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Ben Mudd




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: The Ulen Sword--Evidence Regarding its Origins? Fake?         Reply with quote

Hey all,

The issue of the Ulen sword came up in conversation in another forum, just wondering if anyone knew anything about it more than the general details--found in a field in the Midwest in 1911, no archaeological provenance, claimed by some to be evidence of either Viking expansion inland or a mid 14th century Norwegian expedition to America.



First off, I'm perfectly capable of standard skepticism. My default assumption is that this is either a fake or simply a modern sword (300 years old or younger) that was lost innocently, recovered innocently, and has been persistently misidentified. So I'd really rather avoid more of the same, because I'm perfectly capable of assuming the paradigm.

Lacking archaeological evidence regarding its provenance, what I'd really like is any other data there may be about what it may be and where it's from. I don't know if there's been a serious scholarly study of it (most likely a debunking), but if there is, I'd appreciate a link or citation of some sort. Has it been studied professionally? Has anyone done a metallurgical analysis of it?

Lacking that, does anyone have any idea what the origin of this object may be based on stylistic or art historical grounds? It doesn't look like any weapon I'm familiar with from either the viking age or the 14th century, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, as positive evidence is really what I'm looking for. Is there any basis to show this is similar to, say, a ceremonial Masonic sword from the 1800's or something of the like?

Thanks!

Ben
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know what it is exactly, but definitely not a Viking era sword. It looks 19th century, and ceremonial. It is remeniscent of the French military school cadet short swords. A fun piece of local history, but I hope that it is not seriously considered to be Viking in origin.

(From http://www.radiohallingdal.no/ )
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OldSwords.com has an unidentified sword that is nearly identical, and is tentatively labeled as a French military academy sword:



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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As already said, it looks like a French cadet sword. All of the pictures of these I've seen have downturned long quillons, and a knuckle guard.

The pictures I have of originals are all hardcopy, but I see Deepeeka does a replica which looks more or less like the originals: http://www.deepeeka.co.in/documents/shop_page...mp;iid=779

Were there cadet swords without these quillons and guard, or have these been broken off/removed from these? I can see why a former owner might have opted for removal, on aesthetic grounds.
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Who in the world would claim that is evidence of anything Viking? WTF?!
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Start with post number 3 and check out the theatrical swords from the Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie. catalog and the Ames catalog. The so-called Ulen Viking sword is pictured in each as a theatrical sword.

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...ost1172065

Not that we needed further proof, but.... I shouldn't let it bother me that people want to believe it is an actual Viking sword, but it does bother me. Big Grin
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Who in the world would claim that is evidence of anything Viking? WTF?!

There is a strong Germanic and Scandinavian tradition in the Midwest. Alot of stuff was forged and faked to try and a prove that the Vikings/Scandinavians had explored the MidWest before Columbus. More than one 19th C wall hanger was attempted to be passed off as evidence by hoaxers.

See also Kensington Runestone and Heavener Runestone.

According to the Viking answer lady:

"The prototype for this sword was designed by Louis David for the École de Mars in Paris in 1794, and its maker's mark indicates manufacture in Philadelphia in the early 1800s."

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/Kensington.shtml

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More photos of another "Ulen Viking Sword" Wink


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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
Start with post number 3 and check out the theatrical swords from the Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie. catalog and the Ames catalog. The so-called Ulen Viking sword is pictured in each as a theatrical sword.

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...ost1172065

Not that we needed further proof, but.... I shouldn't let it bother me that people want to believe it is an actual Viking sword, but it does bother me. Big Grin


Likewise shown in glorious color on several pages of the Hamilton, Marino and Kaplan fraternal (new testament) book. Virtually all varieties of them are pictured and listed to the Odd Fellows. I believe the Ames 1882 catalog lists one of the others as simply Grecian but is in the same section as the fraternal and theatrical groups. There are gladius/glaive forms, cinquedea, pretty much the whole gambit of fiction and fable. These IOOF swords were relegated to the "Degree Teams" who mentored, taught and participated in storytelling to get morals across to initiates. The various hilts turn up with a number of different blades in later years, including a lot of surplus bayonet blades being listed as cadet, naval, militia, etc. It honestly wouldn't surprise me to read in just about any context. The Odd fellows even bought wagon loads of the U.S. Ames 1832 pattern artillery sword (based on the French 1816). While many of those are etched with designs to the order, more are completely unmarked and circulate as military (perhaps rightly so I guess, there is not a wit of difference).

Cheers

GC
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 08 Oct, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another one from ebay:


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