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Thread: Best Swords seen during my recent Expedition

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Best Swords seen during my recent Expedition

    I have recently returned back to Canada from a few months in Ukraine. I'm currently in self isolation for 2 weeks before I can return to my home and so I'm looking for things to do keep me occupied, one can only watch so much Netflix in a day.

    Here's my two favourite swords I was able to see. I will try post more of some of the excellent Polish and Hungarian swords I saw.

    The Zweihander was in Kyiv.

    General Damjanich's sword was in Budapest.

    Unfortunately due to some restrictions on freedom of movement I wasn't able to explore as much as I wanted and so I didn't get to see much in the way of antique shops and often times when I did see them they were closed. I was really hoping to go home with an 1853 Austro-Hungarian pioneer sword (saw lots in the museum) while I was in Budapest but one weekend there is by no means enough time to properly explore that wonderful city.

    When I return home I will post a new patent hilt that is waiting for me and my best sword of 2019 that I did not have time to post as I was to busy preparing for my deployment.


    Hope everyone is doing well during these uncertain times.
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  2. #2
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    Well isn't that broad bladed sabre a stunner!

  3. #3
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    A wonderful limb and head remover! Wide blades are visually appealing.

  4. #4
    Hi,
    The Austro/Hungarian officers appear to be quite fond of broad bladed sabres. This example of mine has a mid 18thC blade mounted with a C1850 pattern hilt. I would suggest officers remounted their blades depending on which hilt was the regulation pattern at the time.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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  5. #5
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    That's wonderful Norman.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev B. View Post
    That's wonderful Norman.
    Thanks, here are other examples of Austro/Hungarian sabres with 'chunky' blades, not mine unfortunately.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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  7. #7
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    I would LOVE to have a swing on all of those!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman McCormick View Post
    Hi,
    The Austro/Hungarian officers appear to be quite fond of broad bladed sabres. This example of mine has a mid 18thC blade mounted with a C1850 pattern hilt. I would suggest officers remounted their blades depending on which hilt was the regulation pattern at the time.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
    Hi Norman,

    The blade looks Ottoman, a pala. I think there was a fashion amongst the Hungarian nobility to recycle heirloom captured war booty blades. So much so that some were probably faked with pseudo-Arabic inscriptions. The hilt is Austro-Hungarian but the blade is non-regulation. Surprised it fits in the scabbard but guess that is custom made.

  9. #9
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    Here's some more that I enjoyed in Budapest.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev B. View Post
    Here's some more that I enjoyed in Budapest.
    Did you visit the National Museum of Hungary in Budapest? It’s amazing! Hungary had a fascinating history through the ages.

  11. #11
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    I saw the outside of it but unfortunately didn't have time to see it as we had other sites we were visiting that day. The Hungary photos come from the Museum of Military History. Ukraine photos come from the Museum of History in Kyiv but unfortunately the Kyiv Military Museum was already closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

    This was my first time in Eastern Europe and it was a definite eye opener for sure. Met some incredible people (if there are any Lithuanians that visit this forum - you guys are awesome), experienced the wonder of Georgian food although the traditional meal I had in Budapest was probably the best food I had my entire time there and while I didn't find any swords to bring home I did come home with several bottles of Ukrainian cherry wine and they survived the flight to Canada - just have to survive one more to get home.

    (PS - if any of you chaps are interested in selling a sword from Eastern Europe please PM me - given the current world circumstances would be looking for something on the lower end of the scale rather than the upper end which I would consider to be a Polish WZ34 or some of these klij and karabelas that I have posted)
    Last edited by Kev B.; 04-09-2020 at 04:09 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus K View Post
    Hi Norman,

    The blade looks Ottoman, a pala. I think there was a fashion amongst the Hungarian nobility to recycle heirloom captured war booty blades. So much so that some were probably faked with pseudo-Arabic inscriptions. The hilt is Austro-Hungarian but the blade is non-regulation. Surprised it fits in the scabbard but guess that is custom made.

    Hi Magnus,
    You are perfectly correct the blade is in the style of an Ottoman Pala/Kilic. This particular blade is pattern welded and is of European manufacture most probably Austrian and of course the scabbard is particular to the sword. The other examples I have previously posted are the same in that they have regulation hilts with non regulation blades. I don't think fake is an appropriate term in these instances, these blades were made 'in the style of' and not intended to deceive. Remember the fashion for European made 'Mameluke style' blades made popular after the early Egyptian campaigns by Napoleon and the British. Here are some more examples sold by Thomas del Mar.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
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    Last edited by Norman McCormick; 04-10-2020 at 10:14 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman McCormick View Post
    Hi Magnus,
    You are perfectly correct the blade is in the style of an Ottoman Pala/Kilic. This particular blade is pattern welded and is of European manufacture most probably Austrian and of course the scabbard is particular to the sword. The other examples I have previously posted are the same in that they have regulation hilts with non regulation blades. I don't think fake is an appropriate term in these instances, these blades were made 'in the style of' and not intended to deceive. Remember the fashion for European made 'Mameluke style' blades made popular after the early Egyptian campaigns by Napoleon and the British. Here are some more examples sold by Thomas del Mar.
    My Regards,
    Norman.
    Hi Norman,

    Your sword is magnificent. It must have been expensive to make those Ottoman inspired blades. I have seen them with pseudo-Arabic writing just for decoration. But I think there are some with real Ottoman blades as well (as there are Ottoman swords with European blades). The Thomas Del Mar swords are interesting because the first two on the left look like 19thC Austrian infantry hilts fitted with 18thC Austro-Hungarian hussar sabre blades (madonna and fringia varieties). The one on the right seems to have a beautiful Ottoman wotz blade. I wonder what would cause these kind of mismatches. Maybe some of the swords figured in the Hungarian revolution of 1848 and some of the real meatcleaver versions may have been used in the Military Frontier (Militärgrenze, Vojna Krajina) as I remember one specimen with Old Slavonic inscription on the blade. But that’s just speculation on my side. Amazing to see these beautiful hilts combined with the impressive blades.
    All the best,
    Magnus

  14. #14
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    Perhaps some Bosnian military units that were part of the Austro-Hungarian army equipped sabers with combat arms with non-standard oriental-style blades.
    Here is a photo of a Bosnian auxiliary gendarme with a saber not with a standard blade.
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  15. #15
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    Happy that people are enjoying the thread. Here's a few more from the expedition.

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    Last edited by Kev B.; 04-11-2020 at 06:02 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Perhaps some Bosnian military units that were part of the Austro-Hungarian army equipped sabers with combat arms with non-standard oriental-style blades.
    Here is a photo of a Bosnian auxiliary gendarme with a saber not with a standard blade.
    Spot on, Vladimir. Which publication is that from? Here is a pic of what is described as a Hungarian-Serbo-Croatian heavy hussar sabre from 1750. Its length is 95cm and blade width is 5.8cm (!). The blade has inscriptions in Old Slavonic.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus K View Post
    Spot on, Vladimir. Which publication is that from?
    Photos from this book.
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  18. #18
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    A very nice thread--thanks for posting it and for all the replies. That's a great book but it's not cheap.
    Tom Donoho

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