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Preben B




Location: Norway
Joined: 02 May 2017

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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would not panic yet if it only was tracked as leaving the country on the 27th, a lot of europe is shut down during christmas times compared to the US, packages going to and from me in december all took 3 weeks to arrive on either end, mind you sometimes there is an extra stop within europe that either doesn't show on tracking or shows delayed on tracking as well, which during holidays definitely would slow things significantly.

I'd say calling 7 days from Warsaw to the US a black hole over worrying, it's definitely part of the course, especially for holidays.

I would give it time and not worry too much yet.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 9:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Preben B wrote:
I would not panic yet if it only was tracked as leaving the country on the 27th, a lot of europe is shut down during christmas times compared to the US, packages going to and from me in december all took 3 weeks to arrive on either end, mind you sometimes there is an extra stop within europe that either doesn't show on tracking or shows delayed on tracking as well, which during holidays definitely would slow things significantly.

I'd say calling 7 days from Warsaw to the US a black hole over worrying, it's definitely part of the course, especially for holidays.

I would give it time and not worry too much yet.


Thank you.

The last time I received a sword from Poland it was in my hands within two weeks. Given your story and similar ones that have been related by others, I can see this was an exception. Now that I'm aware of the inefficiency of the European postal system, I suppose I can take a small measure of comfort in that. Happy

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Maciej K.
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Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

yes, that`s irritating, because I have shipped more packages then and it looks like all of them stuck somewhere for more time than usual (probably some postal storage or customs point)... I`m pretty sure it`s about the Christmas and New Year holidays time, I can confirm that many companies in Poland was closed...
Usually shipping to US takes not more than 2 weeks and plenty of customers can confirm that. It simply must be about that special period of the year... Anyway, I will file a complaint on post office and will request detailed informations.

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Henry R. Gower




Location: United States
Joined: 09 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject: AWOL Sword         Reply with quote

Patrick,
My personal experience is that once something leaves Poland, you can no longer track it. The US PO and the Polish PO are not linked that way. Now, my experience is with smaller things, like a book or a chape, but it can be 2 1/2 even three weeks, subsequent to it being tracked as departing, "Wyslane z Polski" as they say, before you receive it. Then US customs could also delay it, let's say for 5 days. I would be a little concerned, but not exactly worried, yet. I have never had anything "lost," just late.

Henry
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Maciej K.
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Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: AWOL Sword         Reply with quote

Henry R. Gower wrote:
Patrick,
My personal experience is that once something leaves Poland, you can no longer track it. The US PO and the Polish PO are not linked that way. Now, my experience is with smaller things, like a book or a chape, but it can be 2 1/2 even three weeks, subsequent to it being tracked as departing, "Wyslane z Polski" as they say, before you receive it. Then US customs could also delay it, let's say for 5 days. I would be a little concerned, but not exactly worried, yet. I have never had anything "lost," just late.

Henry


I can also confirm that no package was lost never.
However, I could track with details each package from Poland to US, on both websites Polish PO and USPS (from time to time there is also some system errors, just online "no updates" or wrong info - but no impact on true package way).
Well, we need to avoid shipping through Christmas for future I guess it would be better send it AFTER those "holidays"...

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At this point, the most likely expectation on delivery seems to be "whenever". I knew there would be a delay due to the holidays, but I think we may be caught in a perfect storm of circumstances in this case. There's been an expected delay due to a holiday shut down. (when it sat in Warsaw from the 20th to the 27th I thought that was it, apparently not) Whenever it leaves Europe there's also the possibility of further delay in US Customs, due to the current shutdown of our federal government, caused by political conflict in Washington. I've submitted a search request through the USPS, to see if it's somewhere within the CONUS. Other than that it's just a frustrating game of wait and see.


The craftsman works hard to provide the product and the customer works hard to pay for it. It would be nice if everyone in between worked as hard at their part in the process. Let me be clear that I'm not criticizing Maciej in any way. He's more than upheld his commitments in this process. However, I prize efficiency and order. Things that should be easy to achieve in our modern interconnected world, but seem to be ever more elusive as time goes on. My tolerance for failure in these areas is very low so I become easily frustrated. Also, having spent my life wearing one uniform or another I know full well how the government can cock up the easiest of tasks. Happy

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Maciej K.
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Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that is very frustrating indeed...
the only thing I know as far, I sent 4 packages in one week - and all of them left already Poland. They told me yesterday morning that there was big delay on european airports and that is one possible reason (related to the period of December`s holidays).
Tommorrow I will have more informations hopefully.
That is not right to people, they should warn us about it, it is always better to know in advance and be prepared for possible delays...

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Jan, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It left Dec 27? Seriously guys, don't worry yet. I know it's the not-knowing that's irritating, but one week with Christmas in between? No way it would arrive by now. I've had swords get hung up for a couple of weeks just crossing US-Canada border under ordinary circumstances, and then arrive OK. If it doesn't arrive in a couple of more weeks, then I would start worrying. Hang tight big guy!
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Jan, 2019 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any updates on this Patrick? I wanted to reassure you, but I'd be worried too if you haven't heard anything at this point.

My worst shipping experiences were mailing swords to Britain and Australia that took months to reach their destination. And getting a sword past Swedish customs, but at least in that case we knew where it was and what the problem was.
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Maciej K.
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Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2019 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have some news: I have asked post office to tell me why it is such a long waiting time this time.
They told me about big delays on european and US airports what caused very long queue at customs clearance.
I have also informations about other 3 packages sent that time to US they passed CC these days and are on delivery right now.
So, it is moving slowly, but moving at least... Well, December seems to be not very good month for airpost shipping...
What ususally takes 2 weeks - can takes more than 4 in December...

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan, 2019 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, with the govt. shutdown, perhaps customs has reduced man hours. Having shipped from Czechia, Netherlands, and UK, I would not be surprised if things took 3 weeks normally.
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Today I received two notifications from the USPS.

First: the sword has cleared customs in New York and is in route within CONUS.

Second: referring to the search request I filed over a month ago, "We are unable to locate your package at this time, but are continuing the search."

I just had to shake my head at that. Good old US Post Office. Happy At least it should be here sometime next week and since it's out of the hands of US Customs, it should be clear if the government shuts down again on the 15th.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb, 2019 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am glad to hear that this one will finally be getting into your hands Patrick.

I know that I am looking forward to a review by you on it. For some reason USPS and Europe can cause weird things. I shipped a sword there in 2017 and it showed it arriving in Germany and moving towards the destination, followed by a return to New York and being delivered two days later!

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb, 2019 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At least you know where it is Patrick. That's reassuring. I've got one (from USA) stuck in (Canadian) customs right now myself.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2019 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword has arrived. Actually it arrived yesterday, but due to my new job starting up on Monday I wasn't at home. Mrs. Awesome kindly took time from her work and rescued it from the Post Office this afternoon, so it was waiting when I walked through the door. At the moment the weather isn't cooperating for a photo op, but I'll try to post some photos and thoughts this weekend.


Teaser: it arrived safely and none the worse for wear, despite its long sojourn into customs oblivion. I'm also quite satisfied.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Feb, 2019 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good news! Please tell us all about it when you can.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Feb, 2019 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm really looking forward to seeing that sturdy little beauty in the big man's paw.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Feb, 2019 10:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, after a nearly two month stint in purgatory it's finally here and the ordeal has reached a satisfying conclusion.

The sword and scabbard came packaged in a very nice plastic hard case, which was in turn packaged within a cardboard box. Happily, the contents made it halfway around the world without a scratch.



Last year I reached what I felt was a significant milestone, the completion of my law enforcement career. Consequently, I felt a retirement present to myself was in order. I contacted a couple of smiths I've done business with about a custom commission, but neither attempt bore fruit. Then, I happened to see this sword listed as a work in progress on the facebook page of Maciej Kopcuich of Poland. The original upon which this sword is based is housed in the Musee de l'armee, Paris France.



Maciej had attempted this sword once before and I remember being drawn to that first effort. At the time I was disappointed that I had to let it pass me by. Usually, he doesn't repeat the same sword twice, but learned a bit of new information about the original and decided to give it another go. Understandably, I quickly decided this second effort would be mine.



Stats:

Overall length: 34.25 inches
Blade length: 28 inches
Grip length: 4 inches
Blade width: 2.55 inches
POB: 3.5 inches from guard
Weight: 2.86 pounds.

The original is dated to the early fourteenth century, circa 1300. This is the high medieval period in which a suit of mail that completely covered the body was state of the art. This is the period in which we see the thrust begin to take a place of equal importance to the cut. This sword is a good example of that philosophy. The blade is of moderate length with a broad cutting surface, but with a strong point as well. In Oakeshott's Typology this one falls somewhere between a Type XII and Type XIV. In other words, what we know as a "tweener". Sharing characteristics of both, but not strongly in either classification.



The swords over all size, being something more than a short sword but not overly long, makes for a very handy weapon and one well suited for sword and buckler work as seen in the I.33 manuscript, or for use in the battle line. In fact, this sword simply begs for use with a shield. This sword would be at home in either context. The hilt is neither too small or overly large, either one of which can be a common occurrence in modern historically based swords. The hilts size and grip length allows for a comfortable grip in several styles.




The blade is well mounted into the hilt and the whole assembly is tight, providing a very solid feel. In fact, "solid" is the best descriptor I can think of for this little brute of a sword. The blade is broad and flat, with a lenticular cross section. Yet, it's still very rigid, more so than I would have expected. Maciej has stated he felt his first version of this sword featured a blade that was too thin and exhibited too much flex. If so, he's corrected that with this 2.0 effort. The blade has very little flex, with a weighty feel to it as well. Mind you, it's not overly heavy or cumbersome. But rather, the feel is that of solidity and strength. It really feels like a sword built for use in battle against armored opponents rather than in a dueling context, ala the I.33 manuscript scenes. The sword may have a weighty feel, but this doesn't hamper its maneuverability in transitioning between the cut and thrust and it follows the point well.




I had specified a sharp edge and Maciej assured me it was. However, I would classify the edge as keen, rather than a knife like sharpness. I think the edge is perfectly sufficient for a sword meant for use in armored combat. It's sharp enough to cut, yet the edge retains plenty of material at its shoulder to impart durability and strength. Still, for the modern hobbyist who views a swords cutting ability within the context of slaying grass mats and water bottles, this edge might be in need of a dressing up. The edge does exhibit a bit of a secondary bevel. Many enthusiasts feel a lenticular blade shouldn't have an edge with a secondary bevel. However, this is seen on many surviving original examples. Whether this is from design, or resharpening is impossible to determine. That being said, it isn't severe on this sword and wouldn't negatively effect the swords cutting ability or aesthetic appeal.



Regarding aesthetic appeal: this sword and scabbard combination has it in spades. The bronze, spherical and fluted pommel is what initially drew me to this sword. I find the shape unique, beautiful and quite interesting. I've also come to love the combination of the bronze pommel and steel guard. Once upon a time I couldn't stand the mixing of metals. Now, I simply adore the texture it provides. The guard is a variant of Oakeshott's Style 2, quite common for the period. The grips leather covering is quite well done in a pleasing oxblood color and the seam is invisible.




The scabbard is as eye catching as the sword itself. The leading surface of the leather is tooled in an elaborate, period correct pattern of intertwining vines surrounding stylized animal figures. The pattern is like that on several surviving examples, as well as that illustrated on period statuary. Maciej had asked me for input on the scabbard decoration and I simply told him to do whatever he liked. I always prefer to give a maker creative freedom with minimal involvement from myself. I feel this results in a superior finished work and that philosophy has never disappointed me. Secretly, I was hoping for just such embellishment and I wasn't disappointed.




Maciej doesn't usually mount a chape on his scabbards, since a chape wasn't ubiquitous on original scabbards as it is on modern replicas. However, a scabbard just doesn't seem finished to me without one, so I requested the addition and Maciej supplied a period correct piece.



The mouth of the scabbard is covered in red leather that is stitched to the so called "rain guard". This provides a nice bit of contrasting detail that works well with the over all style. The scabbards wood core is tightly fitted to the blade, enough so that the combined unit can be shaken while upside down without the sword coming loose. The scabbard is dyed something close to an Havana brown, with an interlaced belt of a contrasting darker chocolate color.



The belt is topped off with a bronze strap end and buckle that are heavy and well made, as well as other decorative bronze hardware. The belts adjustment holes also feature bronze eyelets. This is an uncommon feature on medieval sword belts. However, a similar feature is seen on the belt of the scabbard for the sword of Sancho IV, King of Castille, so there is some small precedence for such a thing. The only real criticism, though a minor one, I can make lies with the belts bronze hardware. These kinds of plaques and stiffeners aren't really seen on scabbard belts of this period. However, that is a minor quiblle, enough that I didn't request to have them left off and they are an attractive edition.



In terms of fit, the sword if prefect. Regarding finish, it isn't. The blades finish isn't picture perfect, containing evidence of forging and finishing. The fuller is centered, even and straight. However, there are a few small forging pits and finishing marks hear and there. These can be seen mainly at the base of the blade, on either side of the fuller.




The forged, fluted bronze pommel is quite beautiful and shows signs of its manufacturing process in the form of several pits on its fluted surface.



I don't mention these details as criticism. In fact, quite the opposite. The sword isn't perfect. But that's the whole point, it isn't meant to be. Maciej is quite clear when it comes to his aesthetic philosophy. The originals upon which his work is based are natural objects made by a natural process. Handmade imperfection is the guiding principle, not machine made perfection. The original antiques feature many such imperfections, often to a much greater degree than seen here. One only has to examine the bronze pommel of the original pictured above, then compare that to Maciej's reproduction to see the far greater degree of imperfection in the former. Many original blades have fullers that wander over the blades surface like a snake and guards that are horribly crooked, or off center. Yet, these were considered fine weapons for their day that merely exhibit the organic nature of their creation.

Maciej has tried to stay true to this spirit with his work and I think he's succeeded in fine fashion. I've seen shoddy work passed off as "handmade" and this is far from that. With that type of quality a sword will usually be found lacking in the mechanical areas of its manufacture. Many of the attributes that separate a sword from a sword like object will be missing. This isn't the case with Maciej's work. I've seen some criticism of this approach and, in my opinion, this illustrates a lack of understanding. It really takes the eye of an experienced collector and researcher to appreciate it. After handling enough real antique swords and gaining first hand experience with their quirks and imperfections, an appreciation for such things is developed. I still love modern swords, both custom and production, that illustrate the sword in its idealized form. However, after more than forty years of study, I've really come to appreciate these bits of texture that illustrate the organic nature of these objects.

My final comments concern the maker himself. Maciej was very understanding about some requests I made concerning payment which I greatly appreciated. Once the sword left Poland it disappeared for an extended period of time. I submitted a search request through the US Postal Service and never received a result. In fact, the only response I got on that was, "We can't find the package", which came on the same day that I finally received a tracking notice from the same Post Office. Apparently there were delays, both in Europe due to the year end holidays, as well as in US Customs due to the shut down of our federal government. So as a word of caution, don't have a sword shipped internationally over the holidays, or when your government reaches an unprecedented level of incompetence. On a positive note, Maciej was communicative and concerned throughout the entire time. The mans commitment to his customers seems equal to his commitment to his craft.

The smith and his product are highly recommended.

The makers website: http://artofswordmaking.com/

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2019 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Patrick; great words, great pictures and a great sword. It appeals to me for the same reasons you like it: compact and powerful.

I'm not sure about the blade geometry. Sometimes it looks perfectly lenticular and sometimes semi hexagonal. Can you comment?
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Thanks Patrick; great words, great pictures and a great sword. It appeals to me for the same reasons you like it: compact and powerful.

I'm not sure about the blade geometry. Sometimes it looks perfectly lenticular and sometimes semi hexagonal. Can you comment?


The best way I can describe it is as a very flat lenticular cross section. The finish on the blade isn't perfect and there are some striations running the length of the blade. I think the light is playing off this and giving the illusion of an hexagonal cross section when viewed from some angles.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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