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Jeppe

seax with bird shaped handle

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This may well have been asked before, but I had no luck with the search function.

I am looking for more information about these two blades.

For the wooden handled one, I have seen it indicated that the seax was published in this book: Nicolle, David. "Medieval Warfare Source Book - Volume I: Warfare in Western Christendom". I have seen it referred to as Viking, but also as belonging to the Migration period.

The bronze handled one was up for sale a few years ago "...Frankish, 600's..." I am not sure if the handle is original, in particular the rivets look wrong as we have no examples of tangs with rive holes on this style of blade. The rivets could be a later addition to prevent it falling apart.

I am intrigued by how similar they are, if both are genuine, it looks like someone made a wooden handled copy after seeing the other style.

/Jeppe

bird_seax.jpg

frankish_bird_seax1.jpg

frankish_bird_seax2.jpg

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You've go to be careful in saying that some feature is not period.  I remember in a discussion about seax that they didn't have full tangs or rivets to attach the scales.  Then someone comes up with pictures from a museum showing a full tang seax with rivets remaining in the handle.

Doug

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I have a feeling that the wooden handle is tge original and the bronze a later(victorian?) Addition.

It is not so much the rivets as the knotwork that looks "wrong" and modern to me.

Of course I could be totally wrong, I'm far from an expert on these matters.

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They both look fake, but the rivets do look like a late addition.  Stylistically the bird looks Merovingian or Langobard, migration period for sure.  Maybe with a good bit of Roman influence thrown in.   Figural grips are more of a Mediterranean thing.  And the ring-dots look too good on the wooden handle.  And it's wood.  And somehow survived 1500 years?  Instinct says Victorian fakes, but I would love to be wrong. 

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Waiting patiently for Jeroen's arrival... 

I've seen both of these before, I believe they are accepted to be real. 

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

They both look fake, but the rivets do look like a late addition.  Stylistically the bird looks Merovingian or Langobard, migration period for sure.  Maybe with a good bit of Roman influence thrown in.   Figural grips are more of a Mediterranean thing.  And the ring-dots look too good on the wooden handle.  And it's wood.  And somehow survived 1500 years?  Instinct says Victorian fakes, but I would love to be wrong. 

I'm no expert, but instinct tells me that Alan has the take on this. They both look remarkable well preserved, both the handles and the blades, to be of ancient origin. The rust damage looks remarkably like what one of my blacksmith buddies puts on pieces for texture using a battery charger and a water tank with washing soda for electrolyte. Just too many "flat" spots on the wooden handled one for 1500 years of rust. Something so well preserved of that age should have been found in a pretty special environment as part of a larger find, no? 

Still, they are pretty cool looking pieces, and yes, it would be great if they were real.

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Just hear-say, but I figured I'd share this. 

Screenshot_20190512-110747_Samsung Internet.jpg

Screenshot_20190512-110718_Samsung Internet.jpg

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Can't find anything on the bronze one. I've exhausted my google foo. 

If you read the link though, the wood of SIMILAR OBJECTS found at the same site (river find) were tested and date back to the migration period. Similar carving suggest it MIGHT be from the same time frame, and possibly woodworker. 

The knotwork on the bronze one looks kind of poorly done. Look at it towards the tip of the wing. It sort of looses its regularity. The part closer to the blade doesnt overlap correctly. 

They look suspiciously similar though... 

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It's a pretty common practice among antiques dealers to put fake hilts on authentic pieces. A complete looking piece sells better then an incomplete one. There's even a seax in the National museum here that has various bits of belt plates etc. glued together to form a hilt.

The one with the bronze hilt I am pretty certain that it's a fake, inspired by the wooden hilted one. The blade is probably real, but the hilt certainly isn't. It's a broad seax with an iron bolster. Iron bolsters on broad seaxes are fairly rare, except on Langobardic ones, where nearly all of them have an iron bolster. So there's a good chance that the blade is Langobardic.

The one with the "wooden" hilt may be the real thing. But I strongly suspect that the hilt isn't wood. It looks more like bone or horn to me.

But anything that doesn't come through official archaeological circles I automatically assume to be a fake or messed with, unless there is very strong evidence to prove otherwise. And anything that does come through archaeological circles that looks off, I still don't trust. Much of the collections of museums also comes through antiques dealers or from private owners, and a lot has been messed around. Provenances are falsified, bits are "restored" or faked and sometimes the entire artifacts are highly questionable, even in official museum collections. This is why artifacts are found by archaeologists and properly documented are so much more valuable. 

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