use of the knowledge that you gained on this visit. For example, do you plan to work on any replications of the specific pieces that you handled? Or do you just expect to generally adjust your work in a more historical direction? Or something else?

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Chris Lampe




Location: United States
Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 211

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject: Re: not an everyday visit to the MET         Reply with quote

Sean Belair wrote:

The bastard sword is shown in Oakeshottís records of the medieval sword on page 189. It has a stunning hollow ground blade and chocolate brown grip. I could go on and on about this sword but Iíll speak in generalizations for now.


Record's XVIIIA.4 IS my favorite sword in that book! I envy you the chance to handle it and I even contemplated asking John to do a sword based on that one!
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Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

actualy were thinking long and hard about that perticular piece ( we were initialy planing to work on a castillon find sword the 37 incher on p143 of Oakeshott's RMS) but with the chalange of making an exacting replica of a sword we have actualy handald i think its next on the list.
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Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Record's XVIIIA.4 IS my favorite sword in that book! I envy you the chance to handle it and I even contemplated asking John to do a sword based on that one!"

you wont be disapointed
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Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

if anyone who has sent me their email adress NOT recived images. my email is very bizar and is now telling me the emails have yet to be sent
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John Lundemo
Industry Professional



Location: New Hampton, N.Y.
Joined: 03 Nov 2005

Posts: 239

PostPosted: Fri 01 Sep, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: not an everyday visit to the MET         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
What a wonderful opportunity. Congratulations on your very special visit!
Sean Belair wrote:
....The bastard sword is shown in Oakeshottís records of the medieval sword on page 189. It has a stunning hollow ground blade and chocolate brown grip. I could go on and on about this sword but Iíll speak in generalizations for now....
That piece (XVIIIa.4) is, indeed, a beauty, and one of my (many!!) favorites. If it's not too much trouble, I would love to see a few of your photos of that piece.

If you are at liberty to say, I would also be interested in comments as to how John and you expect to make use of the knowledge that you gained on this visit. For example, do you plan to work on any replications of the specific pieces that you handled? Or do you just expect to generally adjust your work in a more historical direction? Or something else?
Hi, mostly personally my vist just confermed alot of what I knew already about medieval swords from the years of study. But, to actually hold them was a great honor and joy. As for making any of these historical replicas that is up to the customers at this point, as I work from custom specs mostly. It is very rare that a person will order an exact replica of anything. If Odinblades was a production company then yes I would most deffinitely make replicas of this sort. Sean was concidering having me make one of those type XVIIIa.4's. There are a few special features in the blade geometry that you can only see from handling first hand, that would be a boon if I ever made one. If I could just stop doing customs someday and do my own swords I would go in this direction as that is where my interest is and has been. Who knows what will happen.
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