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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 7:51 am    Post subject: Pictures from the Philadelphia Museum of Art         Reply with quote

Here are some pics from my recent trip the museum. Sorry for some of the quality...its hard to get good pictures through glass.

http://s1259.photobucket.com/user/bheff1066/l...20of%20art



I pulled a few out that I found interesting. I tried to take some close ups and some odd angle shots of these swords since most of this pictures have been posted before. Check the link for all pics.

This is interesting in that the pommel appears to be hollow or partially hollow. Notice the hole in the back.



This complex hilted longsword is not a double edged sword but is actually a saber like blade with only one edge. At first glance it appears to be a double edged sword, but notice the pic of the one side.





This sword is described as being Italian origin but it screams Viking sword to me but with a very atypical pommel. It even appears to have had some inlay, I wonder why they describe it as Italian?



The Alexandria Arsenal swords ( the 4 in the front) are all beauties. The XIIIb has an extremely thin cross section and super wide blade with almost no profile taper. I bet this thing cut like crazy. The Scottish sword is actually quite small all around, hard to tell from the pics but it just seemed almost tiny up close and its not just because its in the back.



The central ridge on this sword is insane...and the overall sword projects major size...its a big beefy warsword. You can see from the last 2 pics how thick the blade at the base is. This and the other one right next to it...the smaller XVIII are probably the gems of the medieval sword collection IMO. Too bad they still are not displaying the Cromwell sword...it's fantastic but has not been on display for quite some time.






The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
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PostPosted: Yesterday at 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A very interesting collection of swords. Thanks for sharing.
The swords with the atypical pommel might be a “viking sword“ and still “Italian“ if it was from a Norman taking his sword with him to Sicily?

Then again it is a very wide blade towards the hilt, can't remember having seen any viking blades that broad? Then again it could be a legit Norman-Sicilian sword with a “retro-viking“ pommel. Anyways it's pretty unique looking.


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 31 Jan, 2015 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Max L




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Location: Philly
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PostPosted: Yesterday at 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome, Bryan. I live really close to that museum but for some reason never made it out there.

That "italian" sword has a pretty crazy pommel.
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Pictures from the Philadelphia Museum of Art         Reply with quote

Bryan Heff wrote:
Here are some pics from my recent trip the museum. Sorry for some of the quality...its hard to get good pictures through glass.


Bryan these shots are fantastic!!! Most people shoot sword in a single dimension (facing), it's great when others like you try to move around and manage to get visual information about thickness etc.

I have to wonder about such coincidences - no later than yesterday I browsed for hours to find the best shots I could hope for of those two Italian swords, who are among my favorites.

Your side shots just revealed details about the "sword of auray" I would never have guessed, I have a replica in the works here:

Unfortunately, this is no good news for me. The guard I made is much thinner at the quillons end than the original, that features unexpected side details. I'll have to be happy with mine I guess, I spend a lot of time shaping it as best as I could given the pict I had.

The pommel shots of the sword with the ridged blade are very valuable too (that was the hilt I was researching yesterday).
I wanted to make one from a sheet of 1.5 cm steel, now I that I have an understanding of the thickness thanks to you, I know that I need to look for a thicker piece of steel to make it.

Many thanks Bryan for moving around the display to get these pictures, these are the most informative shots of these two swords I've ever seen.
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Bryan Heff




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're very welcome Julien. I knew that somebody on MA was asking for better pics of one of these 2 swords from Philadelphia so that was actually in the back of my mind since when ever you originally posted that, just could not recall who posted it. Your piece looks great so far. I too was did not realize that the quillons had those grooves running along the top and bottom. From just the profile you can't tell that but when you see it from other angles you realize it has some finer yet simple decoration that make the cross a bit more interesting than what the profile alone shows.

I had difficulty getting good pictures of the Alexandria swords but with the naked eye, the large XVIIIc and the super wide bladed XIII have what appear to be quite thin cross section. I recall reading a post from Peter Johnsson when he was designing the Albion XVIIIc swords that while of a type that is generally thought of as a cut and thrust blade style, the Alexandria XVIIIc types where probably more dedicated to the cut and looking at the blades from the edge side they certainly look thin and quite honed to cut with authority.

One other thing that jumped out is the XVII sword with the extra long tang and scent stopper pommel (reminds me a lot of the Albion Sempach) in the other display case is the thickness of the tang. Massively thick, kind of the opposite spectrum that one. It's pretty corroded but the hexagon cross section seems evident as well as a shorter fuller...again very much like the Albion XVII types.

The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Aaron Hoard




PostPosted: Yesterday at 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great pictures - thanks for posting these!

On the Italian/Viking/who-knows sword, I wonder if there was some kind of organic filler between the flanges on the pommel? Like wood or bone? Maybe that rounded it out more and that material has been lost over time? Seems like those flanges would get caught on things during use otherwise.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That "sun" pommeled sword was found in Italy, that's why they say it's italian, but of course, we have no idea where it might have been made...
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