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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject: Hollow pommels         Reply with quote

I have been wondering when and on what types of swords hollow pomels were commonly used? They appear on early British basket hilts in spherical form, are any of the pommels on later style basket hilts hollow or was this particular to the spherical type?

I seem to recall a few other examples of swords from various time periods and regions that are said to have hollow pommels but can't think of any specifically, other than somon Highland "claymores" (the two handed variety).

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the "Henry V" type XVIII has a hollow pommel. There is also a type XIX (the famous one with the finger ring) that has a hollow type G pommel. Both are early 15th century swords.
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Steven H




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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As an aside, if I may, how were the hollow pommels made?

Thanks.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
As an aside, if I may, how were the hollow pommels made?

Thanks.


The various pieces (2, 3 or more) would be formed and then usually were brazed togther. The Henry V pommel was three pieces, a solid central disk and two hollow raised rims. The three pieces were brazed together.

Happy

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Korey J. Lavoie




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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember reading in the Review of Cold Steels Grosse Messer in the Review section that Antique Messers sometimes featured a pommel that fit over the butt of the Tang like a Cap. Technically a Hollow Pommel.
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Alexander Spiridonov




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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sword have hollow pommel or not?
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 05 May, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Pommels         Reply with quote

The use of cap and hollow piece construction of pommels stretches back quite some way. I could not tell you how far back as I am sure it may date to some of the earliest examples of separate pommel construction for swords. In the Eruopean context I have seen several examples of viking sword hilts that were made with hollow elements.

As to the sword Alexander pictured I think that one has a solid pommel if I remeber correctly, it been a while since I looked at it.

The use of the wheel pommel probably had hollow examples in its earliet forms though the solid disc and semi ball shapes probably were most common.

Best
Craig
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Alexander Spiridonov




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PostPosted: Wed 13 Jun, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Pommels         Reply with quote

The examples of hollow pommels^
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun, 2007 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Partially hollow pommels are not uncommon on 14th-15thC swords. The famous 'Thames' sword in the Museum of London has a partially hollow pommel, for example:

http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/gallery2/main.p...ewsIndex=1

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Alexander Spiridonov




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun, 2007 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:
Partially hollow pommels are not uncommon on 14th-15thC swords. The famous 'Thames' sword in the Museum of London has a partially hollow pommel, for example:

http://www.fioredeiliberi.org/gallery2/main.p...ewsIndex=1

Regards,
Matt

What is partially? It consist of three parts?
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2007 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexander Spiridonov wrote:

What is partially? It consist of three parts?


To be honest, I don't know. But you can see inside it, where the tang enters - it is clearly not solid inside, but I have no idea how that specific pommel was made.

Matt

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Alexander Spiridonov




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2007 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:
Alexander Spiridonov wrote:

What is partially? It consist of three parts?


To be honest, I don't know. But you can see inside it, where the tang enters - it is clearly not solid inside, but I have no idea how that specific pommel was made.

Matt

Maby, it was soldered like the pommel of Genrih V. I am working about replica of sword with soldered by silver pommel which consist of 3 parts.
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jun, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:
Alexander Spiridonov wrote:

What is partially? It consist of three parts?


To be honest, I don't know. But you can see inside it, where the tang enters - it is clearly not solid inside, but I have no idea how that specific pommel was made.

Matt


I don't see any hollowness but just a carved slot at the base to accomodate the handle's end inside the pommel, so assuring a more stable rig.
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Feb, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have decided to bring this thread back up to see if I can get more examples of hollow pommels, particularly on medieval-period swords. Besides the other swords mentioned in this thread, the inspiration for Albion's new "Vigil" is said to have a pommel which is "slightly hollow" (I assume this means that the cavity/aperture through which the tang passes is over-sized in the interior), and which they have maintained on the reproduction.
I suspect that hollow or partly-hollow pommels may be more common than is generally appreciated, and it seems to me that pommel construction as a whole may be a subject that deserves more attention than it recieves. I think many of us frequently look at a pommel and assume it to be a solid piece of homogenous material, when some examples at least are much more complex than a casual glance would suggest.
If anyone has further examples or info to add to this please do, this is a subject that has lingered in the back of my mind for some time now.
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Don Stanko




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know you are looking for medieval era swords, but I have commonly encountered hollow pommels with mid to late 16th century riding swords and rapiers. These pommels are usually larger and round, surprising since these 16th century swords usually have guards that fit closely to the hand. I've always wondered how those pommels were made. I do not recall seeing an seems on the pommels but I guess the maker could buff those marks out. Just a guess...
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was aware of some 16th century swords which feature them, mainly some of the early British basket hilts and also some of the two-handed Scottish "claymores", one of which IIRC had a wheel-style pommel with a raised center hub which was hollow and of 3-piece construction.
I would assume the most common method of joining these pieces would be brazing or high-temp. solder, which can make a joint that is all but invisible, if done carefully, which is why I suspect that there may be more of these type of pommels than we realize. In some cases the only clue that a pommel is hollow may be the weight, which may be hard to detect without a very detailed study.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The hollow in many medieval pommels result from the fact that a rather blunt drift is used to form the hole for the tang.
If a narrow punch would have been used, it would very quickly be heated to glowing heat from the hot pommel. You cannot punch a hollow with a glowing and soft tool. Therefore the tool needs to be rather blunt and of large enough diameter that it does not heat up too quickly.
Sometimes the shape of the hole is refined when the pommel is further forged after the hole is punched, sometimes not. The tope of the pommel can have a much smaller hole punched down into the larger hollow inside.
The hollow resulting from a blunt drift is a bit like some one pushing a thumb into soft toffey.

In other cases the pommel is constructed from two or more pieces welded together. They can have pre formed holes, that take up more or less of the volume inside. I would think a drift is still used to shape/refine the final shape of both hole and pommel.

Yet other pommels (Im thiniking of those rish ones) are made from sheet metal, but looks like wheel pommels with tall tang buttons.


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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having tried to drift a pommel or two myself, your answer makes a lot of sense, Peter. Extracting a seized drift punch from a long, narrow hole is an aggravating waste of forging time.
Now that I give it some thought I recall seeing a rapier pommel done similarly to the way you describe on Patrick Barta's site.
Is this something you typically look for or consider when examining an original sword?
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
Having tried to drift a pommel or two myself, your answer makes a lot of sense, Peter. Extracting a seized drift punch from a long, narrow hole is an aggravating waste of forging time.
Now that I give it some thought I recall seeing a rapier pommel done similarly to the way you describe on Patrick Barta's site.
Is this something you typically look for or consider when examining an original sword?


Yes, the way the pommel is made is always part of the "signature" of the design. In most cases that tang is exposed, so that you can get a full view of the inside of the pommel. From this it is possible to make a pretty good guess, or at times get full insight into the interior shape of any hollow inside the pommel.

How much on this that will impact any reconstructions based on documentation depends on the intent of the work and materials available.
A hollow will of course have an impact on the weight of the pommel: you need to take this into consideration when you shape the parts. It is also interesting to make note of any obvious weld lines that tell of method of construction. Unless one has access to very good wrought iron it is difficult to mimic this welded together structure of pommels.
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Fabrice Cognot
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Mar, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
It is also interesting to make note of any obvious weld lines that tell of method of construction. Unless one has access to very good wrought iron it is difficult to mimic this welded together structure of pommels.


Heh you just beat me on that one.

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