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Old 14th August 2021, 08:34 PM   #1
urbanspaceman
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Default English blades

This seems like another simple question but I have a feeling it may prove otherwise.
During my research there has been one unavoidable issue that remains unanswered:
why could the English not produce sword-blades of the same quality as the Germans - at least until the 2nd quarter of the 18th century?

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Old 14th August 2021, 09:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
This seems like another simple question but I have a feeling it may prove otherwise.
During my research there has been one unavoidable issue that remains unanswered:
why could the English not produce sword-blades of the same quality as the Germans - at least until the 2nd quarter of the 18th century?
You should be asking "why most of Europe could not produce sword blades of the same quality as the Germans?"

And the answer is, "yes, they could."

The quality of the blades made in Toledo made them even more famous than the most famous German blades.

Also the blades made in Northern Italy (Milano, Caino, etc.) were by no means inferior to their German counterparts.

But what the Germans managed to master better than anyone else was mass producing sword blades with consistently high quality and they exported them throughout the world. While both Toledo and Milano could and did produce blades of superb quality, they produced very few of them, while the Germans produced them in industrial quantities.

Now why English sword makers didn't produce blades of the same quality like their German counterparts, I don't know. But since the technology/know-how of making a high quality sword blade is quite complex, it may be because the English smiths were not familiar with all the tricks of the craft?!

Or, it may be that the English smiths simply did not have access to raw materials of the same quality like their German counterparts?!

Or maybe they did manage to produce blades of quality matching the quality of German blades, but they did not manage to do it cost efficiently (in time and effort) and could not efficiently compete in a market saturated with German products?!

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Old 15th August 2021, 04:36 PM   #3
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This is an excellent explanation Marius!
I would add that Aylward (1945) noted that the English apparently certain prejudicial attitudes concerning the dark working with metal, and believed that 'foreigners' possessed occult secrets about the manufacture of arms & armor which were outside their scope.

While this may sound 'silly' as the topic of superstition and fears and notions on the occult and 'magic' etc. are in a manner of thinking, much 'avoided' today. However it is not the fear of evil effects but more associating these long outdated beliefs with ignorance and low awareness.
In the study of arms, this has often been my experience with analysis of markings, inscriptions and often features in weapons.

It was not until the progressive posture by Henry VIII in bringing foreign armorers into England that the advent of English arms production moved ahead. Until then England had relied on Spain, France, Germany and Italy for most armor and blades.

Interestingly there were knife makers apparently, but this industry seems outside the realm of sword blades and armor. It seems odd that blacksmiths functioned as well known , and along with cutlers who mounted the blades.

In "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England" (H.R.Ellis-Davidson, 1962. p.34), concerning sword blades as early as 9th century, "...pattern welded swords may not have been made in many workshops and as yet there is no evidence they were ever produced in England or Scandinavia, though there seems no convincing reason WHY THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN. "(my caps).

There were apparently adequate resources in numerous locations in England, as seen in the later developing industry of blade making.
Interestingly despite resources, much of the steel used for forging was produced in Sweden and exported to various countries in later years. It was shortages of this Swedish steel that brought issues into Germany during the Thirty Years War.

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Old 15th August 2021, 07:45 PM   #4
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Default Tticks, techniques ... and legends

Like for whisky and textiles, you chose a place near a river where the water is pure and full of properties, to install your mill.
Toledan sword smiths and cuttlers may not have chosen the place but they have benefitted from the Tagus river waters. Apparently the Romans envied their results; those which derived from not only the Tagus but from their demanding for a reliable raw material, that from the Mondragon mines. But was is more accentuated as techiques go, is the Tagus waters ... and its sands (where gold abunded and all ?). This is where history is cocktailed between the magic properties of the river and the extremely complex skill they used to forge their blades; to a point in that they (the early ones) wouldn't know if the result was achieved by their own ability alone or the magic resided in the river waters.


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Old 15th August 2021, 11:21 PM   #5
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A very good note Fernando, and the access to running water is key to placement of mills, of course to turn the machinery.
This is noted in references to various blade forging places, and there are numbers of thoughts and suggestions of quality achieved by the 'magical properties ' of the water and/or minerals etc. in it.

This was not lost to writers and romanticized notions,

"...a sword of icebrook temper, of the very best quality. The Spaniards used to plunge their swords and other weapons while hot from the forge into the brook Salo (Xalon) near Bilbilis in Celtiberia to harden them. The water of this brook is very cold. It is a sword of Spain, the ice brook temper".
-Shakespeare, Othello v.2
from "Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" E.Cobham Brewer, (1894).

As you know the term 'bilbo' was commonly used for various Spanish swords (Im not sure if Portugal used the same term) in 17th, 18th c.
There has been notable debate on the origin of the term, many thinking it has to do with Bilbao in Basque country, but there is some mention of the Bilbilis having association.

The water is indeed a most important factor as you point out, in addition to the raw materials needed to forge steel and iron.
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Old 16th August 2021, 12:46 PM   #6
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... As you know the term 'bilbo' was commonly used for various Spanish swords (Im not sure if Portugal used the same term) in 17th, 18th c.
.
The term 'bilbo' when adopted for swords typology is an english speaking attribution. It is not used as such by Portuguese ... and neither by Spanish, i guess.
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Old 16th August 2021, 01:22 PM   #7
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... There has been notable debate on the origin of the term, many thinking it has to do with Bilbao in Basque country, but there is some mention of the Bilbilis having association ...
It should have to do only with the Basque; actually the (non weapon) bilbo term also exists in Basque.
Augusta Bilbilis was already renamed Calatayud (Qal'at 'Ayyūb) when the Moors imposed their castle in the VIII century; indeed a place also of skilled arms makers, in the route between Zaragoza and Toledo.
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Old 17th August 2021, 06:07 AM   #8
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I cannot remember where I read it- there was a difference in the forge fuel- coke vs charcoal? coal vs charcoal? not sure. Anyway, one of the common English fuels was introducing a trace element like phosphorus or sulfur into the steel and weakening it. There was some discussion of this regarding anchor chain iron or similar as well. IIRC.
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Old 17th August 2021, 01:49 PM   #9
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Default Myth, magic and metals

In response to the query about Solingen's superior output, here is a short explanation:
In the 16th century, the forging technique in Solingen was already quite advanced in its development and Wilhelm Weyersberg, the ancestor of one of the WKC founders, became mayor of the city of Solingen. During this period, the so called "Solingen method" was invented, which in effect was a division of labour between the guilds in town. Each guild specialized in one part of the sword making production process, e.g. the forging of blades, grinding or hardening. Each process was strictly separated and executed by different persons- no person performed more than one job. These persons specialized in their fields and became experts which then led to an extraordinary high level of blade and sword quality. Their knowledge was passed down from generation to generation and not shared with anyone outside of their particular gild. The only way to join one of these gilds was to be recommended by one of the current members and these positions were mainly filled by family members who were deemed to be trustworthy.
The book that got me started researching the history of the German swordmakers of Shotley Bridge is by David Richardson in 1973. He, and he alone, declares that the waters of the river Derwent, used for quenching, were/are 'radioactive' like the Tagus. This is a contentious statement, but one of very great interest. He does not indicate where he learned this fact; and during my 6+ years of research, I have never found any previous reference to it; a statement also made by subsequent researchers.
Concerning quenching, here is a paragraph from my book on Shotley Bridge swordmakers:
According to Dr. Helmut Nickel, curator of the Arms and Armour Division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, legend had it that the best blades were quenched in ''dragon blood''. However, a little closer to reality – but only just – in a letter to the museum, a Pakistani gentleman told of a sword held in his family for many generations that was quenched by its Afghan makers in donkey urine. This concurs with some medieval blade-smiths over here who recommended the urine of redheaded boys; or, even more realistically, from ''three-year-old goats fed only ferns for three days''.
Were scientists to analyze these bodily fluids, they may well discover the presence of elements pertinent to metallurgy; then again, they may not have the time, nor inclination, to start breeding goats… or red headed boys!

Around 500bCe the Celtiberians (i.e. Celts from Iberia) were mixing hard and soft metals in the blade forging process. These swords were acquired by the Phoenicians and would eventually end up in Roman hands during the Punic wars.
At about the same time (it is so-far established) Wootz was being produced in Sri Lanka and Southern India.
A display case in Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland shows two fragments of sword blades: one using a twisted pattern-weld and the other a herringbone weld. Both these blades were compliments of Viking attacks. The Vikings copied techniques descended from the Celtiberians.
We could have learned from this science, but as far as I am aware, we didn't. That is my question: why?
The Germans took advantage of the Christian crusades to discover the techniques of the Damascus version of Wootz. We were there too but didn't do the same... why?
One point in mitigation is the property of the iron mined in the hills around Solingen and processed in Remscheid, which contained high amounts of Manganese and produced superior results to the iron mined around Shotley Bridge for example which was detrimentally high in sulphur.
For the most part, England used Bar Iron from Sweden, but had also used iron from other European locations until wars prohibited this.
Is it possible that the availability of good iron was out-weighed by the ready availability of fine blades: i.e. why import the raw material when you can import the finished product?
Incidentally, charcoal produces a higher temperature compared with coal; but Queen Elizabeth had restrained the destruction of our forests: the ratio of trees to quality iron was tragic.
The world history of iron and steel fills shelf after library shelf of literature and is only undertaken by time-rich, totally dedicated souls. I have more books on the iron and steel industry than I do on the sword industry and yet I barely scratch the surface.
All of the above is presented for scrutiny and correction where necessary.
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Old 17th August 2021, 03:10 PM   #10
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I notice that you enjoy studying (sword) blade technicalities. Pity that a couple comprehensive papers on the 'secrets' of Toledo blade forging are only written in Spanish (Castillian). Still i upload a PDF of one of them here, hoping you will find a way to have it translated.The other one is too heavy (9.99 MB) and not possible to upload here. It may only be possible to send by email ... if of interest.


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Old 17th August 2021, 07:23 PM   #11
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Default Toledo blade science

Thank-you Fernando. I ran it through Google Translate and got an 85% accuracy.
Unfortunately, with so much technical content the translator was unable to achieve a usable result.
If I had a greater understanding of the science I might have been able to fill in the gaps, but I'm afraid I don't.
Non-the-less, it was kind of you to help and I appreciate it; thanks again, Keith.
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Old 17th August 2021, 07:53 PM   #12
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Default Poor standards of English blades

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc View Post
Or maybe they did manage to produce blades of quality matching the quality of German blades, but they did not manage to do it cost efficiently (in time and effort) and could not efficiently compete in a market saturated with German products?!
Here is an edited piece from Bezdek on the run-up to establishing Hounslow:
In 1621, King James I declared that he needed military swords for 12,000 men (for the Thirty Years War). Previously, he had to buy most of his swords from foreign sources, mostly from swordsmiths in Solingen; at that time, the Greenwich Royal Armouries were providing very few swords.
The king hoped to enlarge England’s arms making capacity and provide employment for his subjects. In early 1621, he granted Thomas Murrey (cutler and secretary to the Prince of Wales; probably the wardrobe supplier to the prince) a patent for the sole manufacture of sword and rapier blades in England.
In July 1621, Thomas Murrey presented his first group of sword blades to the Cutlers Company for inspection. The company rejected them saying they needed much more work to come to “perfection,” and the expense to make them was too high.
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Old 17th August 2021, 08:08 PM   #13
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I wanted to thank you guys for these great insights and information, and Fernando for the clarification on those terms.
I have little grasp of scientific and metallurgic terminology and process, but these descriptions are fascinating.
I have however long been deeply involved in studying the lore and much of the superstitious and occult aspects of early working of metals and the symbolism involved in marking and imbuement of blades.

It seems a great deal of superstition and in degree, fear, was held toward blacksmiths and blade forgers. They were considered in league with the forces of darkness as much of their process was regulated by the color of the metal which was better gauged in relative darkness.
Much of this is described in "Cut and Thrust Weapons", E. Wagner, Prague, 1967.

While some of these mentions of blood, urine and other odd substances or elements seem rather silly in these perspectives, the minerals and chemical properties in them were actually providing the catalysts for some of these processes.
Such processes were recorded in a kind of allegorical context in alchemy and other pre-scientific methods so being read in modern times obviously presents a rather extraordinary image.

In forging steel in places in Europe there were instances of adding horseshoes which were from combat horses which had seen battle, and other similarly venerated items. Clearly these associations were irrelevant, but the iron from the horseshoe itself added carbon or whatever component was necessary to the metal forged and its quality.

In many cases in metal forging of wootz etc. the addition of certain vegetal and botanical materials elevated necessary chemical compounds to enhance the quality of the metal. While the results were of course technically chemical reactions, we can see how the nature of these can be seen superstitiously.
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Old 17th August 2021, 08:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
...Non-the-less, it was kind of you to help and I appreciate it; thanks again, Keith.
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Old 17th August 2021, 08:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
... In forging steel in places in Europe there were instances of adding horseshoes which were from combat horses which had seen battle, and other similarly venerated items. Clearly these associations were irrelevant, but the iron from the horseshoe itself added carbon or whatever component was necessary to the metal forged and its quality...
News for me Jim. I had it as a fact that great Spanish barrel makers used ground beaten horseshoe ends to make excelent gun barrels but, such esoteric part on them having seen battle, i was not aware of !


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Last edited by fernando; 18th August 2021 at 07:33 AM. Reason: word addition
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Old 17th August 2021, 09:44 PM   #16
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Default Wootz

It was vital that the correct leaves and twigs were added to the crucible when making Wootz. Just adding charcoal/carbon didn't do it as there needed to be trace elements of Molybdemum, Vanadium and Chromium along with nanowires of cementite.
What is produced is a hypereutectoid steel which is hard, high carbon steel that remains malleable.
Contention exists over whether Wootz blades were quenched at all. It has been suggested that: "if high carbon Wootz is heated to the extent that a substantial amount of the carbides are dissolved, then upon quenching and tempering its microstructure would turn into a proverbial dog's breakfast with very uncertain mechanical properties".
Dr. John Verhoeven continues:
There is a general myth in some of the popular literature that genuine Damascus steel blades possess outstanding mechanical properties, often thought superior to modern steels. This idea was shown to be incorrect as long ago as 1924. A famous Swiss collector, Henri Moser, donated 4 genuine Damascus steel swords, one with a non typical carbon content and microstructure, to B. Zschokke, who performed extensive careful experiments including metallographic and chemical analysis in addition to mechanical testing. A series of bending tests compared samples from the swords to a pattern welded blade and a cast blade from the famous German knife center in Solingen. The 3 good Damascus blades showed significantly inferior bending deflection prior to breakage than the 2 Solingen blades in spite of the fact that the Brinell hardness of the 3 ranged from only 193 to 248, compared to 347 and 463 for the pattern welded and cast Solingen blade, respectively. This is not too surprising in view of the now well known fact that toughness of high carbon steels is inherently low; the Solingen blades had carbon levels of 0.5 to 0.6% compared to 1.3 to 1.9% for the 3 Damascus blades. The reputation of Damascus steel blades being superior to European blades was probably established prior to the 17th century when European blades were still being made by forge welding of carburized iron. It is hard to avoid embrittlement of such blades due to imperfect welding during the forging process as well as difficulty with the carburizing process.
Damascus blades: sharp... yes, but brittle.
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Old 17th August 2021, 10:06 PM   #17
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Default Shotley Bridge blade

My Shotley Bridge sword (which was actually forged in Solingen and brought over with the immigrants: it has a Passau Wolf along with the script Shotley Bridg; see images) is still fantastically sharp but also very flexible. I'm too scared to subject it to excessive bending but I suspect it would survive.
So, while the Germans adopted the Damascus skills, they progressed way beyond such Middle Eastern results.
It must have seemed like magic to those 17th century soldiers. I can not agree more with you Jim regarding the superstitions culture back then. These guys lives depended on the quality of their blades. Let's face it: a bent blade is as useless as a broken blade on the battlefield. Any magical help would inevitably be seriously desired.
Incidentally: the Blacksmith was always regarded as powerful against dark and demon elements and forces - and the smithy a place of safety. If he put a symbol on your blade you were definitely well off.
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Old 17th August 2021, 10:08 PM   #18
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Note the very distinctive forge weld of the blade up at the forte and the gouge under the letter B in the softer metal.

Last edited by urbanspaceman; 17th August 2021 at 10:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 18th August 2021, 10:26 AM   #19
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Default Time counting ...

A superstitious resource ... or no clock available ?
We may read in works like one of Ada Bruhn de Hoffmeyer that, time counting for blade tempering was done by saying prayers ... at least by Japanese and Toledans. Could it be that, equivalent to 'modern' clock, their available resource was the one they have achieved with then primary (unique) culture; religion.

In Libro de Alexandre it is mentioned that an outsanding blade was tempered ten times.


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Old 18th August 2021, 06:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fernando View Post
A superstitious resource ... or no clock available ?
We may read in works like one of Ada Bruhn de Hoffmeyer that, time counting for blade tempering was done by saying prayers ... at least by Japanese and Toledans. Could it be that, equivalent to 'modern' clock, their available resource was the one they have achieved with then primary (unique) culture; religion.

In Libro de Alexandre it is mentioned that an outsanding blade was tempered ten times.


.

This is absolutely fascinating Fernando! and while I had always been aware of superstition and 'dark forces' (occult not evil) at play in forging of metal and blades, I had not realized the religious aspects.

Considering the profuse representations of religious invocations and phrases in inscriptions on blades, this seems perfectly placed.
Thank you again for sharing all this valuable information.
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Old 18th August 2021, 06:49 PM   #21
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Default Tempus fugit

The issue I was opening for debate is that Wootz may not have been tempered.
This seems like a contradiction to everything we have come to understand about blade forging.
Are there any blacksmiths or metallurgists out there?
I think if it was to be tempered and quenched then the temperature will have had to have been very accurately controlled, so some form of clock was a must, or great accuracy in the colour of the metal, which I thought was how the Japanese did it.

Last edited by urbanspaceman; 18th August 2021 at 06:55 PM. Reason: second thoughts
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Old 18th August 2021, 07:24 PM   #22
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Sorry to get carried away, Keith.
Would your question find some answers over here ?

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3377
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Old 18th August 2021, 07:33 PM   #23
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Sorry Keith, I missed that perspective, and had never thought of the quenching step not possibly a factor. One thing I had heard of wootz is that it could be quite brittle if necessary skills or elements were missed.
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Old 18th August 2021, 08:47 PM   #24
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Default Wootz up Doc'

Hey Fernando, thank-you for that link: I was able to absorb about 50% of it before my brain imploded. The metallurgy involved in blade-making is simply too vast to take on board without devoting full-time to it.
What is apparent is that not only was Damascus steel often brittle but so was Wootz.
Solingen blades as well as Toledo and Italian were not... but English blades were never acceptable until much, much later.
As late as 1705, a local businessman - Cotesworth - was running the Shotley Bridge works, and he tried to fill a large government order by buying from English smith John Saunthorp who was selling at a shilling a dozen cheaper. Complaints immediately rolled in, with the expression: "they stand like lead!"
Not long after that, there was an exodus of workers from Shotley Bridge to Birmingham and Sheffield; plus, at least two local landowners had apprenticed sons to the Germans; two of their descendants - Ernie and Walter Johnson - were working for Mole in Birmingham who actually loaned them to Wilkinson in 1884.
So by the first quarter of the 1700s the secrets were well and truly spread amongst English smiths in Birmingham and quality accordingly enhanced.
Without accounting for Spain and Italy I can definitely declare that the Germans were possessed of secrets that made them world leaders. Those secrets remained hidden until about 1730.
Does anybody now know what those secrets were?
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Old 19th August 2021, 12:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
The issue I was opening for debate is that Wootz may not have been tempered.
This seems like a contradiction to everything we have come to understand about blade forging.
Are there any blacksmiths or metallurgists out there?
I think if it was to be tempered and quenched then the temperature will have had to have been very accurately controlled, so some form of clock was a must, or great accuracy in the colour of the metal, which I thought was how the Japanese did it.
Looks like the form of clock was both time spent speaking out prayers and verses, probably to support a skilful eye for colour checking. We may see that both 'techniques' were (also) used in Toledo, as written by various authors.

The synopsis

The fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries marked the greatest splendor of this industry and it is when the Guild of Sword smiths began to be constituted, artisans from all over Europe and even from the East came to Toledo to learn from those artisans the “secrets” of the manufacture of the inimitable blades, that raised the name of Toledo and its Tagus to a height that no other city has been able to reach through the centuries.
The fame of the old Toledo steels lies in the mastery with which some craftsmen handled the tempering, without any technical knowledge or instrument capable of measuring, even remotely, the appropriate temperatures for said treatment. The temperature was known by the color of the red-hot steel and the time of immersion in the water, through prayers or verses alluding to the trade. The people attributed this quality of the temple to the waters of the Tagus river in which the swords were tempered.

... and the unavoidable legend.

Legend has it that the first tempered steels were developed by mere chance in Toledo, Spain, where the royal armory was concentrated in the middle ages. Swords, armor and metal parts in general were manufactured there. Through a mixture of cruelty and servility, the royal blacksmith came up with the idea of ​​skewering a prisoner of war (probably a "Moor" or sympathizer) captured in the wars against Arab domination. No need to explain that this cruelty made the blade of the sword to be heated "to red" to commit the "symbolic act" "ritual death" or "baptism of blood" and the result was overwhelming, the sword was hardened or TEMPERED using the body of a man as a refrigerant for the process, in front of the discovery, The surprise and after the surprise, all the nobles ordered their Toledo sword, so they were left without slaves to sacrifice and by dire analogy and contempt for the enemy, the slaves were replaced by pigs that died in a tempered process of swords until someone thought of that that of having to kill someone or an animal to temper the steel could be a superstition and they tried to do it with water, oil, with the same results and so it is until now on the west side of the planet.
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Old 19th August 2021, 03:39 PM   #26
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Hello Fernando.
What an astonishing and revelationary treatise on Toledo.
Toledo was always the most famous of course: as an individual, completely unconnected with the blade world, I was always aware that Toledo was famous for its blades.
Actually, the ubiquitous cup-hilt rapier letter-opener has been apparent all of my life; and the cocktail sticks too. Spain was ultimately exotic for the early 'sixties hoi-polloi here in Blighty, and those mini rapiers were only equalled by the sombrero or maracas.
All that aside - although it is a precious document and I am grateful to you for bringing it to my attention - it further explains why we Brits never excelled in blade-smithing. Why buy our steel from Spain (or Solingen) when we could buy ready-made blades.
Wars put a stop to commerce with Spain a lot of the time, so Solingen became the go-to shop for swords.
I think I am answering my initial question here but anyone out there who knows better - could you please enlighten me.
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Old 19th August 2021, 05:07 PM   #27
fernando
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Mind you Keith, i am no Spaniard; it is just that proximity (country, language, common antique weapons and of course friendly relation) makes it easy for me to go a bit deeper into these Toledo issues. I do happen to have a couple 'Iberian' cup hilt swords in my micro collection but, no Toledo letter openers, Mexican sombreros or Latino maracas .



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Old 22nd August 2021, 07:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
My Shotley Bridge sword (which was actually forged in Solingen and brought over with the immigrants: it has a Passau Wolf along with the script Shotley Bridg; see images) is still fantastically sharp but also very flexible. I'm too scared to subject it to excessive bending but I suspect it would survive.
So, while the Germans adopted the Damascus skills, they progressed way beyond such Middle Eastern results.
It must have seemed like magic to those 17th century soldiers. I can not agree more with you Jim regarding the superstitions culture back then. These guys lives depended on the quality of their blades. Let's face it: a bent blade is as useless as a broken blade on the battlefield. Any magical help would inevitably be seriously desired.
Incidentally: the Blacksmith was always regarded as powerful against dark and demon elements and forces - and the smithy a place of safety. If he put a symbol on your blade you were definitely well off.
Hello Keith, I have just-re read your excellent book on the swords of Shotley Bridge and I recall a while ago you were actually in Solingen searching their archives most thoroughly ! The sword you illustrate is in my opinion extremely rare .. Regards Peter Hudson
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Old 22nd August 2021, 08:12 PM   #29
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Default New Shotley Bridge book.

Hello Keith, I have just-re read your excellent book on the swords of Shotley Bridge and I recall a while ago you were actually in Solingen searching their archives most thoroughly ! The sword you illustrate is in my opinion extremely rare ..

Hello Peter. I will get a new copy of the book to you soon. It has not been officially published yet, nor proof read and edited, as it is intended as a companion piece to the BBC documentary - if it ever gets made what with this dammed virus hanging everything up.
In the meantime, I continue to amend and augment the book as more and more details surface, even after six years of research.
I have had the book privately printed for interested parties who are content to accept it in its present form - which is actually a far more luxurious product than the official publication will be.
The sword is the one from the cover of David Richardson's famous book and is in exemplary condition: they are very, very rare, for reasons explained in the book.
It belonged to Hon. Thomas Watson-Wentworth, son of Edward Watson 2nd Baron of Rockingham. It passed to his son of the same name: 1st Marquess of Rockingham who had a custom-made mahogany casket to put it on display when he built Wentworth Woodhouse (see below). Even he did not know the full story of the sword and described it as Shotley Bridge circa 1680 on the plaque.
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Old 23rd August 2021, 10:33 PM   #30
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I made a mistake... my sword is not the Wentworth-Woodhouse sword.
The casket is as described, but the sword is in the possession of the Royal Armouries.
It is virtually identical to mine except the binding is missing.
As I said earlier, the information just keeps creeping in.
Now I have to find out where my sword came from.
My apologies.
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