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Thread: Dating Walloons By Screws Or Not

  1. #1
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    Dating Walloons By Screws Or Not

    I recently adopted a walloon from Fagan and the 1650 date is probably close but I am wondering about wallooon construction overall. I see a great many of the genre with screws attaching the bars of the guard, where some, such as my example, do not.

    As there are many mortuary swords and others blossoming in the 17th century that do use screws, I am wondering is it was more of a local growth of screws in use, or whether it was an indicator for dating such.

    Anyway, my example attached. I am not sure which Wundes we should assign.

    GC
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  2. #2
    Lovely sword Glen,

    As to your question, I've often wondered along similar lines when it comes to rapiers.

    Back to yuor Walloon, is the pommel 'button' separate?

  3. #3
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    Yes great sword, Glen. In fact I’m currently looking for something like that to fill a gap in my collection. Maybe I’m pedantic now, but I would classify that as a 17thC felddegen (German broadsword/campaign sword). The ones with the knuckle guard attached with screws are supposedly a bit older.

    Wallon or Dutch swords to me have more heart shaped shield guards, a plain knuckle guard, and pear shaped pommel. But maybe some Dutch forum members are out there to tell me I’m wong!

  4. #4
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    Thanks

    Other terms bandied about are haudegen and more recently schwedendegen have been used lately to describe these.

    In some other discussions, it is pointed out that walloon isn't particularly apt for describing the Dutch swords with less complex guards and earlier. The Walloons south of the Netherlands. More simply described by Fagan as a German horseman's sword, or walloon. It can get a bit like the difference between folded and patterned steel vs wootz and calling both damascus.

    The blade is 34.75" and fairly flexible in the foible and ovoid/lenticular in cross section. I am reminded of a sword I have from the 19th century, albeit fullered. The later sword a little lighter but seemingly for the same purposes.



    Cheers
    GC

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    Lovely sword Glen,

    As to your question, I've often wondered along similar lines when it comes to rapiers.

    Back to yuor Walloon, is the pommel 'button' separate?
    Gene, I see no tang peen, so I have to assume it is a threaded nut and washer. On closer inspection I can see that must be the case. The red at the base of the blade remnants of the leather or textile (it seems like leather) the blade was seated in and not rust.

    Cheers
    GC

  6. #6
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    Nice sword!
    I would date it to second half of 17th century, region - Upper Germany or Austria.
    I think use of screws is more likely regional tradition, which is not depending from the time frame. Some regions/makers did use screws for the attachment, other didn't.
    Wundes as well as many other Solingen maker sold blades, not the whole swords. Guards were made and assembled locally by less advanced producers, thus creating large variety in types, pattens and qualities.
    (However, some walloons were more regulated, like Amsterdam city guard swords or French epee wallonnes)
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  7. #7
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    Nice display Ivan!

    Yes the distinction between the felddegen and the Walloon may be futile. As Ivan mentioned, local assembly of hilts and guards created huge variety in styles. Many swords incorporate both styles (if you distinguish between them at all). This is a link to Myarmoury which discusses the felddegen vs. Walloon: http://myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.13795.html

  8. #8
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    Thank you Magnus!

    This is "classical" Dutch walloon sword for Amstrerdam city guard. They were well regulated and all look almost identical.
    The same type was used in France (I don't remember year, something like p/1672).
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    Swiss or west Austrian type of walloon, with thumb ring instead of inner guard.
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    Upper German (I believe) type, dated 1696
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    French late type of epee wallonne from approx. 1750. Thumb ring have disappeared
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    The last one, French epee wallonne p/1767. Thumb ring is gone and guard plates are gone too. Single edged blades became popular
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    Thanks Ivan.

    Your posts add a lot of perspective with these additional photos.

    Cheers
    GC

  14. #14
    Just my own general thoughts on this: if a "Walloon" has screws, it's from the 1600s. If it doesn't have screws, it can be from the 16 or 1700s; you have to consider all of the design elements of the hilt before assigning it to a particular century. There are exceptions out there to this rule of thumb, and one sometimes sees these hilts with the side knucklebow attached by screw, and the main knucklebow not!

    --ElJay

  15. #15
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    Thanks ElJay

    The combination of your last example is curious but perhaps there was an engineering consideration in lateral force. So many of the later swords have what I regard as floating pommels and the turnaround where we start to see the later backstrap developments. One would think the use of screws would add strength to the rig, single or multiple bars,older cruiciform and older simple finger ring swords were depending on tang strength alone.

    The advent of more tooling and threads as common maybe proven simply superfluous or unneeded cost in production as time went on. I doubt I will bother in trying to unscrew the nut on this pommel, as unnecessary abuse but it would be interesting enough to see the threads and tang overall.

    The blade mark of the Wundes king seems to lack the refinement and multiple use we see on blades from a previous generation, so I see the 1650 timeline for this sword generous as an earliest use and other's comments lean the same way, so I am grateful for the opinions and information.

    Cheers
    GC

  16. #16
    An example of the main knucklebow not being attached by a screw and the side knuck attached with a screw just showed up here on SFI. Take a look at the last photo of the thread entitled "17th/18th Century Hanger".

    --ElJay

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