Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Info on The Claymore Armoury Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Sat 10 Nov, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Info on The Claymore Armoury         Reply with quote

Does anyone have info & experience on the Claymore Armoury ???

Jack W. Englund
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,138

PostPosted: Sat 10 Nov, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A link might help us help you. Happy
Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Sat 10 Nov, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a link http://www.claymore-armoury.co.uk/index.html

Jack
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 11 Nov, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't heard of Claymore Armoury before. I had a brief look at the Claymore Armoury website. There are not very many pictures there to judge quality of construction - seems to be just one (or none!) per product. FWIW, I note that the only endorsements from individual persons are from Sir Jackie Stewart and The Rock, who I suspect aren't sword experts. It would be nice to hear from a fellow forumite who is familar with their products.

I don't really care for the appearance of the baskets on their two basket hilt offerings. They strike me (perhaps unfairly) as too ... modern, I guess. The baskets seem to be constructed of a sheet steel. That is ok, since sheet material was used for some regimental issue hilts, e.g., F22a, F23, F23a and F23b in Mazansky. However, the decoration of these Claymore Armoury pieces (pattern and/or cutouts and edgework) seems, both, too fancy for an issue hilt, and, at the same time, simplified and mechanical, if that makes sense. Specific things that bother me are, first for the "No. 21 - 1745 Circa - Highland Basket Hilted Back Sword Scottish Saltire Pattern:

The diamond pattern of this sword looks rather like G3a from Mazansky, a hilt attributed to Walter Allan. But G3a is constructed of heavier material (individual forge welded bars?) that are extensively decorated with fluting and filework. The diamond pattern just doesn't look right to me when cut out of plain sheet. (Apparently, there is another Walter Allan diamond pattern hilt without the fluting and other decoration, but I haven't seen that one.)
In the case of "No. 20 - 1745 Circa - Highland Basket Hilted Broad Sword Scottish Heart Pattern":

In this example, I really dislike the attachment of the forward guards to the blade end saltire bars. The four F22-F23 examples from Mazansky, which I cited above, have the forward guards-to-saltire attachment done with some sort of weld, as this must have. However, the forward guards on the historical examples flow smoothly into the saltire, without the sharp bend shown in the Claymore Armoury No 20. Also, the ends of the forward guards on the Claymore Armoury No 20 protrude beyond the saltire attachment point and stick out - just doesn't look right to me.
I hope this helps. If not, sorry for babbling on....

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message
Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Sun 11 Nov, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve, you brought up some things that I was feeling subconsciously. I am VERY new to the world of "quality" swords. My area of "expertise" is Black Powder Muzzleloaders (1800-1840) With one exception (my hunting sword) the swords I carry are basicaly "wall hangers"It has been only recently that I "suddenly wanted to own a "quality" sword ( a Basket Hilt) This
disire was stimulatedwhen I found this forum while doing research on swords carried by NWC/HBC employees. BTW Thanks to all of you. Iam currently look @ sourses for "quality" Basket Hilts.

Anyway, Your comments on the 2 swords made me realize the Prob. I had with the. Primarely the "sheet metal" look.

BTW I e mailed the site for more pics, secs etc.

Jack
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 11 Nov, 2007 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jack W. Englund wrote:
... It has been only recently that I "suddenly wanted to own a "quality" sword ( a Basket Hilt) ....

Quality has different meanings for different people. If you are prepared to go custom, I have experience with and can recommend two custom makers - Vince Evans and E.B. Erickson. I have one piece of each of theirs. Vince Evans' work is superlative in every way - truly works of art. Here is a link to a gallery of Vince's work. Eljay Erickson is a cutler, since he just makes the hilts (but can and does collaborate with blade makers). Eljay's work can easily be mistaken (except for his maker's mark!) for very well preserved antiques. Here is a link to Eljay Erickson's site. As custom makers who are in demand, you may wait a while to obtain one of their pieces. However, if you search on the forums here, you will find a number of very positive references to each of them. There are also some of their pieces covered in the reviews section.

For semi-custom made - have you looked at swords made by Rob Miller at Castle Keep? He is in Scotland, like Claymore Armoury, and I think that his prices are in the same neighborhood as theirs, so I am guessing that Rob's work might be the sort of thing that would interest you. I can highly recommend Rob's work, though I don't know what his lead time is, these days. I obtained one of Rob's basket hilts about three years ago, and remain pleased with it. In fact, if you follow THIS LINK, I think that the blade in the third picture from left, with the etching and gold leaf, is mine. I have attached a (not so great) picture of the assembled sword. This is a regimental-style of hilt, very similar to F28 or F28a from Mazansky. This hilt is made up from a robust sheet steel. In this case, that construction is appropriate, considering the regimental style that the hilt emulates. The punchings and filework on my Castle Keep hilt are also, in my opinion, very much in keeping with the historical examples, both in terms of style and clean execution. Again, if you search here on the forums, you will find some good references to Castle Keep.

Another maker who specializes in basket hilts is Donnie Shearer, aka The Mad Piper. I don't have personal experience with Mr. Shearer's work, but some do, here at myArmoury, and perhaps they can chime in. For some reason, there doesn't seem to be as much "buzz" going about Mr. Shearer's work, as with the others that I mentioned.

Production Makers - The first maker that comes to mind is Armour Class, who are based in Glasgow, Scotland. Again, I don't have personal experience with them, but I recall reading some good reports, here.

I am probably leaving some important people out, and my apologies for that! I'm sure some other forumites will help make up for my "senioritis".



 Attachment: 40.21 KB
100_1062a.JPG
Castle Keep Regimental Style Basket Hilt

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message
GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 476

PostPosted: Sun 11 Nov, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, since comments were solicited, I'll chime in with some comments about Donnie Shearer and Armor Class. I also have basket hilts by EJ Erikson and Castle Keep in my collection as well. Perhaps a few comments on those first. I have the Bucceleuch sword from Castle Keep and it is excellent. The only problem there is the cost. Mine was $2K plus and that was before the dollar bottomed out against the pound and euro. The Armor Class swords are, IMHO, excellent buys for the money. I have four and they all are very well made, light, and fit well in the hand, but also the same exchange rate problem. I would highly recommend them, but order a scabbard from someone else after you get the blade. Donnie Shearer is a great guy, but the wait for one of Donnie's swords can be years, at least 2-4. He uses Del Tin blades which are a bit heavy but balance out well with his hilts. Donnie has an outstanding collection of antiques basket hilts and most of his reproductions are based on examples from his collection. My personal favorite is a "S" hilt I purchased here on the Marketplace; however one of the Walter Allen reproductions is certainly one of the best and most elaborate hilts I have ever seen reproduced. Donnie is certainly someone I would speak with as his prices are very reasonable if you can stand the long wait and uncertain delivery schedule. Also, his scabbards are great and well made.

As for Vince and Eljay, it is my understanding that Vince is no longer interested in making Scottish weaponery and of all makers I am personally aware of is by far the most expensive. I can only drool from afar....sigh! On the other hand, El Jay's work is surperb but he is currently committed for the next two years so not much hope there either. I have a reproduction of Lochiel of Cameron's sword ordered currently and should see it sometime around the end of May, 2008 (no, not in silver, I wish!)

Unfortunately, outside of Donnie, there just isn'y anyone one around making collector grade baskets in the US, at least none that I am aware of. However, if you want a very nice "reenactment grade" basket, let me offer this suggestion. Give Mike MacRay of Scotia Metalwork a call. A link to his page is listed in the Links heading above on the masthead. Mike is one of the nicest guys I know and is very nearly master level in the ABA hierarchy. Mike makes basket hilts and having listened in on conversation between him and Vince (their tables are across the aisle from one another), Mike's on the right track with his work. He makes his own blades so you can specify the style and the baskets themselves are just enlarged enough to admit a 20th century hand but not gigantic like Indian or Chinese made "stuff." His grips are nicely done in rayskin and overall, I like his work. I have one in my collection and have asked him to make a ribbon hilt when he can get around to it. If you are looking for a well made hilt and blade, from a domestic source, at a reasonable price, I'd recommend you give Mike a call. They are not ElJay or Vince Evans-grade, but for the buck and a fast delivery with a dependable, friendly guy, I'd give it a shot.

By the way the swords by Yeudall do, it seems suffer from the "sheet metal look." I corresponded with him a year or two ago about making a Walter Allen and he sent over some very nice drawings but the costs was astronomical, about $4-5K at the then acceptable exchange rate. I decided against buying one based on the cost (mainly) and the look of his production models.

Oh, here's a thought: If you know what a "Pinch of Snuff" hilt looks like, The Celtic Shoppe in Austin, Texas did have two in brass made by the ellusive MacAllen Armorers. I bought the last one in steel but at last conversation there were two in brass. The only problem- for me at least - is they are a bit too authentic in that the basket is small and tight. Probably just right for the period but not for a modern hand, The craftsmanshop is very nice and this would be a chance to own a practically unique sword by someone who doesn't seem to exist any longer.

Good luck!

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
View user's profile Send private message
David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I, too, have experience with some of these makers and definitely agree, Vince Evans is the best. However, it isn't so much that he is not interested in making Scottish weaponry anymore, rather he is just not taking custom orders anymore, but producing what he wants and feels lead to (and no matter what it is, it will sell, and quickly). Keep an eye on his "available" site; you never know what he'll come up with next, and it might even be Scottish!
E.B. Erickson is also a superlative hammerman. What everyone else is saying is right, his work can be hard to distinguish from originals. Note, he is taking fewer custom orders these days, but he is still taking them. So, you might want to act fast....
Armour Class is, in my opinion, the best "production" level maker of Scottish Basket hilt swords currently. Although they aren't as nice or as totally accurate as the custom makers, they're better than anything cheaper. The feel and balance of some of these swords is often quite amazing, all else considered.
My experience with Donnie Shearer is limited, but positive. I have one sword by him, a basket-hilted Turcael, and it's well made. The basket is a simple regimental hilt as described by Steve, so it's fairly simple. It uses an Indian-made 1796 pattern saber blade, similar to the Cold Steel 1796, and those tend to be relatively chunky, so it is a bit on the heavy side overall.

No experience with Rob Miller/Castle Keep....

Claymore Armoury's two-handed "Claymores" look decent, and they even make a nice-looking "Clamshell Claymore", which you don't see every day on the reproduction market. But I have to agree about their Basket-hilts, they do look kind of odd....

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Mon 12 Nov, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen, Thank you. I was (and may still) planning on getting a Baskethilt from the Armour Class ( based on $$ & recomondations I have seen oon this forum.) But you have really given me 2 other good options , Castle Keep His $$ seem very good) & Scotia ( I am in contact with him about a dirk, did not realize he made Basket hilts. Blush

Jack
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Tue 13 Nov, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
.... and that was before the dollar bottomed out against the pound and euro....
Good point about what has happened to currency exchange. With any order that has a long lead time, uncertainties about the dollar value vs other currencies add an extra element of "sport" to purchasing offshore.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Info on The Claymore Armoury
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum