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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject: Single edge Viking sword, Petersen B / Geibig 1 hilt         Reply with quote

I am in the process of designing a single edged Viking sword, to be made by Vladimir Cervenka.

The blade will be based on the North Arhus Farm sword: broad, tapering and with fuller. Reason being that I prefer that look to the narrow blades without fuller, even though that version seems to be more common.

The hilt will be a Geibig Type 1 variant 1 with square-tipped guards (analoguous to Petersen Type B), because that seems to be the best fit, chronologically speaking. I also like this type rough and blocky appearance, which I think suits a single edged sword very well.

But for some reason, I still have some doubts regarding the historical plausiblity of such a design.

For instance, if I look at this excellent website from the Norwegian museum catalogues:

http://www.unimus.no/arkeologi/forskning/index.php
Search term: enegget sverd

The vast majority of Norwegian single edged Viking swords seem to have either Petersen Type C or Type H hilts. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I couldn't find one single edged type B sword on that website.

What do the statistics say?

In Petersen's "De Norske Vikingesverd" he identifies 22 type B swords, 8 of which are single edged.
Type C, by contrast: total 110, single edged 67
Type H: total 213, single edged 52

In Geibig's work however, the Type 1 (as per Geibig's statement, analoguous to Petersen Type B) is the most common of all early (non brazil nut and similar) types. More common than Geibig's type 5 (analoguous to Petersen type H), while Geibig has no equivalent to Petersen type C.

What does that mean?

Geibig's type 1 var 1 is quite common along the North Sea coast, in Ostfriesland, but also in the Haithabu area. So it seems unlikely that it is a mostly Frankish type (if you can make the distinction between Frankish and Viking hilt styles).

Yet neither the Frisians nor the Haithabu Vikings seem to have been big fans of single edged swords, because only one ends up in Geibig's catalogue (found in Meggerdorf, Schleswig-Holstein, not far from Haithabu).

The Norwegians, on the other hand, were fond of single edged swords, but not of type B hilts.

So, what do you think? Single edged sword with type B hilt? Or better stick with a type H?

Edit: link to classification charts: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14152
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2020 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's very hard to extrapolate 3 dimensions from 2D, but this example looks like it could be a type I Var I. I would call it a Petersen Type B.



From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/khm/search/?oi...amp;f=html
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Jun, 2020 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First, great choice, single edge Viking edge swords are cool and under-represented.

I just purchased my first one, the Albion Berserker. That one has a type B hilt. I wondered about that too, but it was designed by Peter Johnson. If he thinks its right, that's pretty reassuring.

BTW, there are a few British single-edge finds here: http://www.vikingage.org/wiki/wiki/Swords_found_in_Britain
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2020 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Tyler! I must have missed that one, it's definately a 1 var 1! My design is quite similar although the cross is quite a bit wider, as is the blade.

J.D., yes and thanks! My design is noticably different from the Berserker though. One interesting difference between Petersen's Type B and Geibig's 1 var. 1, is that in the drawing which Petersen provides, the pommel caps gets wider towards to top end of the pommel, whereas Geibig doesn't note this. In his examples, the thickness of the pommel cap diminishes to the top, like the Type H etc, although the top itself is generally flat as opposed to pointy as the Type H.

The Berserker quite closely follows the example from Petersen's book, which kind of led me to believe that there may be some fundamental difference between the 1 var 1 and the Type B, and that that could be related to the geography. It would be strange to pair a North German hilt to a Norwegian blade. Tyler's example however luckily proves that I am not crazy. WTF?!

Edit: according to page 45 of Peirce, this exact sword (C16001) is the one pictured in Petersen, with the widening pommel... So more or less back to square one... Still cool to have a picture of that sword instead of just a line drawing.

https://books.google.nl/books?id=4-J3uhtPZ8MC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35&dq=oslo+%22C16001%22&source=bl&ots=HgF5BGDUlF&sig=ACfU3U1KN-6mGV2izKpzrVuO248yha7Tvg&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiy4bLkl4nqAhVM6aQKHXoXA5gQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=oslo%20%22C16001%22&f=false
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Jun, 2020 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good catch Paul. I will search some more and see if I can dig anything else up.

FYI it's page 35 in my version of Swords of the Viking Age.
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Tyler C.




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2020 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did a bit more searching through the Norwegian museum catalogs (what a great resource BTW) and I found a few other hilts that may be of interest if you have not already seen them. I must confess I have a hard time specifically categorizing these hilts within Geibig's typology. One particular point of confusion for me is that from what I understand, the defining characteristic of a Petersen type B is the widening pommel. This would mean that all Geibig type 1 hilts are actually Petersen type H and type B is not categorized by Geibig. I would appreciate some correction on that if I am out to lunch. I also probably need to do some more reading on Geibig's work because for me there appears to be a lot of overlap. I find it difficult to firmly place any of these within his categories, but I think they all have characteristic that at least place them in the type 1 category. These are in no particular order.


From:http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid=35641&museumsnr=B1142&f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html


From: http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2020 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler C. wrote:
(what a great resource BTW)

Yes it is. I wish all museums / countries had a database like that...

Tyler C. wrote:
One particular point of confusion for me is that from what I understand, the defining characteristic of a Petersen type B is the widening pommel.

No, the defining characteristic between type B and type H is that in the type B, the tang protrudes through the pommel and is peened there. In the type B, the tang is peened through the upper guard and the pommel (pommel cap) is attached to the upper guard by rivets or by bands (in case of a hollow pommel and hollow guard):

Type H:
http://www.vikingsword.com/petersen/ptsn089h.html
http://www.vikingsword.com/petersen/ptsnf081.jpg

The widening pommel in the type B is something I don't really understand:
http://www.vikingsword.com/petersen/ptsn061b.html
In this translation it is stated that "The pommel is three-sided and of uniform width."
But this is actually not true for the one example of the type (sword C16001) that is pictured in Petersen's book.

Tyler C. wrote:

This would mean that all Geibig type 1 hilts are actually Petersen type H and type B is not categorized by Geibig.

No, quite the opposite. Geibig considers all type 1's and several type 5's (all except type 5 var 1) to fall in Petersen's type B categorisation, which makes type B far more popular in Germany than in Scandinavia. Petersen type H on the other hand consists only of Geibig type 5 var 1.

But the interesting part about that is that most of the German type 1 and 5 (except 5 var I) finds are from the area known as East Frisia (Ostfriesland). East Frisia was the last part of Frisia that was conquered by the Franks, namely as part of Charlemagne's Saxon wars (785). Afterwards, the region was formally Christianised which meant no more grave goods in the burials.

But the question is what that means. I really doubt that type B / type 1 is a late Merovingian / Carolingian type as suggested by some authors, because the Franks were at war with the Frisians and the Saxons. On the other hand the type seems to be relatively rare in Scandinavia. But characterising it as a Frisian type also seems a bit unlikely as most of Frisia was already conquered by the Franks between 720 - 734.

Tyler C. wrote:

These are in no particular order.


Thanks a lot!

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html
Type H acc the text, but I doubt it, seems more like a B to me. Maybe they categorise it as H because of the stripes in the hilt which indicates it was previously inlayed with silver or bronze. Personally i wonder how relevant that is, although in the Scandinavian context there seems a strong correlation.

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html
This kind of hilt is what I had in mind! Thanks!
What is also interesting is that the blade is curved like a sabre. I doubt that is how it was intended but maybe a form of damage (or warping during the hardening process?)

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html
Type H, not only because of the inlay but also of the elliptical shape of the guards (when looking from the top).

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html
Acc the text, type C, most likely because it's a single piece pommel.

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html
Really difficult to say but I think type C

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/vm/search/?oid...amp;f=html
Also really difficult to say but I think type C

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/um/search/?oid...amp;f=html
That may well be a type B, but not a Geibig 1 var 1 because the hilt ends seem pointed rather than squared.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2020 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found one more, with the help of Fedir Androshchuk's book Viking Swords:

http://www.unimus.no/artefacts/khm/search/?oi...amp;f=html



https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/Nordic_Museum_-_contents_of_a_Viking_grave_and_other_warfare-related_items_03.jpg

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