Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Type H Viking Sword With Plated Hilt Reply to topic
This is a Spotlight Topic Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next 
Author Message
Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Type H Viking Sword With Plated Hilt         Reply with quote

Hi All...

I was browsing the website for the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden Netherlands and found information on a type H Viking Sword I have been admiring for some time. I first saw it in pictures posted by Jeroen Zuiderwijk on his website .
So many Viking swords with plating on the hilts are so corroded it is difficult to get an idea of what they looked like new. However this sword has almost all of its plating in place and gives us a little window into what these plated swords may have looked like back in the day. This particular sword also has beautiful patternwelded inlays in the blade.

ks



 Attachment: 62.9 KB
PetH.L100.Ulfbert.Noord-BrabantLithNetherlands9th.ROL.AvnSmall.jpg
Viking Sword in Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden. Total Length 100 cm

 Attachment: 63.89 KB
PetH.L100.UlfbertForteInlayNoord-BrabantLithNetherlands.9th.ROL.AvnSmall.jpg
Type H with patternwelded "Ulfbert" inlay found at Noord-Brabant Lith Netherlands

 Attachment: 65.72 KB
PetH.L100.UlfbertForteInlayReverse.Noord-BrabantLithNetherlands..9th.ROL.AvnSmall.jpg
Type H with typical reverse side Ulfbert inlay pattern design however latten cross in center seems somewhat unusual

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


Last edited by Kirk Lee Spencer on Sat 19 Nov, 2005 8:31 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some color pictures from Jeroen's Website that show the hilt from more oblique angles. It looks as though there are wooden wedges between the tang and the pommel. Also note that the groove between the two parts of the pommel is filled with what looks like a carved silver band rather than twisted wire.

ks



 Attachment: 39.27 KB
PetH.L100.UlfbertNoord-BrabantLithNetherlands.AllObJz.jpg
Photo by Jeroen Zuiderwijk from Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden. Total Length 100cm

 Attachment: 71.85 KB
PetH.L100.Ulfbert.Noord-BrabantLithNetherlandsHiltJz.jpg
Photo by Jeroen Zuiderwijk from Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden.

 Attachment: 68.19 KB
PetH.L100.Ulfbert.Noord-BrabantLithNetherlandsHilt.Jz.jpg
Photo by Jeroen Zuiderwijk from Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden.

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
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,676

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me that looks like a plate with scalloped edges between the pommel and upper guard. The wood or leather wedges look much newer than the sword itself. I wonder if they could be ad-hoc additions made some time after the sword was discovered?
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Winter Springs, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 5 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Kirk. I was just reading through Oakeshott's Sword in Hand today. In Chapter 4, he discusses Viking hilt types and gets into hilt ornamentation, saying, "A simple and much-used decoration all through the period consisted of the whole surface being covered with closely placed vertical strips of copper and tin alternately, running from edge to edge of each element." And he provides an example of a Type II hilt, like this one, in his Fig 24. Unfortunately, like all the other photos in that book, it is black and white, so I was wondering what that hilt would look like in color. Now, you've shown me!
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message
Shane Allee
Industry Professional



Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2005 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick pretty much nailed it with the plate between the upper guard and pommel. Doesn't seem to have been all that uncommon to find on some of the two piece examples that have a straight connection. Anyone have any ideas about the hilt materials with this one?

Shane
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
John Cooksey




Location: NW Ark
Joined: 15 Nov 2003

Posts: 291

PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2005 6:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sword is stunning.

Elegant simplicity in both form and decoration . . . . . .
View user's profile Send private message
Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
To me that looks like a plate with scalloped edges between the pommel and upper guard. The wood or leather wedges look much newer than the sword itself. I wonder if they could be ad-hoc additions made some time after the sword was discovered?



Good eye Patrick...

I never thought of it being a complete plate rather than a band or strip... makes sense!

In another picture from the same museum I saw another set of wedges (shims) sticking up from the top of a pommel... so you are definitely right... the museum probably put the wedges in to hold the components together while they were being moved, or to hold them in the correct orientation while on display.

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
View user's profile Send private message
Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

Spotlight topics: 6
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Allee wrote:
Anyone have any ideas about the hilt materials with this one?

Shane


Hi Shane...

Not certain on the material... but it looks like copper or latten (brass) and tin. I doubt the white material is silver because it appears to be duller and more corroded than the gold material.

Here is another plated type H pommel from Ian Peirce's "Sword of the Viking Age." In this case. Peirce informs us it is copper wire and silver wire with the iron base material between the wires.

With the whole surface plating seen in the Netherlands find in the previous posts, the surface of the iron was scored and the soft wires were hammered into the scoring to stick to the surface. That is amazing in itself. However in this case it appears that very straight, fine grooves were cut and the tiny wires (some of them twisted) were set into the grooves.

It amazes me how such minute and detailed work could be accomplished. I have heard that, back in the day, such a question lead to the legend that there were tiny people (dwarfs) that did such tiny work. In more recent times, some believe that it was done with a large magnifying glass made from clear crystal (although I have never heard that one of these has been found). It is also possible that these sword hilt jewelers were very very near sighted Eek! .

Whatever the case, it is truly amazing hand work!

ks



 Attachment: 55.42 KB
PetH.CopperSilverW81H45T30.SVA.jpg
Type H Pommel, width 8.1cm, height 4.5cm, thickness 3cm

 Attachment: 71.82 KB
PetH.CopperSilverW81H45T30CloseUpSVA.jpg
Detail type H Pommel. Photo by Doug Whitman published in "Swords of the Viking Age"

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
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Winter Springs, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 5 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
...Here is another plated type H pommel from Ian Peirce's "Sword of the Viking Age." In this case. Peirce informs us it is copper wire and silver wire with the iron base material between the wires....in this case it appears that very straight, fine grooves were cut and the tiny wires (some of them twisted) were set into the grooves.

It amazes me how such minute and detailed work could be accomplished. I have heard that, back in the day, such a question lead to the legend that there were tiny people (dwarfs) that did such tiny work. In more recent times, some believe that it was done with a large magnifying glass made from clear crystal (although I have never heard that one of these has been found). It is also possible that these sword hilt jewelers were very very near sighted Eek! .

Whatever the case, it is truly amazing hand work!

ks
It would take more than just good vision. The artisans would need amazing hand-eye coordination, dexterity, patience. I just can't imagine....
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message
Shane Allee
Industry Professional



Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm familiar enough with the typical inlays on these, I've been into the Viking age stuff longer than anything else. This particular example I wasn't exactly sure of though. In a way it doesn't look to me like the gold clad examples we see, but over the years I have only found mention of one bronze/latten based example of the type H. Wasn't sure if this was it or not.

Shane
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Patrick J.





Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just curious. Why is the blade and grip so decrepit and the guard and pommel so pristine?
View user's profile Send private message
Shane Allee
Industry Professional



Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gold, silver, copper alloys, and such weather time much better most of the time than iron and steel. With a hilt clad in these types of materials and a good scabbard, it would really make for a well protected sword from use and the elements.

Shane
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Patrick J.





Joined: 24 Jan 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Shane.
View user's profile Send private message
Jeff Pringle
Industry Professional



Location: Oakland, CA
Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 145

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 10:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pardon me for jumping in late!
The sword at the top of this thread was published in 1986, by (I believe) the conservator – J. Ypey himself. If you can scare up a copy of “Drei neuerworbene Waffen im Rijksmuseum van Oudheden: ein Ulfberht-Schwert, ein Katzbalger und ein Linkhanddolch” from Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leden 66, 1986 p. 139-151 (also as a reprint from ROB, Overdrukken nr. 290), you can read all about it in German (why German and not Dutch, I dunno).
My German ain’t so great, but he does say: “Knauf und Knaufstange sind durch ein Messingperlband von einander getrennt” which I translate as: pommel and pommel bar are separated by a band of beaded brass (Messing = brass, but really ‘copper alloy’ would be more appropriate in this context?). The Vikings/Franks used beaded wire, so that may be what we have here, however he does not mention it being silver gilt which is what it looks like in the photo. From the photo, it does look like a plate with ornamented edge, but I can’t imagine a smith putting that much metal in between there where it won’t be seen, even if it was ‘brass’ not silver.
The overall decoration is “Silber und Messing tauschiert” and is inlaid in the same manner as the second pommel in the thread – lots of very tiny lines – only in the Ulfbehrt, the metal is spread out over the surface between the grooves. “Vier (4) Rillen mit Silber folgen fünf (5) Rillen Messing” which can be seen in some of the photos – the visible stripes are made up of multiple lines. On many hilts, these are spaced two per millimeter or less, but if you sharpen your gravers correctly the lines can be cut and inlaid without getting too crosseyed, and just in case you were a far-sighted Viking, lenses were found on Gotland, see for example:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/702478.stm

Other interesting things about this sword – 1554 grams, so less rusted away than most, and 99.6 cm long by 6.48 cm broad with the standard 0.5 cm thickness, so this was a biggun for sure. Grip length, ~10 cm. “Der besonders gute Erhaltungszustand des Exemplars resultiert aus seiner Lage unterhalb des Grundwasserspiegels” um, perhaps: well preserved due to it’s lying below the watertable? Found in 1983, not too long ago.

Jeff
View user's profile Send private message
C.L. Miller




PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 11:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for chiming in with some great information Jeff, and welcome to the forum!
Your insights and your translations are very welcome indeed! You've provided some very good information and thoughts concerning the hilt construction, and I'm especially grateful for your providing the weight of the sword as this invaluable information seems all too often to go unreported.
View user's profile Send private message
Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 7:09 am    Post subject: That is a nice one         Reply with quote

The beaded band makes more sense. This "looks" like one of those that has a hollow top portion that would accommodate a "U" shaped rivet with the two end terminating as we see on the outside. The inner hollow could have been filled with "cutler's pitch" or some other organic adhesive to keep it in place. Peter Johnsson has talked about some other interesting ways that they solved the "hollow" top situation. Sometimes the tang ran through the top portion and then it was peened. The rivets, then, served to keep the pommel top from twisting. But this one does not appear to have a peened top. This makes the sword even more impressive since many of these type have lost their top because the organic material decayed and then the top fell off and corroded separately from the rest of the sword. This method of construction helped to facilitate the addition of the decorative wire or in this case band.

Patrick, I agree about the wood in the pommel. It looks like a conservator may have added these to keep the pommel in place for display purposes. These are often quite loose in the museums. Plus, it is probably how the pommel was secured originally.

These are great photos...thanks for sharing Kirk.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Eric McHugh
Industry Professional



Location: Crown Point, IN
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Type H pictures         Reply with quote

Here are some pictures that show how these swords were assembled. The first picture shows the "U" rivet without the top pommel in place.



This second photo shows the upper pommel piece in place. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you see that the bottom pommel piece is peened (that is the tang peen in the middle) and the upper part is fitted over the "U" rivet.



There are a number of swords in collections that just have the "U" rivet and the top was lost, so it is alway nice when you can see it together, and it is always a treat when they are so well perserved like this sword.

Find me on Facebook, or check out my blog. Contact me at eric@crownforge.net or ericmycue374@comcast.net if you want to talk about a commission or discuss an available piece.


Last edited by Eric McHugh on Tue 29 Nov, 2005 8:19 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've spotted this thread, and since I just live around the corner of the museum (yes, I do consider myself very lucky! Happy ), I took the liberty to pay another visit. I had to study some other objects as well, so that was a good opportunity. Here's a photo of the pommel, as close as I could get.


 Attachment: 68.09 KB
11190138.jpg

View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 12:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Type H pictures         Reply with quote

Eric McHugh wrote:
Here are some pictures that show how these swords were assembled. The first picture shows the "U" rivet without the top pommel in place.

http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/albums/userpi...Urivet.jpg

This second photo shows the upper pommel piece in place. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you see that the bottom pommel piece is peened (that is the tang peen in the middle) and the upper part is fitted over the "U" rivet.

http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/albums/userpi...ow%7E0.jpg

There are a number of swords in collections that just have the "U" rivet and the top was lost, so it is alway nice when you can see it together, and it is always a treat when they are so well perserved like this sword.


Thanks Eric! I had heard about the U-shaped rivet, but I didn't understand how it worked. So as I understand it, the pommel is all open on the bottom and the pitch is the only thing holding the pommel onto the U-rivet and upper guard?
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 740

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something worth mentioning, there's a very similar sword also found in the Netherlands, on display in the Army Museum in Delft:


On this one, the stripes also form solid bands, like on the Ulfberth sword in the National Museum of Antiquities. Unfortunately the blade on this one is in a very poor state. There is however some remains of the scabbard. But all I could see was just a rusty lump of sand, which is supposed to contain scabbard remains. They've recently re-arranged the collection in the Army Museum, so I'm planning on going back to do another photo shoot. So hopefully I'll be able to get some clearer photos.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Type H Viking Sword With Plated Hilt
Page 1 of 4 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2017 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum