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Cornelius Henriksen




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Byzantine-Viking hybrid swords?         Reply with quote

Wow, been a member for over 10 years and this is my first post...

So, hi all!

I'm looking for sources on a particular kind of sword, and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction.

I've seen mentioned a few places swords showing influence from both Scandinavian and Byzantine tradition, assumed to be weapons of belonging to Varangian guardsmen. However, I have trouble finding good source material, especially good quality pictures. The best I've been able to dig up is from an Osprey book ("The Varangian Guard 988-1453"), which includes the scan below. It's a start, but I'm trying to find better quality pictures and, if possible, other materials about this and similar finds.

The end goal, of course, is to have one of these made.

Help?

-Cornelius


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Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there!

"Drastar" was an important castle near the modern-day town of Silistra here in Bulgaria.
Your post brings me a couple of years ago, when this particular sword was in my field of strong interest, but the realities evolved in quite different direction and the project was abandoned in very early stage.

Do you want me to try to find some more info?
Just have in mind, any written text most probably would be in Bulgarian (you'll need a translation), good pictures could be a problem

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Cornelius Henriksen




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2017 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi!

If you could dig up something, that would be great! Even if in Bulgarian, at least I might find some pointers through translation.

Do you have any idea where the sword is located now? I'm sure it's in a museum somewhere, but haven't been able to find it. My next step is to try to find and contact professor Totev mentioned in the image description, but I thought I'd start here.
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Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Sun 16 Jul, 2017 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Talked with a couple of friends - both museum personnel.

They promised to do their best, but any result would be available not earlier than next week.
As for the pictures - Boyan Totev's personal hard drive (with all information - not only about the sword, but much, much, much more) have been stolen last year; so no other pictures left.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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Boris Bedrosov's Armoury
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Cornelius Henriksen




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 25 Oct 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 17 Jul, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot!

Sad to hear about Totev's loss -it's hard when so much work is lost for no good reason.
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Jacek Gramlowski





Joined: 17 Jun 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jul, 2017 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well. Here are some samples:
http://sword-site.com/thread/1066/ornamented-...anufacture
http://sword-site.com/thread/766/viking-sword...cal-pommel
http://sword-site.com/thread/262/lenticular-v...provenance

And another from Bulgaria



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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,214

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jul, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Be careful with sword-site. Many, if not most swords shown there are recent fakes artificially aged.
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Jacek Gramlowski





Joined: 17 Jun 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jul, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Be careful with sword-site. Many, if not most swords shown there are recent fakes artificially aged.

As with any other sword from auction. Still better than nothing. And last example is foto from bulgarian muzeum.
As for varangian guard, i would rather choose between "Pure" byzantine or Russian/Scandinavian sword.
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Boris Bedrosov
Industry Professional



Location: Bourgas, Bulgaria
Joined: 06 Nov 2005

Posts: 700

PostPosted: Tue 12 Sep, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys!

I really, really sorry, but must disappoint you.
After talks with some guys, including a short conversation with Boyan Totev, the real story of this sword was revealed.

In short - although NOT a fake, it is a result of wrong interpretation of the facts, made by the museum restoration workers.
The blade with the guard on it, plus handful of other iron/steel artifacts (including the triangular pommel) all of them found on a same place, have been bought by the museum from diggers*.
During the restoration process, the restoration workers put the pommel on the sword mainly because "it looks cool that way". All that has been done against the advice and will of Boyan Totev.
As a result - this is not a hybrid sword, but a wrong mixture of two different objects - blade+guard / pommel



* diggers - here in Bulgaria, we call "diggers" the guys, who look for artifacts at the archeological sites without being part of the archeological research teams. Usually, they don't have special education and do their deeds at the edge of the law. In order to fight historical artifacts smuggling, several years ago our government gave the museums the right to buy these artifacts from the diggers, without asking Who?, Where?, When? and so.

"Everyone who has the right to wear a long sword, has to remember that his sword is his soul,
and he has to separate from it when he separates from his life"
Tokugawa Ieyasu

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