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Need Help

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:44 am
by wolfvine
Greetings my friends.

Guys I am looking for advice on iron age swords from ireland from about 50 BC. to around 150 AD. I have to get three fighting blades made up by Armour class so I need as much info as I can get. Any advice or help would be great.

Thanks Lads Sean.

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:09 pm
by brendan
I am pretty sure that Billy has posted a few links/pics on here before (dont have time to check)
Barry Raftery's book definitely has pics, and if you can get your hands on his (rare) catalogue of Irish finds it even has some almost 1:1 scale line drawings (I have seen the book but dont own it)

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:52 pm
by Billy
Seán, I'm delighted to hear you're getting some Irish swords done, they're pretty different to other Iron age swords.
Here's where you need to go: ... a&start=10

Be careful with that third picture there, don't trust the hilts on the left. They're not representative of Irish examples. Only the one on the right is.

Thing to remember about authentic Irish Iron age swords is that they're small, short and light. They're a bit smaller than a Gladius.

I seem to remember posting a reproduction I made up on these boards some time ago. Anyone find it? Is it swallowed up by the archiving?

Let me know if there's more you need.
Le meas,

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:05 pm
by Billy
This is not a bad example either, although the bronze is a small bit thick, and I can't remember if the edge was decorated with those lines.

look at the original here, scan down to nathan bell's second post:

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:21 pm
by wolfvine
Sean Celtic sword.JPG
Sean Celtic sword.JPG (658.77 KiB) Viewed 24539 times

Hi Billy. Thanks for the info. I have come up with a quick sketch on an idea for a iron age battle-ready sword. You might have a look at it and give me your opinion on it. Please bare in mind that we are talking spring steel for the blade and brass for the hilt guard. The hilt will be antler and the cross guard and pommel will be oak( suggestions for any other type of wood will be welcome) The sword will be close in lenght to a gladius and about the same width as a spatha.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks. Séan

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:04 am
by Nerva
Hi Sean,

There are 7 iron 'iron' iron age blades on display at the national museum. The longest blade is about 18" long including tang. All are simple 'dimond' cross section blades without fullers. The handles are wood without any other materials (only 2 swords have handles).

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:30 am
by Billy
Jaysus Sean,

that's a smasher of a sketch, and it looks great to me.
Fair play. The only concern is the overall length. I think the longest Irish sword recorded is about 47 cm in total, which is just under 19 inches.

This is important, because most were shorter again, and it's the shortness of the blade that really defines Irish iron age swords.
It means there was a particular style of combat that necessitates short swords, and longer swords would not reflect this.
My advice is to scale down the whole thing to an authentic length. In my own experience, the short handle makes the sword lock rock-solid in the fist, and it really does become an extension of the arm.

Well done again on the drawing, it looks amazing. Those schoolkids are lucky to have you as their teacher.
And them Romans are lucky to have you on the team.

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:35 am
by Billy
Actually, just thinking about it, I'd be inclined to make the width of the pommel near enough the same width as the crossguard.
Perhaps bring it out a bit at the sides, for a more oval shape.

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:33 pm
by wolfvine
Greetings my Friends.

Hi Billy.
Thanks for getting back to me on the sword. My mistake was in thinking it was just the blade that was 18-19 inches (not including the tang) I get you point about the pommel, if I make the pommel wider I could also squeeze it down a bit giving the sword a little extra length in the blade ;) . I will post up another sketch as soon as I have one done, you might check it out. All the best Billy. Seán

Re: Need Help

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:42 pm
by wolfvine
Greetings My friends.

Hi Martin. I contacted the National museum and they are going to send on some info, They also suggested Professor Raftery's book so I will look into finding that.
Cheers Mate. Seán