News of Sword 13 (the Alejandro Sword) came to us via a comment by Alejandro on this blog post a few days ago while I was on vacation. Thankfully, alert citizen, Spanish speaker, and Friend of #Swordgate Pablo Raw followed up on Alejandro's comment and gathered information and photos about the sword. Thanks to both Pablo and Alejandro - I owe you both a beer (if you've been keeping score at home, you'll know that I now owe Pablo two beers).
Here is a portion of Alejandro's account as he emailed it followed by Pablo's translation:
"Ésta espada en concreto, me refiero a la famosa espada ceremonial, si bien no era más que una mera reproducción, tenía cierto encanto. La adquirió en un viaje a Italia, en concreto a la ciudad de Pompeya. No puedo precisar si salió de la sección de souvenirs del Museo Arqueológico Nacional de Nápoles, de un vendedor ambulante, o de la misma ciudad Pompeya; pero puedo asegurar que las palabras literales de este buen amigo cuando me la obsequió fueron: “Ya tienes una espada de Pompeya”. De lo que no hay duda alguna es de que esta espada fue adquirida en Italia. Todo esto sucedió hace unos 20 años aproximadamente, la fecha exacta no puedo recordarla, pero aseguro con certeza que llegó a mis manos allá por 1996. Desde entonces luce entre mi colección."
"This specific sword, (I’m talking about the ceremonial sword), it was clearly a reproduction, but it had a certain charm to it. He got it on a trip to Italy, specifically in the city of Pompeii. I can’t tell if it came out of the souvenirs store of the National Archaeological Museum of Napoli, a street vendor, or just somewhere in the city of Pompeii, but I can tell that his literal words when he gave it to me where: “Now you own a sword from Pompeii”. There is no doubt that the sword was acquired in Italy. All this happened 20 years ago approximately, the exact date I can’t remember, but I can assure that I got it around 1996. Since then, it is part of my collection."
As far as the blade goes, I don't see any of the anomalies used to the define the Type J swords (i.e., the Nova Scotia Sword, the Italian eBay Sword, the Florida Sword, and the France Sword). A side-by-side comparison of Sword 13 with the 3D model of the Italian eBay Sword suggests that the blade of Sword 13 is the shorter of the two. The blade of Sword 13 appears to be shaped like the the blade of the Design Toscano sword, but lacks some of the distinctive characteristics of the Design Toscano example that I have in my office.
We have a purchase date and location for the Alejandro sword (1996, Pompeii) that fits pretty nicely with the purchase date and location reported for the Cvet Sword (2004, Pompeii). (Although we never got a good photo of the Benjamin Sword, purchased in 2005 in Pompeii, I suspect it is also a Type CS based on the apparent blade length.) We know that the Type F swords (California and Sonja) were for sale in the 1970's. And we know the Design Toscano swords are still being made today. I think the most reasonable hypothesis is that the Type J swords were probably produced sometime between the 1970's and 1990's, with the Alejandro Swords and the other Type CS swords being a later generation. Maybe something like this:
Thanks again, Alejandro and Pablo. Nice work!