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Old 31st July 2020, 04:48 PM   #1
fernando
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Default A cup hilt sword ... atypical, for your comments.

A great asset (for me) is the inscription VIVA EL REY DE PORTVGAL in both blade sides, written in the old manner.
The atypical detail, which i dare repute as rather rare, is the profile of the blade; waving in its first half and straight in the other half. I also dare say, by the looks of it that, this was not a later modification but was forged this way right from the beginning; first owner's whim.
I would say this is a sword from first half 17th century.

Blade length 91 cms.
Total length 109 cms.
Blafe width 40 m/m.
Cup bowl width 14 cms.
Quillons width 28 cms.
Weight 934 grams.


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Old 31st July 2020, 04:51 PM   #2
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Cool sword!
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Old 31st July 2020, 05:13 PM   #3
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I have seen swords, from two-handers to slim rapiers, with flamboyant blades all the way but never a sword that was half flamboyant and half straight. I would say very rare, and Portuguese at that! Well done, Fernando.
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Old 31st July 2020, 06:05 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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This is an outstanding sword, and I agree with the 17th c. period suggested,
more toward the middle.
The undulating edge on the blade was known in the times up to the Renaissance as 'flamberge' and without going into all the etymological detail referred loosely to 'flaming' sword, and in most cases had far more to do with ecclesiastical allegory to the 'Sword of Paradise' in Biblical dogma. This sword was guardian to the entrance gates to paradise.

As noted, these blades were well known on the two handers, but seen on other swords as well.
As far as I have understood, there is far more aesthetic and imbued value in these undulating edges than practical, but along with the religious symbolism and invocations often seen on blades of the time, this feature seems well placed but indeed atypical for these kinds of 'arming' swords.

While I believe there are some examples with undulation the full length of the blade, it seems it is more usual to be in the upper half of the blade where more strength and metal stock is present. Blades of course tend to thin notably in the distal half so such features would be more difficult.
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Old 31st July 2020, 09:31 PM   #5
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Parabens, Nando!

A truly rare blade form (half waved from the forte, straight towards tip) in a European context. Fairly common, however, among south Philippine kalis (kris) short swords, that configuration called kalis taluseko.

Jim: Re your comment on flamberge blades, I think that there is a functional component as well. When used for the thrust, the tissue damage from the puncture wound is more extensive due to the lateral waves. Greater shock and blood loss. That's why a number of central European boar swords (not spears) also have wavy blades, broad enough so the edges can be sharpened. And this is also held to be the rationale behind the wavy blades on many keris daggers of SE Asia as well.
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Old 1st August 2020, 11:12 AM   #6
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That is a nice sword indeed especially the blade I to would place it as 17th C ! There is an almost identical one in the Museu Militar in Lisbon that one is described as 18th C, perhaps these are late 17th C early 18th C ? It would be interesting to find out when the first one's emerged to me this is typical Portuguese . Although I collect 16th and 17th C I would not mind having this one in my collection , perhaps Fernando will give me a call around Christmas
kind regards
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Old 1st August 2020, 05:53 PM   #7
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Thank you Filipe,
Duly noted on the further efficacy of waved blades. So true that i favor 'forensics' quicker than 'esoterics'. Also the author of AS ARMAS e OS BARÕES prefers to explain the purpose of these blades as having a multiple cutting area. In fact he shows three of such examples in his book which, together with a couple i know that exist in a fellow collector's collection, make me infer that these blades were more directed to thrusting efficiency than to please the Gods. But of course that could have taken place in a much earlier period. Interesting also to notice that more than one technique was used to shape tese flaming blades. As i once heard, the undulations may be applied by either filing the steel after the blade is made or make them while forging it.


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Old 1st August 2020, 06:11 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for the kind words, Dirk. And don't loose hope; Christmas is not so far away ... neither is Belgium .
Thank you also for posting that nice sword in the Museu Militar. Oh, i wish i could read the inscription on the blade. Do you have a picture with a higher resolution ?


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Old 1st August 2020, 06:26 PM   #9
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Sure Fernando, here you go
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Old 1st August 2020, 07:12 PM   #10
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Thank you so much, Dirk,
No doubt this one is from the 18th century, consistent with the King mentioned in the caption (Dom Jão V, reigned 1706-1750). A precious detail; the grip is covered with tressed horsehair.
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Old 1st August 2020, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Cool sword!

Thank you Wayne .
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Old 1st August 2020, 07:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilUK
I have seen swords, from two-handers to slim rapiers, with flamboyant blades all the way but never a sword that was half flamboyant and half straight. I would say very rare, and Portuguese at that! Well done, Fernando.
Neil

Thank you for the kind words, Neil !
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Old 1st August 2020, 08:41 PM   #13
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The filed in 'luks' do not look as good as the forged in ones which are a lot smoother.

I see in the one photo above the 2 swords on the left appears filed, the one to it's right appear to be forged that way, like the older More Kris. The bottom one looks forged too.

On a sword, the forward part of the blade is frequently the only part sharpened and used to cut and thrust, the rear half is unsharpened to resist your opponents blows on this stronger section. In a thrust you'd only use the first few inches behind the point, more is overkill (literally) and might make it easier to get stuck if you thrust too far in. You's never make it to the luks.

Likewise, you'd hardly ever be in a position where you'd cut with the waved bit, it's too far back. No force to an impact cut and even a draw/push cut would be difficult and not very effective. They still look scary tho.
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Old 1st August 2020, 09:28 PM   #14
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In accord with Wayne's observations, I was wondering pretty much the same thing about the undulating edges on these blades on these rapier arming swords of 17th c. The wavy edges are in the upper half of the blade, thus the notion of worsening thrusting wounds not really viable.

Most of what I have read, alludes to the undulating edges on blades leading to undue vibration in the blade 'slowing' the dynamics of wielding it. It would seem that would be more to the distal half of the blade, as there the metal is of course thinner. What I dont understand is why the undulation would cause vibration any more than a straight edge in the same part of the blade.

The undulating edges on the two handers for boar hunting does seem to make more sense, and the flukes were to keep the impaled animal from working up the blade, again, as has been explained elsewhere.

Burton wrote on serrated edges on blades, bayonets in particular, noting that this feature was entirely counter productive as the weapon could usually not be withdrawn and became lodged.

Aside from these 'forensic' factors, the aesthetic or allegorical value of the undulating blades as I had mentioned were well placed in the ecclesiastic allusions with sword blades. The 'Sword of Paradise' was of course well themed in the context of chivalry which carried well into the evolution, lore and dogma of fraternities, military orders, and other circumstances where swords were traditional icons.
In Masonic situations, the Tyler, who guarded the lodge and held a sword, traditionally and ideally, these swords were in the dogma, to be 'flamberge' or wavy bladed. Naturally in practice, many other types of swords were used, many votively with old combat weapons.

With the keris, I had always understood the varying profiles of the blades, representing nagan theme, were with the 'snake' or serpent straight, it was 'asleep' while undulating, obviously awake and active. I have little to zero knowledge of the complicated character of the keris, so surely those who do will respond to elucidate. What Philip has noted surely is the logic in these Indonesian and Asian blades.
In India, there were many 'nagan' blades on khanda, pattisa etc. and in Islamic blades, the dual or bifurcated 'Dhu'l Fiqar' blades are typically undulating. On these the purpose was primarily aesthetic I believe.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 11:40 AM   #15
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Default Flaming versus undulated ... the difference

Whether one gave place to the other, let evidence show up and enlighten us ... or enlighten me, for one.
Not hard to trace the multiple info on the flaming sword; Sumerian, owned by Asaruludu; the bible, with Archangel Uriel, guarding the doors of Eden to prevent expelled Adam and Even to return (Gênesis 3:24); in Welsh mythology, the Dyrnwyn owned by Rhydderch, capable of burning the man who called him for unworthy purposes; in Nordic mythology, the sword held by Surtr, a jötunn from Muspelheim, had a flaming blade with imense destructive power. But all those swords had blades that produced "actual" flames; burning fire was their business, not the design of the blade.
Now, whether all these gave transition to 'modern' blades with the waving option, losing the property of fire in favor of their stabbing efficacy, let it be a self service conclusion.
Not forgetting that, by the time of freemasonry, the flames had already ceased playing their mythic role and the sword was only undulated (say waved). But this occurrence only appeared in a later ritual fashion in France, influenced by the exiled Scots nobles. Before that, freemasons had their own mason tools for symbols, the sword not included. Even the Tyler chronicles are not consistent with his sword being undulated or straight.
Obviously the argument that the waving section being placed other than in the blade point is, if i may, a fait divers. As i said in my first post about the sword in discussiin being an 'atypical' example, quoted as a 'owners whim' (read caprice).
Attached a couple examples from my little collection in such context.


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Last edited by fernando : 2nd August 2020 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:16 PM   #16
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Well researched and well put Fernando. Thank you.
While I had touched on the Masonic lore from time to time, I had never seen these details in depth.
As you say, the owner who commissioned the sword's whim, and as always, atavism and tradition which were well steeped in the Spanish and Portuguese culture, would often prevail. In this manner cup hilts prevailed in use even into the 19th century in the colonies.

As I had mentioned, the Tyler's sword was expressed as being 'wavy' bladed (=flamed) in much of the literature I saw in research some years ago, but much of this was from 19th century. Thus, one would expect the often flowery and theatrical kinds of expression and allegory of the period to be part of what was written on these kinds of subjects.
In reality, as mentioned as well, the sword used by the Tyler in actual lodges was whatever weapon was deemed by the local members to be notably significant in this esteemed position.

I have found numerous instances of certain souvenir or combat 'blooded' weapons from capture or trophy being used in lodges, one I recall was an old Spanish saber with the familiar 'Spanish motto'. It was of course not 'wavy' but regarded as venerated and worthy of such place in the lodge.

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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... In this manner cup hilts prevailed in use even into the 19th century in the colonies.

Also over here, Jim. Those that survived until then, were the resource of the population when involved in the various (Portuguese) civil war conflicts.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:36 PM   #18
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Default And by the way ...

... also this example (the one initially posted) has the same particularity of a threaded pommel. Pity i couldn't dismount the grip, to look for possible signs on the tang; too stuck to risk damaging.


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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Also over here, Jim. Those that survived until then, were the resource of the population when involved in the various (Portuguese) civil war conflicts.



We crossed posts, that makes sense as often, especially in rural areas such instances of civil disturbance, the use of obsolete (theoretically) and older arms are used in the ersatz arming of individuals. Actually in the colonies of the 'New World', contrary to what many perceive, these were not technically 'military' movements, but private individuals hoping to better their lives. They were expected to arm themselves of course, and carried everything from long outdated armor and arms which were acquired in long ago battles and other heirlooms from various sources.
Most resources on the colonial arms make specific note of the curious array of these old weapons ( a'la Don Quixote ) which prevailed.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... that makes sense as often, especially in rural areas such instances of civil disturbance, the use of obsolete (theoretically) and older arms are used in the ersatz arming of individuals. .

In this chapter, swords tend to beat guns.
While fire weapons may become impraticable (unshootable) with time, bladed weapons are ageless, as they can always do the job.
But i am digressing .


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Last edited by fernando : 2nd August 2020 at 06:13 PM. Reason: spell
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Old 2nd August 2020, 05:15 PM   #21
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Cannot remember where I read it, but one explanation of the wavy contour of the blade allegedly made the blade of the opponent waver and lose direction and speed.
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Old 2nd August 2020, 05:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Cannot remember where I read it, but one explanation of the wavy contour of the blade allegedly made the blade of the opponent waver and lose direction and speed.

A serious perspective; certainly plausible ...
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Old 3rd August 2020, 08:54 AM   #23
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Fernando,
Have you tried WD-40 to remove the grip?
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Old 3rd August 2020, 10:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Fernando,
Have you tried WD-40 to remove the grip?

I thought of doing that, Ariel but, i left it for a possible new round.
The stuck up is not between two metals but between the steel tang and the wooden grip core; the tang must have 'swollen' with the rusting process.
I wanted to avoid to mess up the area with the penetrating oil; but i will probably give it a try. But above all, i fear for the damage; these things are pretty old and, if we damaged them, they are not the same again.
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Old 3rd August 2020, 01:33 PM   #25
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WD40 and wood are not a good mix. It dries and leaves a gunky residue when over-applied. There are better oils available from gunsmiths.

I've heard an old 'fix' for a loose grip on a tang with a slightly oversized central grip hole was to paint the tang with a salt and vinegar paste to encourage rust, which increases the size of the tang as rust takes up more space than the steel it used to be.

That is why you can't use water with a high salt content to make reinforced concrete. It rusts the rebar, expands them and the concrete cracks from the outwards force which is quite strong. This lets in more water & the deterioration accelerates.

If it's used on an old somewhat fragile and dry shrunken wood grip, the expansion could crack the wood. medical grade mineral oil/Ballistol would be better, to rehydrate the dry shrunken wood and lube the internal rust that is preventing the disassembly. It's also non-poisonous and food safe unlike WD40. It will discolour light wood tho and you can't varnish over it. It never dries or hardens. Ballistol has a nice aroma, if you like Ouzo liquor (Greek) you might like it's anise aroma. I do.
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Old 4th August 2020, 07:54 AM   #26
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Alright Govenor, Ballistol will be ... when time comes.
But you are wrong in one thing; its aroma stinks .
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Old 4th August 2020, 08:27 AM   #27
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I use Ballistol only on guns (with moving parts). I use mineral oil for swords, and when dry I apply Renaissance wax on top. I use walnut oil for wood (butt stocks on guns, wood hilts on swords, poles on polearms).
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Old 4th August 2020, 08:44 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Alright Govenor, Ballistol will be ... when time comes.
But you are wrong in one thing; its aroma stinks .


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It also repels sabre toothed tigers. Haven't seen a single one since I started using Ballistol.

In other words: (use google translate if you don't read Latin. )

“Quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum”
-Lucretius, 1st Century BC.

p.s.- Victrix, what are civilian and most old military rifles made of? Last time I owned one it was wood and steel.
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Old 4th August 2020, 12:05 PM   #29
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Default ALL BALLISTOL PURPOSES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
I use Ballistol only on guns (with moving parts). I use mineral oil for swords, and when dry I apply Renaissance wax on top. I use walnut oil for wood (butt stocks on guns, wood hilts on swords, poles on polearms).

Yes, you are right in what counts primary use of this ingredient; i happen to have a can of this because some old collector/hunter adviced me to use it, which i almost never did, leaving it for active gun shooters, which is not my case.
But after Wayne's smart advice, i went to look to ALL BALLISTOL PURPOSES and decided i will give a try.
If it doesn' work and something goes wrong, he will see my lawyers.
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Old 4th August 2020, 12:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
...“Quod ali cibus est aliis fuat acre venenum”-Lucretius, 1st Century BC...

Everybody knows that Lucrecia suffered of hyposmia .
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