|Nicholas Yuschak (Ghog)
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Monday, July 13, 2009 - 11:27 am: |
I found this iron dagger in Eastern Pennsylvania and would appreciate any info/opinions about it such as age, style, purpose. It looks very old and primitive and appears to be one piece, rather than welded.
Thanks for looking!
|B. W. Powell (Bernie1)
Post Number: 77
|Posted on Monday, July 13, 2009 - 7:00 pm: |
What are circumstances of your find? Did you dig it up, find it in plowed field (maybe) - or spot it in Junk Shop or on E-Bay? Context and Provenience are everything here...
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 10:38 am: |
This was a surface find in a residential yard in Pottstown, PA, just outside the city limits. Pottstown was founded in 1752 and was well known for its iron industry, after establishment of its first iron forge in 1714.
|Bob Cook (Otterbob)|
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 12:55 pm: |
IMHO and judging from the pictures, it appears to be cast, instead of wrought.
No matter it's origin, I still like it !
|Francis Cole (Trez)
Post Number: 58
|Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 2:00 pm: |
could it be some kind of cast wrench. What would be the guards look like some type of wrench with what you would consider the handle being waste from the pour.
|B. W. Powell (Bernie1)
Post Number: 79
|Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - 1:00 pm: |
In a message dated 07/15/09 07:08:40 Eastern Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes to email@example.com:
I recall reading that at the start of the Revolution, those revolting colonials banged out pikes when guns were scarce, same during the Uncivil War. Socketed handles are often round, any more data?
Stylistically I'd guess it to be more contemporaneous to those eras than Medieval.
If someone duplicates it I'd be interested in a copy.
Hi, George -
Yes - I have read same, too: one more case of a current war being fought with the arms and armaments of an ancient war, I suppose...
Didn't know you were interested in ancient ironwork. If I ever get my forge set up again, I will try to forge you a "dupe" here! All of which reminds me of yet another rambling anecdote...
Long ago, and for a number of years, I lived in both Wilton and Redding Ridge, CT - close rural towns in suburban CT - maybe 60+ miles or so from NYC. This is where I had my blacksmith shop. About five miles away, over on Rte. 7, there was a guy named Kenneth Lynch. He was one of most disagreeable, irascible guys I ever met - but withal - one of most fascinating! He was, among other things, a blacksmith of National, indeed, International reknown! He ran a sprawling complex that was part foundry, part smithy, part cast-concrete lawn and garden ornaments and what all else I don't remember. In his day he had hobnobbed with the likes of Samuel Yellin (if you know your Who's Who of blacksmiths) - although a detractor once told me that Lynch overplayed this connection as he did everything else. Suffice to say, however, that among his many works is the famous "Atlas with the World on His Back" at Rockefeller Center in the Big Apple, if you have ever chanced to stray that way. And I believe many of his creations adorn the National Cathedral in Washington, too - a 'mecca' (you should pardon the implied mixup in religions here - LOL! - about which I don't give a rat's ass for the lot of 'em!). Lynch also had the "Hollywood contract" whatever for creation of all the (authentic!) appearing battle axes, swords and other Norse paraphernalia for the movie "The Vikings" - starring Kirk Douglas no less, etc. - which you may recall seeing way back when...
I first encountered Lynch many years earlier when a friend of mine and I were doing an archaeological survey of Rte. 7. One cold Spring morning - I remember it well - we found a Colonial penny, I think it was, in the soil at the base of a large rotunda fountain sort of affair which stood in front of Lynch's main building. (The Redcoats and the Colonials had many skirmishes up and down Rte 7 back in the Revolution - being as how it ran north from Norwalk on the Sound - which town they burned twice: once on their advance and once on their retreat...LOL ... and on up past Lynch's place to Danbury - which they also obligingly burned - as all good patriots and history buffs know to this very day! So there, too!)
I myself many years later, was to direct an archaeological dig at "Lambert House" (sometimes "Lilacstead") - a Colonial merchant's home a bit north of Lynch's place and which had been fired from (and upon!) during the Redcoat invasion... (See my report at: http://www.bwpowell.com/archeology/lambert/lam1.html , if you are interested).
Anyhow, Lynch was much interested in our find, and granted (limited) permission to survey his property more. But this was already being accompanied by much huffing and puffing about what an important personage he was, and how I was to get him an article in the local daily bugle and all - declaring what a patron of the arts and sciences he was, and history authority, and blacksmith and what all, etc. etc. Wow! I thought: what a stuffed shirt this dude is...!
More years passed. Now I was a PR account exec for a division of the old Union Carbide Corporation (long since defunct after the Bohpal, India debacle...Sigh). But this division made chemicals for the concrete and Ready-Mix industries (Yes! no decent batch of ready-mix is ever sent upon the road without its quota of toxic chemicals entrained therein: preventing freezing (in winter); premature "sets"; and other technical misfortunes of the trade...Sigh, once more). And I thought to maybe induce Lynch to let us photograph his concrete casting op - furnish him some chemicals for same, etc. etc. - and thus secure a "case history" article for my client. Alas - such was not to be! For after hearing my proposal, Lynch rose from his chair and guided me to the door with the further invitation that I should go further north up Rte. 7 to the "Insane Asylum" (there was indeed, one such in those far off parlous times!) yet beyond Danbury - and that they would take me in and address my wild ideas for published material! LOL!
I was yet to have one further dust-up with this cantankerous old goat. I cannot remember the issue, but by now I had become interested in blacksmithing myself and was following on avidly as a hobby. Lynch had - let it be said - a large library of books and journals on blacksmithing - and somehow I had been using or referring to these in my pursuits (I cannot remember just how...) but he got wind of this, and took great affront - because he "had never heard of me" and who in hell was I to set up a blacksmith operation (even though non-commercial) in "his" town and "his" backyard? Harumph! So he took it upon himself to call me on phone once in great indignation (He was beginning to hear around about "Weeping Heart" Forge, etc. - and what was big idea? Etc. Etc.). So I told him to go take a flying-blank-at-a-rolling-doughnut and hung up on him. An hour or so later, I got another phone call: this time from a town detective (!) He said a Mr. Kenneth Lynch had called him and reported that I had made a threatening call to him (!), and used obscene language to boot! LOL!
So the Lieutenant says, confidentially, that "they" (the Department) knew "all about Lynch" and his irascible ways...he was one giant pain in their ass with his constant "complaints" about one thing or another around town - but would I please do them a favor, and never talk to Lynch again, please?
Since this certainly worked no hardship on me - I readily agreed! LOL!
(But I still have not got to the "ancient weapons" part - which was my original intent here...Sigh)
Eventually, and while he was still alive, Lynch liquidated his extensive place over on "7". Man and Boy! They came from all over the US to buy and dig into that treasure trove. No question about it: Lynch was a pre-eminent collector (and maker!) of ancient tools and weapons (as was also - I might add further - my own first boss and lifetime mentor out of college: one, the estimable George W. Rhine, may he rest in peace - and who may have had more influence on my warped personality such as it is - than anyone else I have ever known in this World of Woe - including doting parents and other relations). George Rhine in any event, inspired the only thing approaching a book I have ever (or likely ever will!) undertaken: and it is posted online on my website too, at: http://www.bwpowell.com/george/index.html
I invite your perusal there at your leisure for a sort of introduction to "Zen and the Art of Blacksmithing, Life, and What is to be Made of It All " treatise...
Well - back to Lynch's auction. I can't begin to tell you of the treasures that exchanged hands during the time of that sale... or of how same got scattered far and wide throughout the world from whence they all came once again. (George W., no mean collector he!) often said that the possessions of this world are in sort of a permanent musical chairs ownership - cycling round and round again to new and different owners on about a 20-yr. cycle as he saw it - acquiring along the way, breaks, nicks, lost parts and general decay and enhanced "value" as compensation for their endless trek... Sigh)
One notable achievement of Lynch's (in youth) had been to "buy" an entire French village of blacksmiths and their paraphernalia (you can find references to all this online in various - mostly way out! LOL! - places and sites online) and bring same back to the US. This all went into the sale, along with genuine Medieval armor, Early American Tools - you name it. And (and here is the part I first referred to): quantities of the movie prop tools - axes, swords, whatnot - from the Vikings, which hundreds of such leftovers were yet in Lynch's keeping! Man! How I wanted some of that stash! Stuff was going for a song, too - along with his shop tools, to boot!
But as fate would have it (it often has in my case...LOL!) I was in one of my financial downturn episodes at the time and had not an extra cent to my name! So I never was able to "buy in" here very well - and got only one or two pieces for my own keeping...
Well, anyhow - thus, Mssr. Kenneth Lynch. Dead now some 15 years or so I see by a NYTime obituary I looked up online. He was just my age: 82 when he passed away. Difficult guy to know him for sure - but a giant in American Blacksmithing - and that is not to be denied.
And now as my Mother used to say: "All great men are dead - and I don't feel so well..." I think I will go out and sun on the porch for the balance of the day...
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 - 2:38 pm: |
Thanks, George for your insight about revolting colonials banging out pikes. My dagger has that sort of look to it.
...and WOW, anvilbangr/Bernie...
...those recollections about Wilton and Mr. Kenneth Lynch gave me a chill! What a coincidence. I work in Wilton in Lynch's old shop complex on Route 7. My office is upstairs in the loft where, according to those I've talked to, Lynch used to make the Hollywood sets. The property is now owned by Wilton Outdoor Sports Center and we are rental tenants. For many years Kenneth's son Tim continued to run a Garden Ornament business here but that has down-scaled considerably.
|Jenna Brocious (Annora)
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 - 8:45 pm: |
Do you have any picture of the tang? That might help answer some of the questions on it's originality. It has an interesting twirl on the hand guard that is in one piece with the blade, which leads to it curiosity as a knife of some sort.
|Jenna Brocious (Annora)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 - 8:49 pm: |
Never mind. I didn't scroll over enough. I see it now. Still an interesting piece.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Monday, July 20, 2009 - 1:24 pm: |
I can supply additional views or close-ups for anyone if it would be helpful.
|Frank Turley (Frank_turley)
Post Number: 30
|Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 11:08 pm: |
I have a few Kenneth Lynch tools which I purchased from Bob Bergman who brought them to Wisconsin from the Wilton sales. A few years back, a Santa Fe smith, Rolando DeLeon, was able to work for Lynch. He confirmed that Lynch was a curmudgeon. On one occasion, Rolando went to strike an arc with his electrode, and it stuck to the piece he was attempting to weld. This is not totally unusual, but Lynch saw it and was beside himself; he yelled, "If I see that happen one more time, you're fired!"
On another occasion a couple of months later, Rolando saw that a storage building door was open, so he stepped in to look about. The place was full of astonishingly beautiful wrought ironwork. Lynch found him in the building, chewed him out, and fired him on the spot.
|Lewis Meyer (Fciron)
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 10:19 am: |
I think it was Bob Bergman who used to come to the ABANA conference with buckets of MOB marked tools from the 'Lynch stash'. He enabled some young and impecunious smiths to get their hands on some very nice tools.
Gosh, I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear about anyone in the blacksmithing world being a curmudgeon! ;)