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Michael Pearce
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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 11:30 am    Post subject: Hurbuck Saex Interpretation         Reply with quote

This is a one-off hand-made piece. It was not made with the intent that it be mass-produced by CAS/H or any other production company.





OAL: 31 inches
Blade Length: 23-7/8 inches
Blade Width @ Base: 1-7/16 inches
Blade thickness at base: 5/16 inch
Hilt OAL: 7-1/8 inches
COG: 5-1/2 inch from base of blade
Weight: 2lb. 5oz.
Named for the find-place in Great Britain, this style of saex was in use from the 8th-10th C. Thick and heavy for their size and characterized by the 'broken-back' and acute point, these are fearsome cut-and-thrust weapons. This one is made from Marquenched and differential-tempered 5160 spring steel. The shape and proportions of the tang and blade match historic examples, and the tang distal-tapers towards the tip. The handle is White Ebony wood treated with an oil-based dye. The shoulder-band, rivet and base-plate are all of brass. The engraved decoration on the blade is derived- but not copied from- from that of the Battersea sax. While the engraving should be inlaid with latten or silver I did not do so to save time and expense- I should also not that my skill at inlay is rudimentary enough that I might have botched it had I tried!

The handle is conjectural; there are no surviving examples of hilts for this type of saex. It is known that no metal fittings for this type of hilt have been identified. It is also reasonably supposed that these saexes possessed no guard as such, for contemporary representations appear to show them in a pouch-type scabbard that partly covers the handle. At least one example of this type has what appears to be a rivet-hole centrally located on the tang. The configuration of this hilt was arrived at based on examination of contemporary knife-hilts and continental saxes. The shoulder-band (there is no shoulder-plate) is there to prevent the wooden handle from splittting and the base-plate mirrorrs the shape of base-plates attributed to continental saexes and is glued and secured by four small nails. This base-plate is supposed to help prevent damage to the handle. The handle is made from three sections of wood fitted over the tang and glued together and secured by the tubular rivet and epoxied in place. Is the hilt 'historically accurate?' We don't know- but it seems plausible. I used only metal fittings that could easily have perished with the organic handle or become separated from the piece when the handle rotted away.

This piece is provided with a pouch-type single seam leather scabbard.
Comments are welcome!

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
-------------
Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Joe Maccarrone




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 19 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had the pleasure of handling this one yesterday, and I do believe Tinker has nailed the blade dimensions of the original.. Happy

I scrutinized the original at some length in the British Museum last year, peering through the glass at different angles (and no doubt leaving finger- and nose-prints...). It is of very stout, wedge shaped cross section, quite thick at the spine throughout, right to the point. The point is obviously very strong and rigid, and would make for a fearsome thrusting weapon, in addition to a chopper.

When I saw that Tinker had done an interpretation of this one, I immediately wondered if he made it as strong as the original looked to be. I examined Tinker's piece from the same angles I photographed the original, and the similarity of the blade shape and thickness is really fantastic.

It feels great in the hand, too -- makes you want to whack something! Big Grin
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 7:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael,

Wow, that is beautiful. It definitely looks like it would be a really nasty weapon. You are to be congratulated.

Looking at it raises questions about these weapons that I feel should have occurred to me before. Its obvious that these are weapons for both the cut and thrust as you mentioned but doesn't it seem that thrusting with a handle like that would be pretty dangerous to the thrusters hand? I'm trying to imagine the handle with a bulge at the front to keep the wielders hand from slipping up and onto the blade. I guess another way to ask the question is how does this piece feel in the hand? Does it feel natural to hold it in a conventional grip or do you think you would find yourself gripping the very end of the handle to minimize the danger of losing your fingers?

Thanks,


Ken
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Michael Pearce
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Location: Seattle, Wa.
Joined: 21 Feb 2004

Posts: 365

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PostPosted: Sun 11 May, 2008 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find myself gripping it normally; I'm not sure that in battle I wouldn't want the handle wrapped in something to give more traction, especially when thrusting. OTOH for all we know the handles were wrapped- or carved extensively- for just that reason. Until or unless one is found with the handle intact we just won't know for sure.
Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
-------------
Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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Shamsi Modarai




Location: On wuda bearwe, under actreo in žam eoršscręfe.
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PostPosted: Thu 15 May, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Love at first sight......sigh. My favourite type of seax.

Congrats, you've made me drool. Wink

Wa biš žam že sceal of langože leofes abidan.

~ The Wife's Lament
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Michael Pearce
Industry Professional



Location: Seattle, Wa.
Joined: 21 Feb 2004

Posts: 365

Feedback score: None
PostPosted: Thu 15 May, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shamsi Modarai wrote:
Love at first sight......sigh. My favourite type of seax.

Congrats, you've made me drool. Wink


My pleasure!

Michael 'Tinker' Pearce
-------------
Then one night, as my car was going backwards through a cornfield at 90mph, I had an epiphany...
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