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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Mon 06 Oct, 2003 1:29 pm    Post subject: Meeting with Eric McHugh and Peter Johnsson         Reply with quote

I met Eric McHugh and Peter Johnsson today. Together with my partner, Titti, and my son Karl, we had a look at the Warship Vasa museum (the ship sank in 1628, and is preserved in an almost complete state), and a walk through the Old Town of Stockholm. I must say that Eric is a very nice fellow, and we shared many laughs. Tomorrow, we’ll meet while documenting Migration Era and Viking age finds, and on Wednesday we’ll be in the store-rooms of the Royal Armoury. On Thursday, we’ll have a couple of hours in the armouries of Skokloster Castle (one of the finest 17th century collections in the world). The customers of Albion Armourers will see the fruits of this research trip eventually, and the visitors of this site can expect an article or two from my keyboard. But the nicest thing is to meet, Eric, a friend I’ve only emailed before.
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Patrick Kelly




PostPosted: Mon 06 Oct, 2003 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bet everyone's having a great time, wish I was there!
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Geoff Wood




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Oct, 2003 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds great! How many edged weapons has Kalle got in his mouth now?
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Oct, 2003 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
Sounds great! How many edged weapons has Kalle got in his mouth now?


Two small but sharp ones.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Oct, 2003 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Today, I joined the boys in Uppsala, where they were exploring the depths of the museum storage. Eric got to handle at least 20 original swords – Viking, medieval and late medieval. While in corroded condition, most of the swords were in good enough shape to show edge bevels, inlay, etc, which together with observations on the general design, as well as details, will be a great asset for the Albion knowledge base. A couple of the swords might even become reproduced. There were three swords with a pommel type Oakeshott called ”very rare”, and a 13th C sword with a blade a width of a whooping 72 mm:s (just shy of 3”). A 13th C sword weighed in at 1.6 kilos (c. 3½ lbs), and despite ”conventional wisdom”, it didn’t feel heavy or unwieldy at all – quite the contrary. There was an Egyptian bronze dagger, among the finest of its kind that is still preserved in the world, which was still sharp enough to cut paper after 3400 years. I documented three swords, one Viking and two 13th C swords, which will appear on my site later this year.

Having finished work for today, we relocated to Peter’s apartment, where we talked about – you guessed it – swords. Our throaths dry, we decided to go to a pub for some refreshments, where we talked about – well, you know… Sadly, I had to return to Stockholm way too soon, but tomorrow will be spent at the Royal Armoury for more swordy things.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Oct, 2003 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Swords are over-rated! The real value to this hobby is the people with whom we meet.

Cheers.

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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Swords are over-rated! The real value to this hobby is the people with whom we meet.

Cheers.


Well, the swords are a pretty darn good excuse for meeting those people! Big Grin
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay Bjorn what pommel type was it that you saw three of? Inquiring minds want to know...
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Randal Graham




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm so jealous of Eric right now I can't stand it!..
Cry

so I've been raiding his shop while he's gone...hehehe
the toilet paper was a nice decorative touch...

Seriously, what an incredible opportunity, I know Eric will make the best of every moment...stay outta trouble guys...

R.H.Graham
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Joel Whitmore




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 10:44 am    Post subject: Hey Randal         Reply with quote

Randal Graham wrote:
I'm so jealous of Eric right now I can't stand it!..
Cry

so I've been raiding his shop while he's gone...hehehe
the toilet paper was a nice decorative touch...

Seriously, what an incredible opportunity, I know Eric will make the best of every moment...stay outta trouble guys...


Hey there Randal, good to see you again man. Wanna come with the Edinburgh this NOvember or do ya just want me to send along the Glenfiddich?
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Okay Bjorn what pommel type was it that you saw three of? Inquiring minds want to know...


As I don't have my trusty Oaksehott books close at hand here in Stockholm, I don't remember the type #, but it was the same kind of spherical pommels as on the Tritonia sword. Rare indeed... Apparently not that uncommon in Scandinavia.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The guys had a rather hectic morning, burrowing through the storage rooms under the Royal Palace. They found four swords and rapiers they wanted to document. When I joined them after lunch, they were quite busy measuring and photographing a mid-16th C rapier, a rapier from the first half of the 17th C, a grosse messer from the late 1400’s and a longsword from c. 1500 AD. I did the same, but not in as great detail. Several interesting observations were made by Peter and Eric, and stuff like pivot points were noted. Tomorrow, we’ll make a short foray in the armouries of Skokloster Castle, which will be more a whetting of appetites than an opportunity for in-depth documentation.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to handle the upcoming Albion PJ Museum Collection ”Solingen”. It was a very impressive sword, and keeping in mind that it was a rejected pre-production model, it was even more impressive. Naturally, I handled PJ’s ”Svante Nilsson Sture” sword when I had the chance, as well as the third sword he made (a type XV). While his recent swords are stunning, I would be happy to own one of his early tries – they are that good!
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I realise that my posts might come across as gushing in favour of Albion Armorers, but as Patrick and Nathan saw for themselves last week, and which I've seen in person the past days, the care and level of detail in the research is hard to top. Combined with the exacting standards Albion have set for themselves (and I've handled both prototypes and semi-finished blade blanks, so I can attest to that), the swords we'll see the coming months will set a new standard for the production business.
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Leif Hansen




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We appreciate your posts Björn, because Eric has been almost entirely incommunicado since he left. Nary a peep, which hopefully means he's keeping busy with research. It's like he's dropped off the planet. Sweden is on planet Earth, isn't it? Big Grin
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Patrick Kelly




PostPosted: Wed 08 Oct, 2003 9:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:
I realise that my posts might come across as gushing in favour of Albion Armorers, but as Patrick and Nathan saw for themselves last week, and which I've seen in person the past days, the care and level of detail in the research is hard to top. Combined with the exacting standards Albion have set for themselves (and I've handled both prototypes and semi-finished blade blanks, so I can attest to that), the swords we'll see the coming months will set a new standard for the production business.


Bjorn is absolutely right. I can't stress enough just how exciting it is to see this level of historic detail and workmanship in a production line. I tell you folks, this is what we lovers of the european sword have been waiting years for. The folks at Albion, along with Peter Johnsson, have really raised the bar.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Oct, 2003 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leif Hansen wrote:
We appreciate your posts Björn, because Eric has been almost entirely incommunicado since he left. Nary a peep, which hopefully means he's keeping busy with research. It's like he's dropped off the planet. Sweden is on planet Earth, isn't it? Big Grin


It was last time I checked... What time-space dimension Eric has entered, I don't know. He's been stumbling about, with a glassy-eyed look, mumbling things like "original Vikings", "tridents" and "wow!". He will be off this weekend, probably drin- er, sampling local specialities, but should be back safe and sound (or as close as he can get to that) by the end of next week.
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Oct, 2003 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Our final excursion together took us to Skokloster Castle, a magnificient 17th century castle known for its collections of rare furniture, art and other items. Titti and Kalle joined us, as it would’ve been too much to leave her at home for the third day running (all married men can relate to that, I’m sure). The two armouries at Skokloster are known for housing one of the finest collections of 16th and 17th century firearms, and we got to hold a very fine flintlock musket that had once belonged to the French king Louis XV (1740’s). There were plenty of fine white arms, like rapiers, sabres and other stuff, some of it quite interesting. Some armour and quite a bit of Oriental arms made for a well-rounded collection, much of it looted during Sweden’s campaigns in the Thirty Years War. We had a look at other remarkable things, like a big hall, were the construction work stopped one day in the late 1600’s (when the lord of the castle died), and were the tools, workbenches and scaffolding were still in place, just as the workers left them. There was also a wood-turing shop (it was a fashion among 17th century nobility to make objects at the lathe), and it was the only one of its kind in existence. After a day which was more a pleasure than research trip, we parted ways in the late afternoon. It has been pleasure to work alongside with Peter and Eric during their research. My somewhat less detailed efforts will be published on my website eventually.
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Oct, 2003 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks so much for keeping us updated, Björn !

Eric is a lucky lucky lad ..... I'm sure he can sense the jealousy eminating from us all , even from that distance *g*

Yup, the Bishop is certainly getting around these days ! Mac

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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Oct, 2003 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas McDonald wrote:
Thanks so much for keeping us updated, Björn !

Eric is a lucky lucky lad ..... I'm sure he can sense the jealousy eminating from us all , even from that distance *g*

Yup, the Bishop is certainly getting around these days ! Mac


Well, he did paw a original Scottish baskethilt... And the guns! People with a love for blackpowder weapons would have a field day there!
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct, 2003 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, he did paw a original Scottish baskethilt... And the guns! People with a love for blackpowder weapons would have a field day there!


I'm gonna need details ...... come on Eric , spill ? *g* Mac

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