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Travis Gorrie




Location: Springfield, Illinois
Joined: 21 Apr 2004

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: Sword Grip Color         Reply with quote

I've finally made the near impossible decision and decided on my first sword purchase - the Albion gaddhjalt. But now comes the even harder decision on what color to choose for the sword grip.

So my question is this... are there any historically accurate\inaccurate grip colors for swords in viking \ medieval eras? I am guessing that most would have been some shade of brown for leather - right? Thanks.
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
Joined: 22 Nov 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Posts: 790

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 5:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you do a search, you will probably find several of the threads where the feasibility of black dye in the medieval/viking period was discussed. Opinions vary (mostly based on a definition of what true black is), but it is fairly safe to say that modern chemical blacks look a bit different than black leather would have historically. It's up to you and what you think will look nice, but some people would avoid black. As far as other colors go, you should be pretty safe with light or dark brown, or the oxblood. I personally am quite fond of the latter.

In looking through the Maciejowski Bible, there are quite a few colors for sword grips (even one green example), but you can probably justify the reds that Albion offers, or even some custom colors (probably not the hot pink that Mike likes to threaten people with, though).

In the end, I think it really comes down to what you think looks nice, as there is a precindent for quite a few color choices.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some threads:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=7119
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2631
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4488

I'm sure there are more.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Sword Grip Color         Reply with quote

Travis Gorrie wrote:
I am guessing that most would have been some shade of brown for leather - right? Thanks.


The most prevalent method of tanning was using "tannin" from oak, which produces brown shades. Of course, dyeing grips may have been common. Still, a natural brown would seem appropriate. With wear, time, and lack of oils, some of these may have weathered to now appear more white.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Kenton Spaulding




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
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Posts: 285

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I went with magenta for my Gaddhjalt, and for what it is worth, I thought it looked very nice.


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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tastefully displayed on a cardboard background with my Crecy... Laughing Out Loud

I like Albion's oxblood dye; it's a tad more interesting than just plain black (although I do like black, some swords just feel like they should have something else).

www.addisondelisle.com
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find the issue of grip colors and materials very interesting,

It is my PERSONAL opinion that many swords of the high medieval period had grips that would look very strange to our modern eyes. Oakeshott discusses one with a binding of green and yellow silk. Oakeshott believed that the grip of the Sword of St. Casilda was not a replacement and this grip was red (now pink) with thongs and small pegs or nails, (very attractive I believe).

Our modern companies seem to perfer, because of customer preference, durability, and ease, to use subtle shades of veg. tanned leather. I do believe this was done sometimes but not by any means the rule. This is just me, but I believe that the blade and furniture were seen as vastly more important than the grip and hence period materials were not always chosen due to there durability but due to visual appeal. I think that, in a way, the beauty of the modern high quality production or custom blade does not fit with the subtlety of the grip. The problem with more austentatious grips is that with so few historical examples much guess work would have to be done- thus increasing the chances of historical inaccuracy.

Oh, and for Albions I like red- bright red that darkens a bit with age. I also have oxblood, brown, and light brown that are appealing to the modern eye. I have contemplated sending my next Albion to Christian Fletcher to have a grip upgrade similar to that found on the Sword of St. Casilda.

Oh, and Kenton, your Gaddjhalt looks very nice- I love that design- now have some decorative thongs and small iron nails and it would be splendid indeed but so would my Reeve and my Norman!
Thanks,
Jeremy
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Travis Gorrie




Location: Springfield, Illinois
Joined: 21 Apr 2004

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 17 Dec, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies and links guys. I was leaning to either the light brown or oxblood colors. Light brown because that seemed realistic or natural to me and the oxblood because it would provide a little color without drawing to much attention to the grip. I just cannot envision a bright or brilliant color as the sword focus, but by the sounds of some of these posts it might be more historically accurate.

But Kentonís magenta grip looks pretty niceÖ but unfortunately Iím too conservative of a person for all that flash. I am going with the oxblood though; you guys have convinced me to go with some color. Next time will be the campaign worn sword.

Thanks again.
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