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Justin Mercier

Technology of Sword Blades from the La Tene Period to the Early Modern Age

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I just picked up a copy of this book, published in 2014, and it's quite good!

 

ISBN 978 1 78491 028 0

 

Technology of Sword Blades from the La Tene Period to the Early Modern Age : The Case of what is now Poland. By: Grzegorz Zabinski and Janusz Stepinski with Marcin Biborski

 

The book is an examination of 45 swords found in modern Poland and includes photos, dimensions, and metallographic MICROGRAPHS of every one of them ! It includes cross sectionals with percent carbon analysis, and a breakdown of the iron structures found, pearlite, ferrite, martinsite, bainite, etc and where it's found in the blade.

 

Well worth the price of buying a copy!

 

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Edited by Justin Mercier
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I'd been collecting viking era artifacts and building a robust archaeological library longer than I've been blade smithing =) I'm real bad with books, they dont enter my budget and i spend too much on them =D

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Steven, I have only just started to leaf through the book.

I can tell you some basic info, however. There is 1 la Tene sword, 3-4 Roman iron age and it then progress through the migration period, viking age and medieval period.
There are two seaxes, 3 viking period swords and around 30 swords from the high to late medieval period.

Even though I have yet to properly read through the volume, I am very glad I got it. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the metallurgy of swords through the ages.

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Thanks Peter,

 

I have watched with fascination your work regarding the harmonic proportions of swords, and now seaxes. Wonder if the same applies to the earlier period swords and spears?

I'll consider adding this to my library, but should probably concentrate on volumes specific to the Bronze/Iron Ages.

Since you are here reading this, where can I find info on leather tooling (Medieval/Renaissance) sword hilts? The treatment usually seems to be calf skin, or some other equally thin leather and I'm certain that there are some differences to standard leather tooling.

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Stephen, I do not know of any publications on tooled leather grips. There may be papers on it, but I have not actually looked for such material. I have looked at originals to try and work out some techniques and you will find posts on this forum where I show how I do this, step by step fashion.

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=15010

The above thread is now a few years old and lacks some info on how I do things now and may also include things that I no longer practice.

The leather I have found to be most useful is thin cow leather. Calf skin tends not to take tooling as crisply as cow hide. You want it to be thing, however. About 1 mm is good.

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I had this book at the Ashokan stage..(and a few others).........did not see anyone pick it up.

Ric

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