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Old 5th November 2022, 06:09 PM   #1
10thRoyal
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Default Victorian reproduction sword "practice problem"

Good afternoon all, I saw an interesting "20th century reproduction estoc" at a recent auction. At an excited first glance, you always want to be able to say "oh this is real" but that is almost never the case. And while this sword in particular looks older than the 20th century it is described as, I want to go through a bit of an exercise for my own benefit of identifying the features of the blade that mark it as being a likely Victorian reproduction and u would greatly appreciate the help of those of you in the community with more experience than myself. This post did not seem to belong anywhere else but in miscellaneous. So for those of you who have been at this for decades longer than me, please critique my thought process below in judging the sword. FYI: this sword is no longer up for auction and so won't influence anyone's purchases.

At first look:
1. Blade does not appear be mass produced and ground on production machinery.
2. Age around the hilt does not seem to agree with the 20th century attestation. The calling of the sword an "estoc" does not make it look like the auctioneers had a great deal of background history or sword knowledge.
3. Quillons appear to be too rough and asymmetrical to be machined, they appear hand wrought.
4. Presence of maker's mark.

Second thoughts and more research.
1. Pommel, hand guard, quillons match style scene in Wallace collection items a480, a483, and 485.
2. General blade shape has a passing resemblance to Wallace collection item a480, a "swiss saber/souther German longsword".

Final thoughts and conclusions:
1. The sword is a fairly nice if not entirely accurate reproduction of a480 or a sword in a foreign collection of a similar pattern to a480.
2. Reasons for doubting any authenticity:
-maker's mark does not match any marking I've seen exactly. Style is the "crowned pi", "twig", or "crossed flails" though I've seen minor differences in the description of these three.
-the rounded flourish at the bottom of the handguard is not beaten and curled iron (a480, a483, and 485 all show a tapered iron tail curled into the same rounded shape) wh appears cast.
-distal taper is hard to recognize on this blade.
-the motif around the maker's mark is of the style of a480 but is much more crude.

So with all of this I concluded that this was indeed a reproduction. All of this was an exercise to increase my own knowledge and help me in the future. Hopefully with the input of those with more experience, this may benefit others as well.

Thank you,
Michael
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Old 9th November 2022, 07:03 PM   #2
kronckew
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I saw that one in its auction catalogue. It looked too good, so I didn't bid on it. Might have if they'd offered P&P in-house. It could be a theatrical reproduction, some of the late 19c ones from Germany/Austria were quite good and were made pretty much like the originals, and would have been good weapons in battle.
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Old 11th November 2022, 05:23 PM   #3
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I agree Kronckew, if the bidding was lower and shipping would have been less trouble, it's a sword I'd be quite happy to own even if it was a reproduction as it looked well researched and of high quality.
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