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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 9:33 am    Post subject: Sword from Alexandria's Arsenal, Davids Samling, Denmark.         Reply with quote


Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons..._David.jpg

Christian Ludvig David (1878-1960) was from a Jewish family turned Lutheran Christian (his grandfather). He completed his law studies in 1903 and became very successful especially by defending a banker in 1922 during one of the biggest financial scandals in Danish history [Bankrupcy of Landmandsbanken].
He also was involved in business and sat as a board member on several of Denmark's leading companies and also had holdings in the company "De Forenede Vagtselskaber" (United Security Companies). With David as chairman it bought up other security companies in Norway and Sweden and started adding cleaning companies (which was his idea).
Eventually in 1968 (after his death) consolidating into the Modern "ISS" [Integrated Service Solutions], which is now a multinational firm with more than 500.000 workers worldwide in more than 75 countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISS_A/S

So David used his money to get fancy dwellings and collected art; he stayed unmarried all his life (wife and big collections rarely go well together Laughing Out Loud) .

His townhouse in Kronprinsessegade 30, Copenhagen, right next to Rosenborg Garden and -Castle is now his museum "David's Samling" (David's Collection).
Picture: http://parkmuseerne.dk/davids-samling/

His country estate was "Marienborg" on Lake Bagsværd, he left it in his will to the Danish State as summer residence for the Danish State Minister.
Picture: http://sondagsavisen.dk/wp-content/uploads/20...50134d.jpg

His collection started in 1910's when he bought sculptures and paintings from Danish artist [including 11 Wilhelm Hammershøi paintings !! known to those, who has seen the Michael Palin documentary about him].
As his wealth increased he expanded to include 17-1800'th century furniture and art-pieces during the Depression, where many foreign collection were broken up. He developed a special interest in Danish and European faience and porcelain.
To make his collection unique he then started collecting Islamic art and artefacts. It is for this part of the collection his museum today is World renowned. After his death - having no heirs - it was his wish to make his home public and free museum (which it is). Today the museum spends its money almost exclusively on expanding the Islamic collection.

Alexandrian-Arsenal-Sword from his collection:
Info from the Museum:
Sword, iron with brass pommel
France or Italy; middle of 14th century
Length: 105.5 cm

This one was donated by one of Shaban’s officers, Sayf al-Din al-Ukuz al-Malik Ashraf, in 769 H (1367-1368), but was later taken to Istanbul.
NB: The inventory number is 1/1998, so this sword must be bought in Jan. 1998 or so.

Front:

Source: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/255/item/12.3-1...1229949999

Back:

Source: http://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic...ge_index=1

Big pictures: [engraved details are not really visible on the small photos].
Front: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/255/12.3-1-1998-Korsfarersvaerd.jpg
Back: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/2015/12_3-1-199...n-side.jpg


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 06 Jun, 2015 10:19 am; edited 6 times in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Davids Collection" seems also to have bought interesting stuff from India after David's death.

Decorated tulwar.
.
Source: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/594/item/K14.6-...1231410197
Big size image: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/594/K14.6-8-1984-Svaerd.jpg

Museums info:
Steel saber, engraved and overlaid with gold, with a hilt inlaid with silver
India; c. 1800
Length: 86 cm
The gold-contoured engravings on this blade present a selection of hunting animals and their prey, a pair of mythical creatures, and a riderless horse.

Persian/Indian tabar.

Source: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/519/item/K14.9-...1231410211
Big size image: http://www.davidmus.dk/assets/519/K14.9-12-1979-Oekse.jpg

Museums info:
Battle-axe, iron and gold damascening
India; c. 1800
Height: 55; Length: 13.1 cm
The short, elegant battle-axe (tabar-i-zin) comes from the Persian region, where it was already part of a horseman’s equipment in the early Islamic period. Not all battle-axes were velvet-clad parade weapons like this one, however.

More artefacts shown on this “art of war" collection:
Source: http://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic...t/45p-1982
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are many Type XIIIb's that can be traced to the Alexandrian Arsenal - at least twelve, Some are still in Istanbul, the rest are scattered through Europe and North America.

Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sat 06 Jun, 2015 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
There are many Type XIIIb's that can be traced to the Alexandrian Arsenal - at least twelve, Some are still in Istanbul, the reast are scattered through Europe and North america.


12 it still not great a number [but is that overall swords you mean or only XIIIb's?].
Wonder if anyone compiled the information about these swords into one source? Probably very hard as so many apparently are in private collections.

So until recently at least 2 of them was in Denmark.

Another great Danish collector E.A. Christensen also had an Alexandrian Arsenal sword.
It was sold on auction in 2012 for 163,250£ !!

Source: https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19796/lot/78/
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:


12 it still not great a number [but is that overall swords you mean or only XIIIb's?].



I said at least 12 XIIIb's. There are also multiple XVIa's, XVIIIc's, and XIX's, plus a few singles of other types. Clive Thomas has written a number of articles about these swords (mostly about the XVIIIc's) in the Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogues.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
[12 it still not great a number [but is that overall swords you mean or only XIIIb's?]. [u]


I meant 12 XIIIb.s. There are also multiple XVIa's, XVIIIc's, and XIX's, plus a few singles of other types. Clive Thomas has written a number of articles about these swords (mostly about the XVIIIc's) in the Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogues.


Thanks for the article-hint!

So it is still fairly unknown, how many is floating around out there!
Apparently you can still find new ones: “A newly discovered Alexandria Arsenal sword”, by David Oliver, Spring 2013, Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue.
Source: http://www.londonarmsfair.com/?page_id=32

Found also the link to the Alexandrian Arsenal sword sold at Sotherby's in 2010.
Sold for 97,250£ [they are not cheap swords Eek! ]
Source: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogu...t.249.html
Big image: http://www.sothebys.com/content/dam/stb/lots/...9-lr-1.jpg

Another by Peter Finer (Antique dealer).
Seen in this catalogue (2005) on page 29-31. German Knightly sword from 1370.
Source: http://issuu.com/artsolution/docs/2005-comple...20/4868424
Single page image: http://image.issuu.com/130917080414-4be4b293f...age_28.jpg


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:



So it is still fairly unknown, how many is floating around out there!



I believe there are 62 in the Askeri Museum in Istanbul. I don't know how many are in other museums and private collections.

Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogues for 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2008 have articles about the Alexandrian Arsenal swords.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:



So it is still fairly unknown, how many is floating around out there!



I believe there are 62 in the Askeri Museum in Istanbul. I don't know how many are in other museums and private collections.

Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogues for 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2008 have articles about the Alexandrian Arsenal swords.


Yeah and both a Clive Thomas and David Oliver article for 2013.
It can be very hard to estimate, until they reach auctions or museum.
100-150 in all around the world seems like a conservative guess (if we calculate European style swords)?.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Odd that the brass pommel appears to be brass on the front and iron on the back. Is there an overlaid sheet of brass on half the pommel or is the second photograph black and white instead of color?


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ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui


Last edited by Mart Shearer on Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Mart Shearer wrote:
Odd that the brass pommel appears to be brass on the front and iron on the back. Is there an overlaid sheet of brass on half the pommel or is the second photograph black and white instead of color?


Didn't even notice. You are right. One side of the sword is colour photo, the other side is taken in black-and-white.
Why do that?
So perhaps there is no difference. On the b/w photo it's impossible to tell if the pommel is all brass or whether a covering has fallen off on one side.
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Clive Thomas




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2015 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pommels of these Alexandrian Type XIIIb swords are entirely of brass / latten, and not a just a brass covering of any sort over an iron base. There are a few variations in style across this particular group, but they generally seem to conform to the type shown here, with incised (cast?) concentric circles on the faces and edges, and with a raised central 'hub' in the centre of each face.

At least two members of this group have pommels that lack the protruding 'hub', one has been fitted with a crown-shaped 'Venetian' styled pommel, and several further examples bear brass 'pear-shaped' pommels of possible Cypriot origin.

It is likely (from studying the range of makers marks that appear on them) that the blades of these swords were probably made in Milan, and they must have been superb cutting weapons. If you examine the edge geometry, you can see that the faces of the blade slope away from the fullers quite flatly (or with a very shallow convex curve, particularly at their centre of percussion) before reaching the cutting edges. The latter have a bevel of around 40-45 degrees, and are very narrow. As such, the edges resemble those seen on the Alexandrian Type XVIIIc swords of the Shaykh bequests of 1414-19 or so.

As for total numbers of Alexandrian swords known, I have records of around 170 pieces. This figure includes unmounted blades (all of which are in Istanbul's Military Museum) and a number of swords known only from nineteenth century photographs. The aforementioned Military Museum has 102 pieces with Alexandrian inscriptions, some of which are of a Syrian-Mamluk type although one or two of these have European blades.

It would probably not be unreasonable to suggest that there may be around 200 Alexandrian pieces worldwide.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2015 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clive Thomas wrote:
The pommels of these Alexandrian Type XIIIb swords are entirely of brass / latten, and not a just a brass covering of any sort over an iron base. There are a few variations in style across this particular group, but they generally seem to conform to the type shown here, with incised (cast?) concentric circles on the faces and edges, and with a raised central 'hub' in the centre of each face.

At least two members of this group have pommels that lack the protruding 'hub', one has been fitted with a crown-shaped 'Venetian' styled pommel, and several further examples bear brass 'pear-shaped' pommels of possible Cypriot origin.

It is likely (from studying the range of makers marks that appear on them) that the blades of these swords were probably made in Milan, and they must have been superb cutting weapons. If you examine the edge geometry, you can see that the faces of the blade slope away from the fullers quite flatly (or with a very shallow convex curve, particularly at their centre of percussion) before reaching the cutting edges. The latter have a bevel of around 40-45 degrees, and are very narrow. As such, the edges resemble those seen on the Alexandrian Type XVIIIc swords of the Shaykh bequests of 1414-19 or so.

As for total numbers of Alexandrian swords known, I have records of around 170 pieces. This figure includes unmounted blades (all of which are in Istanbul's Military Museum) and a number of swords known only from nineteenth century photographs. The aforementioned Military Museum has 102 pieces with Alexandrian inscriptions, some of which are of a Syrian-Mamluk type although one or two of these have European blades.

It would probably not be unreasonable to suggest that there may be around 200 Alexandrian pieces worldwide.


Many thanks for this information! Happy
Of the 170 swords you know what is the approximate number of each Oakeshott typology.
Roger mentioned at least 12 of the type XIIIb.

It is interesting if most of them was made in Milan, because then it seems to be a "bulk order" by Peter of Cyprus (or maybe the Knights Hospitaller from Rhodes) for equipping the army before the Alexandrian campaign.
Could some types that are rare perhaps be made in other places? - if also made in Milan it would make it possible that they also took more individual requests.
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Clive Thomas




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2015 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Niels,

This one is quite difficult to answer, as there are a number of swords in the group (mostly in Istanbul) that are known only by the hilt photographs published by David Alexander in his 1985 article for Waffen- und Kostümkunde. Of these, perhaps 26-30 pieces are currently on display in the museum, whilst others no longer on show can now only be seen in photographs taken in the 1970s and 80s, when the displays were arranged differently. While i have done my best to determine the Oakeshott Type of each sword as accurately as possible, for some pieces it remains extremely challenging.

Alongside the 12+ Type XIIIb swords known from the Ukuz (1367-68) bequest, the largest groups within the whole corpus of Alexandrian pieces are those of Type XVIIIc (17+ examples, all dated between 1414-15 and 1419-20) and those of Type XIX (8 known examples with very slender blades dated 1432). There are a few other swords of Type XIX, but these are generally a bit larger than those of the 1432 group. All of the above groups bear Italian makers marks.

There are many swords of Types XIIa, XIII, XIIIa, XVIa, XVII, XVIII and XX that do not really form immediately obvious groups within certain bequests to the Arsenal, and marks of both Italian and German makers can be seen among them.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jun, 2015 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clive Thomas wrote:
Hi Niels,

This one is quite difficult to answer, as there are a number of swords in the group (mostly in Istanbul) that are known only by the hilt photographs published by David Alexander in his 1985 article for Waffen- und Kostümkunde. Of these, perhaps 26-30 pieces are currently on display in the museum, whilst others no longer on show can now only be seen in photographs taken in the 1970s and 80s, when the displays were arranged differently. While i have done my best to determine the Oakeshott Type of each sword as accurately as possible, for some pieces it remains extremely challenging.

Alongside the 12+ Type XIIIb swords known from the Ukuz (1367-68) bequest, the largest groups within the whole corpus of Alexandrian pieces are those of Type XVIIIc (17+ examples, all dated between 1414-15 and 1419-20) and those of Type XIX (8 known examples with very slender blades dated 1432). There are a few other swords of Type XIX, but these are generally a bit larger than those of the 1432 group. All of the above groups bear Italian makers marks.

There are many swords of Types XIIa, XIII, XIIIa, XVIa, XVII, XVIII and XX that do not really form immediately obvious groups within certain bequests to the Arsenal, and marks of both Italian and German makers can be seen among them.


So really it's only the Type XIIIb, type XVIIIc and XIX-slender, that can be regarded as bulk orders;
the rest of the swords are a blend from various places and times.
With these dates, they are all after the Alexandrian Campaign of Peter of Cyprus (1365).
So not Crusaders left-overs conquered by the Mamluks, but Mamluk newly-ordered swords from Europe? [Depending on what Ukuz bequest was in 1367-68 for the XIIIb]?

So it seems a lot of work is still waiting to be done of the Istanbul collection. So many places historians and archaeologists have long neglects weapon research (it's "fringe" for some reason, where you often from find-reports even lack information about simple sword-length; not like "good old pottery" where archaeologists can write page after page about fragments Laughing Out Loud )

By the way, did you know about the David's collection exampled before I posted it? Any idea where they got it from in 1998?

Are all of them going for the insanely high prizes the E.A. Christensen example went for in 2012 and the one at Sotherby's in 2010? Or is it more because they are outstanding pieces in itself....
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Clive Thomas




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Jun, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there are a couple of smaller groups that contain similar swords too. There's a group of 4 very broad Type XIII swords (and one unmounted blade) that bear inscriptions mostly from the Aristay bequest of 1400-01, although one is dated 1427-28. One member of this group sold at Christies (13th April 2010, Lot 60) for a record sum approaching £400,000. These pieces look superficially like the Type XIIIb swords such as the one in the David Collection, and have similar brass pommels but the blades bear German maker's marks. The blades are also different in cross section.

Another group of four similar swords of Type XVIa are known from the Shaykh bequests of 1414-16 also, one of which is in a private US collection. These also have German maker's marks of a distinctive nature - a triangle surmounted by a cross.

I would say that most of these identifiable groups of swords (perhaps with the exception of the broad-bladed Type XIIIs above) can be considered as princely gifts to cement treaties or truces. For example, following the Alexandrian Crusade of 1365, there followed an intense period of negotiation between Cyprus and the Mamluk Sultanate that was brokered by the Venetians, who had lost a great deal of commerce as a result of the crusade and its aftermath. Embassies were exchanged in 1366, 1367 and 1368, and it may be no coincidence that the first two identifiable bequests to the Alexandria Arsenal occurred in 1367-68 (most of which were the Type XIIIb swords, plus a few others), and in 1368-69 (which comprised a large number of diverse types).

Similarly, in 1414 a treaty was negotiated between the two states, and renegotiated two more times over the next five years. With that in mind, our attention is drawn to three groups of swords (mostly Type XVIIIc, but also the Type XVIa pieces mentioned above, plus a pair of XIXs) that bear inscriptions from 1414-15, 1415-16 and 1419-20. Again, this seems more than just a coincidence, and they are most likely to have been given to cement the treaty. Whether they were actually manufactured for this purpose, or if they were ordered 'off the shelf' (or were immediately to hand) is unclear.

The sword in the David Collection has indeed been known to me for some years, although I didn't realise where it was until about four years ago. It used to be one of those originally owned by E.A. Christensen, and it was assumed that after his death it ended up in the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen. Before Christensen acquired it, it had been owned by Eric Valentine and Claude Blair. Christensen had three, possibly four, Alexandrian inscribed swords in his collection, including the lovely Type XVII shown in the post above that was sold at Bonhams. The third piece was also of Type XVII and arguably the best of the bunch, but I have no idea where it is nowadays.

As you say, the prices of these swords continue to rise. In the late 1980s they could be had for around £15-20,000, rising to circa £25-30,000 by the 1990s. Nowadays, a good example with a clear and identifiable inscription and a reasonable provenance can easily make six figures. The fact that they now also appear in sales of Islamic art rather than arms and armour indicates that they are being taken seriously by a broad spectrum of collectors, including several from the middle east who might be attracted to their status as religiously-endowed items as defined by their inscriptions.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun, 2015 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clive Thomas wrote:
Well, there are a couple of smaller groups that contain similar swords too. There's a group of 4 very broad Type XIII swords (and one unmounted blade) that bear inscriptions mostly from the Aristay bequest of 1400-01, although one is dated 1427-28. One member of this group sold at Christies (13th April 2010, Lot 60) for a record sum approaching £400,000. These pieces look superficially like the Type XIIIb swords such as the one in the David Collection, and have similar brass pommels but the blades bear German maker's marks. The blades are also different in cross section.

Another group of four similar swords of Type XVIa are known from the Shaykh bequests of 1414-16 also, one of which is in a private US collection. These also have German maker's marks of a distinctive nature - a triangle surmounted by a cross.

I would say that most of these identifiable groups of swords (perhaps with the exception of the broad-bladed Type XIIIs above) can be considered as princely gifts to cement treaties or truces. For example, following the Alexandrian Crusade of 1365, there followed an intense period of negotiation between Cyprus and the Mamluk Sultanate that was brokered by the Venetians, who had lost a great deal of commerce as a result of the crusade and its aftermath. Embassies were exchanged in 1366, 1367 and 1368, and it may be no coincidence that the first two identifiable bequests to the Alexandria Arsenal occurred in 1367-68 (most of which were the Type XIIIb swords, plus a few others), and in 1368-69 (which comprised a large number of diverse types).

Similarly, in 1414 a treaty was negotiated between the two states, and renegotiated two more times over the next five years. With that in mind, our attention is drawn to three groups of swords (mostly Type XVIIIc, but also the Type XVIa pieces mentioned above, plus a pair of XIXs) that bear inscriptions from 1414-15, 1415-16 and 1419-20. Again, this seems more than just a coincidence, and they are most likely to have been given to cement the treaty. Whether they were actually manufactured for this purpose, or if they were ordered 'off the shelf' (or were immediately to hand) is unclear.

The sword in the David Collection has indeed been known to me for some years, although I didn't realise where it was until about four years ago. It used to be one of those originally owned by E.A. Christensen, and it was assumed that after his death it ended up in the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen. Before Christensen acquired it, it had been owned by Eric Valentine and Claude Blair. Christensen had three, possibly four, Alexandrian inscribed swords in his collection, including the lovely Type XVII shown in the post above that was sold at Bonhams. The third piece was also of Type XVII and arguably the best of the bunch, but I have no idea where it is nowadays.

As you say, the prices of these swords continue to rise. In the late 1980s they could be had for around £15-20,000, rising to circa £25-30,000 by the 1990s. Nowadays, a good example with a clear and identifiable inscription and a reasonable provenance can easily make six figures. The fact that they now also appear in sales of Islamic art rather than arms and armour indicates that they are being taken seriously by a broad spectrum of collectors, including several from the middle east who might be attracted to their status as religiously-endowed items as defined by their inscriptions.


So basically all the Alexandrian swords [from 1367-1420] seems to be the result of diplomacy - and not swords left behind by the Crusaders in Alexandria in 1365 - with Christian states given a small number of blades as gifts [either by ordering some from weapon-smiths in Italy or Germany or taking them from the shelf of their own arsenals].

It seems that E.A. Christensen did not testament his collection to any Danish museum, whether the National Museum or Tøjhusmuseet [or created his own Museum as David did]. So it must be heirs that are basically selling off all his swords (74 pieces at Bonham in 2012) and with this rate of selling (David's collection buying their example in 1998) and prizes they go for, it must be some kind of lifestyle.
[Unless he did give it to a museum, that for funding is selling them off - but that would be a real scandal]

I think it's a bit of a tragedy, that his spectacular collection is dispersed instead of being available in a museum. His collection could have been a museum in itself and he was open for researchers (Bruhn Hoffmeyer) to make detailed studies and publish a book about his collection.
Don't know if Oakeshott had direct access as well, or he got his info through Bruhn Hoffmeyer?

So this Alexandrian sword from Christies in 2014, lot 47, looks like the normal type XIIIb.

Source: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/arms-armor...tails.aspx

While the Christies 2010, lot 60 “Broad XIII" is seen here: [guard style looks to me very much like what you find on Type XVIa blades -> so perhaps a german style guard, that differs from an Italian one of the normal XIIIb's?].

Source: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/arms-armor...ID=5302965
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun, 2015 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of my favorite Alexandrian Arsenal Swords is the Type XXa pictured below. Clive Thomas wrote about it extensively in his "Father of Victory" article in the 2008 London Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue. I'm not sure that it is a XXa, - IMHO it falls somewhere between types XVIa, XVII, and XXa. I loved this sword so much that I had Arms and Armor reproduce it as closely as possible without actually having the original in their hands - HERE - I did take some unforgivable liberties with the pommel recess.


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Photo from Clive Thomas' " Father of Victory" courtesy of the Khalili Family Trust
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Jun, 2015 3:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
One of my favorite Alexandrian Arsenal Swords is the Type XXa pictured below. Clive Thomas wrote about it extensively in his "Father of Victory" article in the 2008 London Park Lane Arms Fair catalogue. I'm not sure that it is a XXa, - IMHO it falls somewhere between types XVIa, XVII, and XXa. I loved this sword so much that I had Arms and Armor reproduce it as closely as possible without actually having the original in their hands - I did take some unforgivable liberties with the pommel recess.


Great thread you made about the thought-process of reproducing this sword.
The sword has a very interesting profile as you explain in your thread. So here some time later, how do you think about its handling?

Could you also explain why you didn't settle for a rainguard - aesthetics?
I'm wondering if the rainguard is for making the "finger stick better" to that area, than it will on the metal (and later you get real finger rings). 

The blue colour chosen for the hilt is perfectly natural though it shocks a bit on first glance.
Blue colour was achieved with either the very expensive indigo or with the naturally occurring woad - most colouring in Europe was until at least 1600 done with Woad, [Isatis tinctoria, Danish: Vejd, German Färberweid] as Indigo was very expensive to import and didn't give that much colour difference, though it's apparently much easier to use than Woad, that took more specialized skills.

Apparently Toulouse became a major woad producing center in the late middle ages (1500's and had between 500-700 woad mills !), until the indigo imports from India changed it all.

The "shocking colour effect" is just something we have to get used to (like when you for the first time see painted greek statues!) as the middle ages were colourfull (if you could afford it) Wink
I think it a good example, that when you do recreations you could do for colour-flash effects and still be historical!
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Jun, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:


Great thread you made about the thought-process of reproducing this sword.
The sword has a very interesting profile as you explain in your thread. So here some time later, how do you think about its handling?

Could you also explain why you didn't settle for a rainguard - aesthetics?
I'm wondering if the rainguard is for making the "finger stick better" to that area, than it will on the metal (and later you get real finger rings). 

The blue colour chosen for the hilt is perfectly natural though it shocks a bit on first glance.
Blue colour was achieved with either the very expensive indigo or with the naturally occurring woad - most colouring in Europe was until at least 1600 done with Woad, [Isatis tinctoria, Danish: Vejd, German Färberweid] as Indigo was very expensive to import and didn't give that much colour difference, though it's apparently much easier to use than Woad, that took more specialized skills.

Apparently Toulouse became a major woad producing center in the late middle ages (1500's and had between 500-700 woad mills !), until the indigo imports from India changed it all.

The "shocking colour effect" is just something we have to get used to (like when you for the first time see painted greek statues!) as the middle ages were colourfull (if you could afford it) Wink
I think it a good example, that when you do recreations you could do for colour-flash effects and still be historical!



The sword handles beautifully, with good point control. The blade is very stiff, as one would expect from its distal taper. It functions very much like a Type XVII. The shortish blade IMO makes it a good thrusting sword to use against plate armor. A&A did a great job on this sword.

I don't care for rainguards. If there had been one on the original, I might have considered it. Unless the sword had some pas d'anes, I wouldn't want to finger the cross - don't want to get digits mashed or severed.

I bet there were a lot of blue grips back in the Middle Ages. (though there is a hypothesis going around that somehow we didn't perceive the color blue until recently. Ask the Picts about that) Medieval color tastes were often different than ours - brighter and more garish.



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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 14 Jun, 2015 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
The sword handles beautifully, with good point control. The blade is very stiff, as one would expect from its distal taper. It functions very much like a Type XVII. The shortish blade IMO makes it a good thrusting sword to use against plate armor. A&A did a great job on this sword.

I don't care for rainguards. If there had been one on the original, I might have considered it. Unless the sword had some pas d'anes, I wouldn't want to finger the cross - don't want to get digits mashed or severed.

I bet there were a lot of blue grips back in the Middle Ages. (though there is a hypothesis going around that somehow we didn't perceive the color blue until recently. Ask the Picts about that) Medieval color tastes were often different than ours - brighter and more garish.


So really a blade to be very careful with during sparring. It can really pierce well as it is stiff.
I can understand that with no protection for the finger it is very risky, to hold your finger like that (if it was the rainguards function?).

As for discovering blue textile: Finds in Denmark from the Iron Age shows after chemical examinations nice woad-blue colours already from the Iron Age.
It could have some possible influence from Roman fashion, but retain a Germanic specific feature, that the women often (always?) seems to show full arms and don't have sleeves, unless in wintertime to have warmer dress-pieces on top of it [bare arms would be unthinkable for Roman Women].
This female dress is from Lønne Hede dated in the 1st century AD.

So reconstructions of the dress here in either dark blue:
Source: http://vardemuseum.dk/dk.php/museetsarb/udgra..._gravplads
or light blue:
Source: http://natmus.dk/salg-og-ydelser/undervisning...enne-hede/

So even the "barbaric iron age" was quite colourful!
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