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Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Thu 08 Dec, 2005 11:26 am    Post subject: Modern sword manufacturers hallmarks         Reply with quote

Hello everybody,

I wonder why some of modern sword manufacturers, quite respectable and well known, don't hallmark their blades.

Any comments?

Konstantin.
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Dec, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Modern sword manufacturers hallmarks         Reply with quote

Konstantin Tsvetkov wrote:
I wonder why some of modern sword manufacturers, quite respectable and well known, don't hallmark their blades.

Any comments?


It's not just swords or even weapons... I know of a couple of armourers that don't put any mark on any of their creations either.

Some possible reasons that come to mind:
    "I don't want to"
    "it's additional work"
    "my die is broken"
    "I never thought about it"
    "I might when my work is "worthy" of a mark"
    "the client specifically requested no mark"
    "I don't have a good way to put one on"

I'm sure this isn't nearly the whole possible series of answers... but food for thought.

Some of my personal works have marks, some don't. In some cases, I simply didn't care, in some, I didn't want others to know I had done work for someone (to avoid either a "ok, now me next" or a jealous backlash), and in some, I was helping someone else out with their personal project, and didn't feel as though I had done the majority of the work - didn't want to diminish the personal value of the piece by staking a claim on it's origin. I never put a mark on an unfinished piece... "signing" a piece is the LAST thing I ever do with it. I've actually been trying to come up with a new design for a mark for both my metal work and my leather work. Any maille work that I do is simply a flattened ring with my initials and the year or month/year stamped into it. I'll have to work on a stamp for leatherwork, and we'll just have to see what I decide to do with any future metalwork (and yes, there is a possibility of some bladework starting from round bar and probably some silver- and gold-smithing in the not-too-distant future... Wink ).

I personally do like to see a maker's mark - I think it's a very personal touch, and shows pride in the piece. Artists sign their works in the case of paintings and sculpture... sometimes even forgeries have a distinguishing mark placed inconspicuously by the forger...

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Konstantin Tsvetkov




PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply, Aaron, I think I get your point but, expecting more feedbacks I will try to ignite interest to the topic explaining mine..

I happened to hold a beautiful rapier possessed by Gary Chelak, that he had commissioned from Darkwood Armoury. It was a wonderful weapon, perfectly balanced and really nice looking (not an advertisement). I don't know exactly, but I guess it was a custom work. There was no hallmark on the blade. I believe that Mr. Chelak as an expert in Giganti style rapier combat, would certainly not buy and use just a decent piece.

I have in my collection matching pair of Katzbalger sword and dagger by Arms & Armor ordered to Finland, that means only shipping and custom duties costed me an Armour Class sword and I paid it all as do many others buyers, living in Europe because of high quality of work and highest reputation of the manufacturer (not an advertisement). I love those blades, they worth every penny spent, but they don't bear hallmarks either. I don't want those hallmarks for showing up, there is not many people around who would understand me if I try to boast with such things, even less would people understand how it is possible to pay that price for a sword. I don't care, I have my motivation. Hallmarking weapons is a good custom and hallmarks are pieces of history, think about it.

I am sure that In old times the hallmarking weapons and armor was not just a matter of pride or promotion, but also a statement of taking personal responsibility and in this case it was not only a matter of "I want" or "I don't want to be exposed". Why shouldn't be so nowdays?

Correct me if I wrong, I am not a sensitive person, exept sense of humor.

Konstantin.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: Modern sword manufacturers hallmarks         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Konstantin Tsvetkov wrote:
I wonder why some of modern sword manufacturers, quite respectable and well known, don't hallmark their blades.

Any comments?

...I personally do like to see a maker's mark - I think it's a very personal touch, and shows pride in the piece...
I also like to see a maker's mark, and from all armourers, not just the sword makers.
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Konstantin Tsvetkov wrote:
Thank you for your reply, Aaron, I think I get your point but, expecting more feedbacks I will try to ignite interest to the topic explaining mine..

No problem, Konstantin! I was thinking there would be more response here myself. If nothing else, you have had me thinking on a new design for one of my own...

Konstantin wrote:
I happened to hold a beautiful rapier possessed by Gary Chelak, that he had commissioned from Darkwood Armoury. It was a wonderful weapon, perfectly balanced and really nice looking (not an advertisement). I don't know exactly, but I guess it was a custom work. There was no hallmark on the blade. I believe that Mr. Chelak as an expert in Giganti style rapier combat, would certainly not buy and use just a decent piece.

I've heard a lot of good things about Darkwood, though I haven't ever seen any of their wares in person. It wouldn't surprise me if Scott puts a mark on his wares; likewise, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't. I've seen a lot of junk that does have a mark on it, and a lot of really nice stuff that doesn't.

Konstantin wrote:
I have in my collection matching pair of Katzbalger sword and dagger by Arms & Armor ordered to Finland, that means only shipping and custom duties costed me an Armour Class sword and I paid it all as do many others buyers, living in Europe because of high quality of work and highest reputation of the manufacturer (not an advertisement). I love those blades, they worth every penny spent, but they don't bear hallmarks either. I don't want those hallmarks for showing up, there is not many people around who would understand me if I try to boast with such things, even less would people understand how it is possible to pay that price for a sword. I don't care, I have my motivation. Hallmarking weapons is a good custom and hallmarks are pieces of history, think about it.

In the case of A&A, I had heard that the tool they use to apply their mark broke...

Like you, I do appreciate the appearance/significance of a mark. There is the history behind it, along with reputations of certain makers or regions, and I really do like that. There are lots of really fine historical pieces that don't have any marks, too...

Konstantin wrote:
I am sure that In old times the hallmarking weapons and armor was not just a matter of pride or promotion, but also a statement of taking personal responsibility and in this case it was not only a matter of "I want" or "I don't want to be exposed". Why shouldn't be so nowdays?

To a degree, I believe you may be correct. There is a lot of evidence, too, for fraudulent use of someone else's mark to try to piggyback on their good reputation.

I'd love to see a collection of maker's marks, both historical and modern...
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a few of the modern maker's marks that I am aware of...

Smiths:
Peter Johnsson


Albion Museum Line:


Albion Next Generation:


Albion Squire Line:


Albion Mark, Limited Edition (and possibly Maestro?):


Rick Barrett:


Jody Samson:


Del Tin Antiche:


I know that Arms and Armor has one, Jesse Frank has one, Vince Evans has one, Paul Chen/Hanwei has one... they're around, just don't have pics of them.

Armourers:
Robert MacPherson:


Patrick Thaden:


I know Peter Fuller of Medieval Reproductions has one - can't locate a pic of it.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some moderl maker's marks photographed not just by me, but by other contributors:

Please note that these photos were not taken with the express intent of showing the marks, so they're not the greatest images. These marks might not represent the maker's "typcial" mark, but they do show what appears on at least one example.


Arms & Armor


Lutel


TEMPL Historic Arms


Del Tin (newer)


Del Tin (older wolf mark)


J.F. Schroeder


E.B. Erickson


Lars Hansen


Jody Samsom


Vince Evans


Valentine Armorers


Vladimir Cervenka


Albion Armorers Next Generation


Albion Armorers Museum Collection


ArmArt


Talerwin Forge


Kirby Wise


Scotia Metalwork / Michael McRae


Justin King

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Gordon Clark




PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Only one to add: Talerwin Forge


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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 11 Dec, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like marks as long as they are discreet and look somewhat like a period mark or at least don't scream 21century.

I do like the Albion ones as a good example of marks that have " class " or said in a different way are well designed and attractive even if seem just on their own: Good examples of caligraphic art might be a good way of describing them.

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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My A&A Schloss Erbach has an A&A stamp on the blade. It says "AA" with a motif of an anvil.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Hitchens wrote:
My A&A Schloss Erbach has an A&A stamp on the blade. It says "AA" with a motif of an anvil.
Can you post a picture? I haven't found a maker's mark on either my GBS or my Gustav Vasa. (of course, my wife often says that I'm blind....)
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Edward Hitchens wrote:
My A&A Schloss Erbach has an A&A stamp on the blade. It says "AA" with a motif of an anvil.
Can you post a picture? I haven't found a maker's mark on either my GBS or my Gustav Vasa. (of course, my wife often says that I'm blind....)


If he doesn't Steve, I'll see if I can take a pic of the on my A&A GBS tonight. Chances are pretty good that your swords don't have one. My GBS is the first sword I purchased from A&A and the only one with the makers mark. This would have been around 1999-2000 I guess. It wasn't long after that when they're stamping machine broke and they have not put marks on ever since. If your blades had it I'm pretty sure you would notice it. Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This picture shows A&A old hallmark:

http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?collect/ch...cdag_b.jpg

Happy

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Chad. I updated my post above.
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like to see a maker's mark personally. Sorry, that's all I can add... Happy
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was kinda surprised to find no mark on my custom work A&A. Its definitely one I would think they would have marked. It's quite and excellent sword. Happy

Craig, comments?

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Dec, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shawn Mulock wrote:
Craig, comments?


I'm not Craig, but I've heard that their die (stamp) has been broken for quite some time.

Happy

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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:

I'm not Craig, but I've heard that their die (stamp) has been broken for quite some time.


Exactly, it has nothing to do with your sword in particular Shawn! Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I sent Nathan some more Maker's Mark pics (ArmArt, Michael McRae, Armour Class, Kirby Wise, maybe one or two others) for his collection up there. Hopefully he'll have time crop them down and add them to the lineup.
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Dec, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1.) Ryan Johnson of RMJ Forge
2-3.) Al Massey's Journeyman Smith mark
4-5.) Howard Clark's non-japanese style mark, and his Kanji



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