Symbolic Sword Press II

Luddites, ala lantern!  We’ll try posting this again after being beat-up by technology … a week late.  And we'll catch-up later this week if one of my peer's leaves me a space.

There’s nothing this (last) week on WMA/HEMA; but we do have a wealth of links highlighting swords as symbols: of history; of trust; or honour; and of memory – and a couple items have have more than one element within them.  It’s intriguing how an object, so longer used in modern society except amongst a few aficionados for sport or recreation; can still capture the imagination of the ‘general public’ within a variety of nations and cultures.


Swords Remembered

STV (Edinburgh, UK) 23 March 13  Craftsman keeping the spirit of Robert the Bruce and He-Man alive (Alison McCallum)

Paul MacDonald of MacDonald Armouries has spent the last two decades using traditional methods to recreate collection-worthy, great swords of the past, and create a few new ones as well.

"Every sword is a different dialect of the language of fencing. They all have their own challenges when it comes to making them. They all have their own character,” he said.

There are three points in this item that particularly ‘spoke to Us’:

And for those of you that forge swords – or run a swordplay salle;

"To make a career out of something you’re interested in you have to be obsessive to a point."

We’ve always believed that, notwithstanding the advantages of the internet, there is still real value to be gained from reading a good book on any subject.

The shelves in his compact, cluttered workshop are lined with books about knives, swords and military history.

Last, the old ways worked, and apparently still work.  But if you’re going to do something right, you really have to ‘put in your time/pay your dues’ to learn how to truly do things correctly.

Paul is currently passing on the skills that have survived hundreds of years to his 24-year-old apprentice Greg Marr.

Paul said: "There’s no official apprenticeships or training courses in sword and knife making today so it is the old school method of apprenticing under someone already in the industry or going your own route and researching and trial and error.


Sword of Trust

PRENSA LATINA (Havana, Cuba) 17 March 13  Venezuelan Presidential Guard Honored with Bolivar Sword Replica

The Venezuelan acting president, Nicolás Maduro conferred a replica of the sword of the Liberator Simon Bolivar to the 2,000-man Presidential Honor Guard, for their service and loyalty to the deceased Bolivarian leader, Hugo Chavez.

Swords are still used amongst the militaries the world-over as emblems of responsibility, trust, valour and service.  Even replicas can have significant social and personal meaning for the recipient.


Sword of Honour – To Both Sides

NEWS-POST (Frederick, Maryland) 19 March 13  Family treasure: Sword returned to

Hungarian Embassy after nearly 70 years (Nicholas C. Stern)

BORS (Budapest, Hungary) 22 March 13  Hazakerül Széchenyi Rég Elveszett Kardja (Ferentzi András)

Matthew Young was rummaging around a box of mementos collected by his grandfather, and found a saber and scabbard, both adorned with gold and semi-precious stones and covered with elaborate engravings and carvings.

The ceremonial saber, commemorating Count Istvan Szechenyi (statesman and writer, d.1860) is a historically and culturally important legacy to Magyars.

Young and his family returned the sword to Hungary in a ceremony at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington.

"It shows what character my father had … He knew it had historical and monetary value, but he wanted us to do what we could to get it back to the Hungarians."



THE AUSTRALIAN (Sydney) 20 March 13  The sword of Menzies (Michaela Boland)