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Late antiquity spatha question
#1
Salve,

I'm more familiarized with first roman century material, so have a question: what kind of scabbard could be apropiate for this spatha?


[attachment=12038]11079614_848417321897956_5104387783515072461_n.jpg[/attachment]


Thanks!!


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#2
Is that a horn handle?? Where was it found, any good dating?
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#3
VI century dated. It's horn and wood. It's from an auction...
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#4
for me, this is a forgery. we discussed this on FB a year ago or so, but don`t find the thread any more.
reasons why I think it is a forgery:

the "hourglass"-shaped handle is typical of scandinavian swords of the 4th century, not 6th.

the construction of the crossbars is odd: normally this construction appears from 600 AD onwards, bot never with a copper-alloy center-bar. they are made of iron normally (with or without inlays)
the pommel-bar is much too short

the decorative rivets on the blade-sided crossbar are on the wrong side (they would obstruct the hand at this place); they are of a totally untypical form also, much too high

the pommel itself has no parallels in the 6th century. it looks a bit like early "viking" pommels, but much smaller and not of iron. it is not stuck on the tang and riveted, as much as I can see here, which is also untypical in that timeframe

to me, this looks like the tryout of a merovingian sword made by someone who doesn`t have the knowledge about dating and typology of sword fittings of that time



about 6th century scabbards: there is a very good preserved find of a carved wooden scabbard core from Basel / Switzerland, dating to about 500 AD, also many finds of fittings and partial scabbard remains throughout the whole merovingian time, but one has to be careful in combining finds because the fashions in decoration did change quickly
Als Mensch zu dumm, als Schwein zu kleine Ohren...

Jürgen Graßler

http://www.schorsch-der-schmied.de
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AG-Histori...2642993872
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#5
This piece reminded me of the Fetter Lane Hilt some what.... note the unlikely rivets! :

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/co...rue&page=1

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/co...ctid=92019

The hilt is not solid but made from many components surrounding a wooden core....

Though I would have to agree with XorX and think its a either faked or an attempt at reconstructing the hilt, the reason why I think this is, is the unlikely hood of such a perfect organic hilt still existing on such a badly corroded blade....
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#6
Ewart Oakeshott included this sword in his "Archeology of Weapons". It was supposedly found in river Scheldt. So it is likely that it's an original. Of course, it's not definite, a victorian replica could have ended up in a river too, somehow...
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#7
Quote:This piece reminded me of the Fetter Lane Hilt some what.... note the unlikely rivets! :

which dates to the 8th century...

somebody clearly did not know about what he was writing when he described this sword as 6th century imho
Als Mensch zu dumm, als Schwein zu kleine Ohren...

Jürgen Graßler

http://www.schorsch-der-schmied.de
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AG-Histori...2642993872
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#8
Quote:Ewart Oakeshott included this sword in his "Archeology of Weapons". It was supposedly found in river Scheldt. So it is likely that it's an original. Of course, it's not definite, a victorian replica could have ended up in a river too, somehow...

many fakes from the 19th century ended up in museums where some of them were only found to be fakes in newest times by modern examinations.
it`s not that unfamiliar Confusedhock:
Als Mensch zu dumm, als Schwein zu kleine Ohren...

Jürgen Graßler

http://www.schorsch-der-schmied.de
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AG-Histori...2642993872
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#9
Oakeshott has three swords from the Scheldt.. 400ad, 650ad and 750-800ad, this sword is the first dated 400ad.... really... from a river?.....
All three swords appear in a similar condition with the first two sharing some of the same decoration ring dot and line on bone? the sort of decor you would find on early medieval combs.... the last a "Viking" sword is described as "On loan from the collection of Sir James Mann" perhaps that's where they all came from?...

None of this means that the swords are fakes or have original furniture... or indeed came from any river...

Effectively Unprovenanced you might say.......
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#10
Having read some very unkind things said about mr. Oakshott, I agree that without any good provenance, this could a dubious piece. About the rivits, the way these swords are gripped, protruding rivits in the pommel are much less of a problem then the ones protruding from the inside of the guard. Those will hurt!
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#11
Robert, good observation, you're absolutely right! Unless the rivets were attached during a restorating process (wrongly), I would say this sword is not genuine.
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
Moderator
[Image: fectio.png]
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#12
It is extremely unlikely such a thing could have happened. It is supposed to be a dredge find from a river, so any parts would be attached to the sword or would have been lost. There is no way this handle would have been reassembled after being recovered, as that would have meant forcefully taking it apart and then on reassembly repeening the tang, something I would not see any restorer do.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
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#13
Maybe it was thrown in the river in frustration? Wink
Virilis / Jyrki Halme
PHILODOX
Moderator
[Image: fectio.png]
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#14
Hahahaha, yes, along with the blacksmith who made it !! No, no one would buy such a non-functional sword to begin with. No wallhangers in the 7th century, business only.
Salvete et Valete

Nil volentibus arduum
Return the Romans to Batavian soil!

Robert P. Wimmers
Foundation Archeological Themepark Limes
>http://www.ferrumantica.eu (The NEW Fabrica of Vvlpivs!)
Reply
#15
The rivets look a lot like semi-ground down cap nuts like on the pommels of some Indian gladii to me.
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