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Thread: Celtic sword - age estimation

  1. #1

    Celtic sword - age estimation

    Dear SFI-members,

    as I am new in this forum, I would like to introduce myself briefly: My name is Werner Melchart, I am living in Austria and I am interested in the Celtic culture.
    Recently, I came across a beautiful Celtic sword but I would like to know a more or less precise estimation of its age.
    Maybe you could determine the period of this item.

    Thank you in advance for your kind support!

    Best regards from Austria
    Werner Melchart
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
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    Doesn't look Celtic. Could be medieval.
    Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books.
    http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Bronz...ipment/p/3272/

  3. #3
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    Welcome aboard Werner

    Check Oakeshott's The Archaeology of Weapons title. Refer to plate 3 in the center photograph section for an example "iron age sword and scabbard, c. 300 b.c. from Lindholmgard, Denmark". Further discussion and sketch Fig.25 "Diagram showing assembly of hilt of a La Tene sword" Chapter 3 The Gauls pages 54-56.

    I'll try to get some relevant images up but am tied up today. I'm sure an image search would bring up similar and there is a thread in the General section here somewhere from the past.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 06-21-2017 at 06:38 AM.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Yup, Celtic. One more link for a mass of photo spreads:

    http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sho...o-on-one-page)

    You should be able to match it up to one of those to get an approximate date.

    Now, I couldn't say whether it's an *authentic* artifact, or a fake! Nothing about it rings any alarm bells to my untrained eye, at least. The texturing on one side of the scabbard is fascinating! I'm guessing it's the traces of fabric, corroded to the metal, though I suppose it could be actual fabric covering on that side of the scabbard. Hard to say!

    Neat find, though!

    Matthew

  6. #6
    Great, thank you!

  7. #7
    Thank you very much!

    Werner

  8. #8
    Thank you for help!

    Greetings Werner

  9. #9
    Thank you for your help! Yes, there is textile on one side.

  10. #10
    Thank you for your answer!
    Werner

  11. #11
    Thank you-I will try to find this literature! Excuse my bad English!

    Greetings
    Werner

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the correction guys. It is fascinating to see some of the scabbard still intact.
    Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books.
    http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Bronz...ipment/p/3272/

  13. #13
    That's a very nice looking sword..almost *too* good, in fact. Before declaring it authentic- I think we'd need to see authenticated information on it's actual find place. By "authentic", I mean a detailed, confirmed archeological report on exactly when/where it was found. A celtic sword that looks so good deserves such authentication, and in my humble opinion, deserves to be in a museum somewhere, and not in private hands.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Grinly View Post
    That's a very nice looking sword..almost *too* good, in fact. Before declaring it authentic- I think we'd need to see authenticated information on it's actual find place. By "authentic", I mean a detailed, confirmed archeological report on exactly when/where it was found. A celtic sword that looks so good deserves such authentication, and in my humble opinion, deserves to be in a museum somewhere, and not in private hands.
    Personally, I'd bet a lot of Krugerrands that it's authentic. If it it's a fake, the forger is the most knowledgeable genius the world has ever known... I've studied Iron Age Celtic material pretty extensively, and every detail shown in the pix screams "authentic." I do agree that any info regarding its find place would be welcome.

    I disagree with Ralph regarding the need for it to be in a museum, though. There are quite a few Celtic swords in museums throughout Europe (plenty were found at Neuchatel), one more will likely end up placed in storage and forgotten. Keep in mind that museums only put a tiny fraction of their holdings on display - much is stored and not always very well. There is nothing evil about it being in private hands; I only ask that you, Werner, be a good caretaker to this amazing relic. Treasure it and keep it well! You might also want to contact any specialists you can find who might want to study the piece more closely (metallurgical analysis, hardness testing, examination of textile and other trace materials, etc.) and who might publish the details.

  15. #15
    I guess one of the main reasons I argued for it to be in a museum is precisely because of the points brought up at the end of the previous post. Research - if it's in a museum, even if not on display..it's far more likely to be available to scholars for research purposes. Far too often..significant swords in private hands often tend to "vanish" from public knowledge..and unless it's in a well known and significant collection can often literally "vanish" once the current owner dies. Their heirs may not be aware of the significance of a seemingly rusty old sword like the one this thread is about.
    And speaking of this particular sword - I wonder just where it came from ? It's in far too good a condition to be a metal-detecting find ? It looks like it must have been preserved in a protective environment..which to me suggests it's from a proper archealogical excavation of some sort ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Grinly View Post
    I guess one of the main reasons I argued for it to be in a museum is precisely because of the points brought up at the end of the previous post. Research - if it's in a museum, even if not on display..it's far more likely to be available to scholars for research purposes. Far too often..significant swords in private hands often tend to "vanish" from public knowledge..and unless it's in a well known and significant collection can often literally "vanish" once the current owner dies. Their heirs may not be aware of the significance of a seemingly rusty old sword like the one this thread is about.
    And speaking of this particular sword - I wonder just where it came from ? It's in far too good a condition to be a metal-detecting find ? It looks like it must have been preserved in a protective environment..which to me suggests it's from a proper archealogical excavation of some sort ?
    I dunno, I consider myself to be a "scholar" and yet have very little access to relics of any kind, apart from what's available online... Don't get me wrong, some museums are fairly good about getting pix and some bare bones details online (Met is pretty good, along with a number of others) but many aren't. And even if it is online, it is not always intuitive to find certain artifacts, particularly if English isn't a first language for the museum in question. As for stuff "vanishing" in private hands, museums often pull the same sorts of Houdini tricks themselves, so this is not unique to privately held items.

    Honestly, museums might do everyone a favor by selling off some of their more insignificant holdings, if only to raise funds to better document and display existing relics, and secure new objects of significance. There are risks here, of course - I'm thinking primarily of something that has hidden significance that goes unnoticed and then is sold off, but the rewards probably outweigh that, and there are ways to mitigate the problem.

    I wonder as well where it came from. I would not conclude based on condition that it isn't a metal detecting find - protective environments come in many forms. Bog finds are a good example, where even textiles and human brains (!!!!) can be found preserved. The sword and its scabbard do appear to be professionally conserved, though.

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