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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 12:44 pm    Post subject: A celtic concept by Patrick Barta         Reply with quote

I thought I'd share the initial concept drawing Patrick Barta sent me for my upcoming mid-La Tene era celtic sword.


The overall design of the blade and scabbard are taken from some original specimens Patrick has recently studied. The hilts upper and lower guard will be wood with the grip being made of bone. The shaded area between the blade and hilt represents a reinforcing plate as seen in the upper section of this photo.


The face of the scabbard will be covered with engraving such as this original.


The blade will be made in what Patrick calls a "proto-pattern welded" fashion. This consists of a blade core made from straight-line laminations rather than the twisted patterns seen in later migration era and viking age swords. This is the same technique he used for Nate Bells Celtic sword, which I reviewed a couple of years ago.
http://www.myArmoury.com/review_tmpl_celt.html
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great! How long before it's ready?
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Scott Hanson




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice. Is it just my imagination or is the intent to have it be slightly leaf-bladed? I had thought La Tene era was mostly straight edges, but I'm not very well-versed in celtic swords.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks really great: Lovely lines on that handle. Cool
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Patrick,

Boy, people like you make poor aspiring authors like me very jealous! Wink Happy

I like that design. It looks interesting, with appealing lines. Can you show us any of the possible inspirations for this piece? You said that the blade and scabbard are based upon original specimens Patrick Barta recently studied; what's the inspiration for the hilt?

Stay safe! Happy

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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C.L. Miller




PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this Patrick, it's always great to get more insight into the creative process of sword-making, especially when the maker is of Bárta's caliber.
I note with interest that the blade shape on Bárta's drawing looks something like the outline of a Mindelheim sword. Like many others on the site, I'd be very curious to see some of Bárta's inspirations!
Thanks again for the post, and congratulations in advance!


Last edited by C.L. Miller on Mon 08 Jan, 2007 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jay Barron




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm really looking forward to seeing this one, Patrick. I haven't seen a historically accurate leablade from a smith in a long while.
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Steve L.





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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Barta is an very good handcrafter and he knows how archeological reconstructions works!!

One question:

The blade looks "a little leaf" for me!? (Hard to "Hallstatt" in the first half!) I have no information about leafbladed swords in Latčne-B!!

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Shawn Shaw




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like it! I was thinking about tackling a La Tene sword as an upcoming project (My first attempt will be spring steel...not quite up to pattern welding yet...) and I like the general design of both this sword and the one in the review mentioned above.

Will it include a full tang? If so, was that typical of this type of sword? My understanding was that early period slashing swords fell out of favor because they were rivted to the handle (and thus were somewhat fragile) but I think those were pre-La Tene blades?
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Lison wrote:
Looks great! How long before it's ready?


I don't have an exact completion date yet, but he should start on the blade this month.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The leaf design is something that surprised me as well as I've never seen it in a La Tene blade. According to the measurements on the drawing it isn't too pronounced but it is present. I really don't know if I'd go so far as to even call it a "leaf" shape, perhaps describing it as waisted might be more accurate. I've asked Patrick about it but haven't received a response yet. He is pretty serious about historic research so I doubt if it's just something he pulled from his nether regions. I'm interested in hearing about it too.

Shawn,

Yes, the blade features a full tang. Riveting the blade to the hilt fell out of use quite some time before mid-La Tene.

Richard,

The hilt design seems to be one that Patrick favors for swords of this type since he's used the basic pattern more than once. Nates sword and a celtic sword currently on his website are two examples. Most, if not all La Tene finds lack a hilt since the hilts were made from organice materials. Some later La Tene swords feature hilts with a few metal components, but by and large hilt design is left to the study of period artwork which isn't overly helpful in this area. I believe the hilt design is a bit of conjecture on Patricks part. It's nicely proportioned though.
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shawn Shaw wrote:
Will it include a full tang? If so, was that typical of this type of sword? My understanding was that early period slashing swords fell out of favor because they were rivted to the handle (and thus were somewhat fragile) but I think those were pre-La Tene blades?


Aren't swords with separate rivetted handles (handles rivetted onto the end of the blade) more of a bronze-age weapon? The rivets would tear out of the rather thin bronze pretty quickly. In Archaeology of Weapons, Ewart Oakeshott said that more than half the specimens of such swords had one or more rivet pulled out in such a fashion. He goes on to say that some swords of the Bronze Age began to show improvements in the hilt, and some had tangs made in a narrow rod in one part with the blade, like later iron-age swords (although this was discarded during the Bronze Age as being impractical - the bronze for the tang was too thin, and prone to break). Another type of Bronze Age handle appeared in the middle period of the Bronze Age, where the tang was made as a flat piece in one with the blade, and grip material was then rivetted to this tang.

Further along in the same work, Oakeshott shows a diagram of the hilt construction of a La Tene sword. The tang of the blade was made long and narrow. The hilt was made in three separate pieces of guard, grip, and pommel, and slipped over the tang. The tang end was then hammered down and firmly rivetted to hold it all tightly together. This might be a simplification, but it's fairly clear.

Anyway, that's what I thought. My main area of interest is a bit later than that.

Still, nice sword design! It stirs my Celtic blood!

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick - this looks like a project worth waiting for! I am very interested in following the progress, so please keep us up-to-date as much as you can!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Personally, I'm extremely intrigued by the scabbard at least as much as I am by the sword itself. It should be stellar.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Tim Lison wrote:
Looks great! How long before it's ready?


I don't have an exact completion date yet, but he should start on the blade this month.


Wow! You have to be chomping at the bit for this one. I know how long his wait is, having it only a month or so away has got to be sweet! It looks like it'll be a great sword, I hope you review it when it arrives.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Personally, I'm extremely intrigued by the scabbard at least as much as I am by the sword itself. It should be stellar.


I totally agree. Patrick gave me three options regarding the scabbard decoration. I chose the most extensive engraving option. Even though it's the most expensive of the three I think it will be worth it as this aspect of celtic swords has always interested me and it's so characteristic of the time period..
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jan, 2007 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Personally, I'm extremely intrigued by the scabbard at least as much as I am by the sword itself. It should be stellar.


I totally agree. Patrick gave me three options regarding the scabbard decoration. I chose the most extensive engraving option. Even though it's the most expensive of the three I think it will be worth it as this aspect of celtic swords has always interested me and it's so characteristic of the time period..


What has always struck me from the plethora of "gear" in general for that time period is the seemingly importance of decorative elements and design themes surrounding them. The scabbard is integral to the sword, in my opinion, and I'm glad you went that route.

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jan, 2007 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Fay wrote:
Shawn Shaw wrote:
Will it include a full tang? If so, was that typical of this type of sword? My understanding was that early period slashing swords fell out of favor because they were rivted to the handle (and thus were somewhat fragile) but I think those were pre-La Tene blades?


Aren't swords with separate rivetted handles (handles rivetted onto the end of the blade) more of a bronze-age weapon?

Bronze age and early iron age.

Quote:
The rivets would tear out of the rather thin bronze pretty quickly. In Archaeology of Weapons, Ewart Oakeshott said that more than half the specimens of such swords had one or more rivet pulled out in such a fashion.


Ewart hasn't looked at the swords well enough (or at least not with the eyes of a mechanical engineer specialized in riveted connections). I've looked at the rapiers, and could conclude that this is not the case. The "torn" rivet holes are almost all due to drilling too close to the side, corrosion damage and casting flaws (casting around the holes, but the bronze not flowing all around the hole) or by design (a lot of later rapiers had notches in the side, rather then full holes). The bronze is far too strong to be torn by this manner anyway. Two reasons to go to full tang: breaking of the hilt itself (the wood is much weaker), ease of construction (much easier to make two hilt halves, then a solid hilt with a slot) and play. The latter I found when hilting one of my rapiers. Just using two rivets means that only the slightest room between the rivet and hole means you can move around the blade a lot at the tip. They could have fixed that with a glue (which they probably did), but just preventing it in the first place is a lot better. If tearing of rivet holes was the reason, the simple solution would have been placing the holes slightly further from the edge, or increasing the thickness of the hilt plates.

Quote:
He goes on to say that some swords of the Bronze Age began to show improvements in the hilt, and some had tangs made in a narrow rod in one part with the blade, like later iron-age swords (although this was discarded during the Bronze Age as being impractical - the bronze for the tang was too thin, and prone to break).

Rod tanged hilts were never replaced by sandwich tanged, nore would breaking have been any reason (bronze is not significantly weaker then iron age iron, so what works with iron words just as well with bronze). Tanged swords were used with bronze hilts, while organic hilted used the sandwich construction. These options were used side by side during the middle and late bronze age throughout continental Europe. Organic hilted rod tanged swords have also been in use, but mostly in late bronze age Sweden AFAIK.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jan, 2007 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick,

A very interesting project to be sure and I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Jeremy
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Greg Griggs




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jan, 2007 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know how I feel about it, my friend. Can't wait to have the chance to oogle and get my grimy fingers all over it when the beauty arrives. Wink Like you and Nathan, I'm especially intrigued by the scabbard. The project as a whole should be an exceptionally nice add-on to your collection.

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