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7 bytes added, 06:05, 24 June 2017
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The blades themselves deserve special mention. The process of smelting good iron sometimes resulted in small amounts of steel being produced quite deliberately. (We may be underestimating their abilities here). The steel, because it held a good sharp edge was employed on the edges of the blade, with the relatively softer iron making up the bulk of the core of the blade. This core could be embellished by plaiting different grades of iron together in patterns to create beautiful 'pattern welded' blades. We are not totally sure of the benefits of this lengthy process, but flexibility is one of several suggestions. These were highly treasured by their owners, and gained various nicknames which described the twisting patterns. Later in the period, blades became more homogeneous in their construction, which may indicate their increasing ability to smelt better iron in larger quantities.<br>
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LundHilt.jpg|Sword with a gold gilt hilt (based on find from Lund)
[[File:BrazilNutPommel.jpg|An C11th Brazil nut type pommel
Another feature of blades from this period is the habit of signing the fuller area of the blade. This was done in the same technique as the pattern welding, but in a more prosaic fashion. Letters were literally forged into and down the length of the blade without any accompanying patterns save for the odd cross. Two names were revered as excellent bladesmiths, that of Ulfbert, and Ingelri. These two smiths churned out quite a number of blades between them, and they were well sought after (if the number that have been preserved suggests), so much so, that copies were still being made long after the smiths had died. Having never seen one in the flesh, one can suppose that it was very easy to pass off a poorer blade as one of the Ulfbert or Ingelri ones.<br>
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