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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > When did pattern welding begin in europe? Reply to topic
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Thu 06 May, 2004 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To add to Kirk's post and to fill in those who have not read Pleiner,

The incidence of having only 1 edge in steel appeared to Pleiner to occur mainly in the region of Czechoslovakia, with welded on steel edges on both sides being more common elsewhere. It also seems to Pleiner that sometimes the Celtic smiths did not appear to always know the effect of their blending, although at times they did have clear design and intent. AS Lang summarizes in her study of Roman sword mettallography, the "celtic" blades appear (generally) to increase in quality as one moves from earlier to later La Tene. The same did not seem to be a constant with Roamn swords, having good and poor examples both early and late.

Attached are pictures of my piled structure/proto patternwelded blade, showing the piled pattern that tended to appear in the Middle La Tene period. The piece is made by Patrick Barta.



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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 07 May, 2004 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan...

That is one fine looking sword... I love Barta's work.

Is there any way I could see the geometry of the hilt from the side?

Thanks
ks

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Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 07 May, 2004 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Bell wrote:
Attached are pictures of my piled structure/proto patternwelded blade, showing the piled pattern that tended to appear in the Middle La Tene period. The piece is made by Patrick Barta.


I had the fortune of handling this one in Columbus last week. It's a nice piece.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Nathan Bell





Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 329

PostPosted: Fri 07 May, 2004 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Nathan...

That is one fine looking sword... I love Barta's work.

Is there any way I could see the geometry of the hilt from the side?

Thanks
ks


Hi Kirk,

I was actually quite pleased with how Barta interpreted the hilt, especially since I didn't really give him much guidance on the hiltwork shaping. There are a couple things I might have a stateside custom swordsmith tweak a bit, later, but right now it's really hard to let it leave my hands....

Here are the pics. Please ignore the detritus, drying clothes, etc. in the last picture!
Blush



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side view

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top view, and divers incidents of clutter within the frame
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

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Posts: 820

PostPosted: Fri 07 May, 2004 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nathan...

That helps me get an idea of the total hilt shape. These types of hilts are so hard to imagine just from a plan view.
Patrick seems to know his swords... I like his intrepretation--it is somewhere between the earlier Anthropoid hilts and the later more gladius/spatha like ones.

I just went through some of my stuff to find images of LaTene hilts that still have organic parts remaining. I will try to post it over on the Peter's "Celtic Swords" thread.

Thanks again for the new perspective.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The question of "earliest evidence" has a factual answer, and the 300 BC period artifacts are the earliest "positive evidence" that I have heard of.
As a practical matter, it was could well have been done earlier. If European smiths imported the higher carbon grade ores (prior to the use of charcoal and discovery of local ores) it is a limiting fact that significant trade with other ore rich regions did not really exist prior to 1600 BC. I searched the internet and found a least one research paper that surveyed sword metalury by estimated age. Of over 150 European origin swords dated around 100 AD, over 40% were judged to have been made from pattern welding various alloys due to the fact that varying high / low carbon content bands could be detected (no cosmetic pattern remains due to corrosion.) By 400 AD, roughly 50% of swords (again over 150 samples) were definately pattern welded. By 1000 AD, over 65% of swords were pattern welded with cosmeticaly attractive patterns (high art form at that point.) This gradual progression illustrates that the technique did not materialize and support a market over night. To go from 1st sword to 40% of the "trade secret" market between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D. is probably not realistic. Wootz (and improvements in laminating and pattern welding) spread from India to the middle East in less than 100 years. It is at least a credible theory that someone in Western Europe began experimenting with imported ores as soon as trade permitted it (definately possible by 1200 B.C.)

For all those who love the New Age/ Lost Civilization, you should check out the Biblical story of Noah and observe that metal tillings were stored as keel ballast. Separately, archeological sites in Turkey have been interpreted as evidence of significant forge/ foundry works dating to around 4000 B.C. I doubt we will ever really know who did it first!
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Chris Post




Location: Germany
Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting thread. I yet have to read most of it, today's busy as hell. (It never rains, it pours)

So for quick review, here's the spear tip of 300BC that I mentioned before:







More later
Chris

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