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Thread: Römisch Germanisches Museum in Mainz, Germany

  1. #1
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    Römisch Germanisches Museum in Mainz, Germany

    Finally I went to this museum last weekend. I got the information from a book that they exhibit a perfect example of an Sassanid sword, one of my favorite sword. Unfortunately, I have not yet ordered it to any smiths since I need more info on this sword. I was planning to fly to London or New Yeor to talk to some curators and I did not know that the sword was resting close to me!!!
    This example has a silver sheath and grip and you can also obesrve the blade which is obviously rusted. There is also a Sassanid helm and a gauntlet. If you come to Germany do not miss the opportunity to visit this museum and especially this sword.
    They have also more swords but I do not want to discuss them in this thread.
    Since I read in Manfred Sachse book "Damaszener Stahl" that this museum makes X-ray pictures of blades to find out about the patterns, on Monday I called the professor being responsible for this sword. She said that she could not make any x-rays of this sword and she was not willing to weigh in the sword! She said that they normally do not give this kind of info to private people but she could give me the length and width of the sword and blade.
    I said that I want a smith to make an exact replica of the sword with the same pattern welding of the Sassanid sword (note that Sachse did this to Sutton Hu blade. They x-rayed the blade and Mr. Sachse made a perfect copy with the same pattern welded blade; you can see this beauty in Klingenmuseum in Solingen, Germany).
    She said that there are other examples of Sassanid sword in Klingenmuseum in Solingen!! Well I am planning to go there asap.
    Can someone help me to find an- X-ray of the blade of Sassanid sword?
    Can someone provide me the exact weight of this sword?
    Length and width would be also apprceiated.
    The curator said that in a magazine "Iranica Anticua" there is an article on Sassanid sword. Which edition and how can I get hold of this article?

    Regards,

    Manoucher

  2. #2
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    Manoucher,

    If you could find out the title of the article, and the volume and issue number of Iranica Antiqua in which it appears, I could probably get it for you.
    My library has not (yet!) subscribed to this journal, but it shouldn't be too difficult to acquire through inter-library loan, if I know what article to request.

    Maybe you should try to work with some of the curators at the British Museum. They appear to have several Sassanian swords in their collection, and they might be easier to work with than the German museum you visited???
    Academic credentials really help in getting access to stuff, though the credentials sometimes don't amount to much.
    There was once a fully trained and "accredited" physical anthropologist/primatologist (who shall remain nameless) who wanted to study some rare monkey skulls that were in the collection of the British Museum. He took out every specimen of this species that was in the museum, and laid them out on a large work table. Since he was primarily interested in certain internal features of the cranium, he took a large hammer and proceeded to smash each one of the monkey skulls in turn, until he was stopped by the dumbfounded curator in charge of this collection.
    So much for the value of academic credentials, eh?
    I could get access to the biological collections of several museums if I ever made it across the pond (only due to the people I know, rather than anything that I myself have yet done), but I doubt that they would let me touch the ancient arms and armor.
    I think I want to change fields, now.
    The battlefield is the place:
    where one toasts the divine liquor in war,
    where are stained red the divine eagles,
    where the jaguars howl . . . .

  3. #3
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    Dear John,

    That is exactly my problem. My academic background is not related to history or military history or archeology. I am from a different field!! Unfortunately I do not have the number of the article. Could you still find it?
    BTW could you give me the names of the curators in British museum who are in charge of Sassanid swords?

    Regards,

    Manoucher

  4. #4
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    The Fine Art of Telling Lies....

    Manoucher
    I would like to suggest that when you meet up with museum curators, introduce yourself as an author/researcher and that you are writing a book on Middle-Eastern /Iranian swords. As such, you would like to feature the swords in their museum collection to be published in your "book" ......... I think you will find them to be more cooperative after that, as it is in their self-interest to promote the artefacts in their collection, especially in academic journals or books. It sort of raises the museum's profile and level of prestige. Perhaps they would even perform an X-ray for you for your reproduction project....

    This trick works for me.....but then, I am REALLY writing a book on Chinese swords.




    Thomas Chen
    __________________________

    "Be wary of the Inscrutable Oriental, the Yellow Peril......"
    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 03-31-2002 at 04:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Fine Art of Telling Lies....

    Dear Thomas,

    I will be the first one to buy your book! I would like to register, ersiously. When are you going to publish it? BTW, could you get me the required info for the Sassanid sword?

    Regards,

    Manoucher

  6. #6
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    Hello all,
    I was recently contacted about the possibility of making some steel for one of the good Doctors in England who wishes to do some tests on high phosphorous steels used in Anglo-Saxon swords of the period. Apparently this same Doctor did the steel analysis and radiography on the Sutton Hoo sword for the British Museum.
    I will pursue this contact and project with vigor and let the list know what comes of it. Apparently there is renewed interest in working with modern blacksmiths to aid in reproducing the older technologies. I think this is a good thing.

    As to books of Chinese swords -- Put me down for a copy as well Thomas.
    Richard Furrer
    Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
    http://doorcountyforgeworks.com/

  7. #7
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    Hi

    Richard,

    a) Could you ask him to do a steel analysis of a Sassanid sword? I am ready to pay for it as long as the costs are not very high!

    b) What about the "Indian sword" book. I live in Europe, how can I pay for it? Do you recommend this book? Are there good pictures and enough research?

    Regards,

    Manoucher

  8. #8
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    Re: The Fine Art of Telling Lies....

    Originally posted by Thomas Chen
    Manoucher
    I would like to suggest that when you meet up with museum curators, introduce yourself as an author/researcher and that you are writing a book on Middle-Eastern /Iranian swords. As such, you would like to feature the swords in their museum collection to be published in your "book" ......... I think you will find them to be more cooperative after that, as it is in their self-interest to promote the artefacts in their collection, especially in academic journals or books. It sort of raises the museum's profile and level of prestige. Perhaps they would even perform an X-ray for you for your reproduction project....

    This trick works for me.....but then, I am REALLY writing a book on Chinese swords.
    That's a very good idea!
    Actually, several of us should show some real dedication and put in the hours to publish something on these things that we so dearly love.
    It wouldn't have to be a book, even!
    The battlefield is the place:
    where one toasts the divine liquor in war,
    where are stained red the divine eagles,
    where the jaguars howl . . . .

  9. #9
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    Manoucher and Richard

    Rest assured that when my book on the 2500 years of Chinese sword history is ready in a few years' time, I will definitely reserve copies for you, my friends......

    Richard, in case you are not aware, I have my own website (it's listed in my Profile) that is dedicated to Chinese swords, it can be used as a sneak preview of what is to come in my book....I also look forward to the results of your joint collaboration and research with the Doc. on Anglo-Saxon swords.... Cool...


    John,
    You are absolutely right....someone should setup a website or write a book on the entire history of Arab pre-Islamic and post-Islamic swords, with lots of pics and diagrams showing the numerous types of blade profiles, metallurgy charcteristics etc. Ideally, it should also touch on the cross-pollination and mutual influences between these weapons and the swords/sabers of cultures of Central Asia (including the Mongols), India, Eastern Europe and China. I think we can write several Ph.Ds on all these....
    Last edited by Thomas Chen; 04-03-2002 at 05:18 PM.

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