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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 3:33 am    Post subject: Accurate guard style for a fishtail pommelled XVIII.b         Reply with quote

Hi all,

I am lucky enough to have filtered up on Peter Lyon's waiting list and have been discussing an XVIII.b longsword with him. Having hit a bit of a personal block deciding what exactly I want to go for, I'd like some input from the collective wisdom of myArmoury on the combination of certain styles of components.

I'm not getting a recreation of a specific historical example but I do want to end up with a sword that is accurate to the third quarter of the 15th century. Ultimately period accuracy is more important to me than any one feature of the sword so I'll flex on features if they aren't documentable.

I've settled on three things I'd really like the sword to have, a lobed fishtail pommel like the one in the attached picture, a blade like the one on the gorgeous Bayerisches Nationalmuseum XVIII.b (the Munich Sword), and a leather rain guard. The problem is that I really don't like the style of quillons that usually accompany fishtail pommels on historical examples. I don't know the Oakeshott guard styles, but they're the ones with the knobby bits on the ends, as per the attached picture and can also be seen in a non-corroded state on Albion's Tallhoffer. I dislike these enough that I'll go for a different pommel style before going with the.

This has left me at a bit of a loss as to what sort of guard might be both correct and attrative for an XVIII.b of the 3rd quarter of the 15th century that would also reasonably accompany a fishtail pommel. A flared octagonal guard with a rectangular block at the blade would work well with a rain guard, but then the finished sword would be stylistically near identical to an Albion Regent and I'd rather avoid that. Not because the're anything wrong with the Regent, I think it's a beautiful sword and I want to buy one one day, just because I wan't something different to it.

I initially wasn't particularly enamoured of "S" guards, but as I look at more examples I'm becoming more attracted to them in their simpler forms and they have the advantage of having space to engrave on which is good because I would like to get a couple of lines from the book of Ruth engraved on the guard if there's space.

The other style of straight guard I really like are the ones with the downturned tips like the "Black Prince" sword and the Bresica Spadona (though perhaps not as wide as that one). There is an example in Records of the Medieval Sword without the downturned point over the blade that might work well under a rain guard. All the examples I've seen have been no later than the 1st quarter of the 15th century, though it does look like the executioner in Memling's St John altarpiece (1474-1479) appears to be using a sword with that style of guard.

Does anyone know whether either guard type would be consistent with a sword of the period I'm looking at and stylistically consistent with a fishtail pommel, or have any suggestions for other styles that would work well?

Does anyone have pictures of extant examples of fishtail pommelled longswords with quillons other than the knobby-ended style I don't like?

Thanks.



 Attachment: 11.94 KB
lobedfishtail.jpg


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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here is a painting of St. Catherine of Alexandria holding a fish-tail pommel sword.....(don't have the exact date of the portrait close at hand..sorry)


Cheers,

Billiam



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st-catherine-of-alexandria-1-sized.jpg


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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there's this interesting single hander with a different style of cross...almost a style 2, but curved with an ecussion cusp. Done in this fashion I believe it would look significantly different from the Regent....but I am unsure of how appropriate it would be on a longsword, or how it would work with a "rainguard".
(Thanks to Kirk Spencer for the pic)
Dan



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FT.V.1499.WCC.jpg

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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Goodwin wrote:
here is a painting of St. Catherine of Alexandria holding a fish-tail pommel sword.....(don't have the exact date of the portrait close at hand..sorry)

Cheers,

Billiam


Neat, thanks for that. I've had a troll through wga.hu but I can't find that particular picture. It looks late 15th century to my untrained eye though.

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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Dickinson wrote:
Well, there's this interesting single hander with a different style of cross...almost a style 2, but curved with an ecussion cusp. Done in this fashion I believe it would look significantly different from the Regent....but I am unsure of how appropriate it would be on a longsword, or how it would work with a "rainguard".
(Thanks to Kirk Spencer for the pic)
Dan


Thanks Dan. That's a right pretty sword, it's one of the ones I stared at for quite a while trying to figure out how it would scale up to longsword proportions, before coming to the conclusion that it wouldn't really work for this style of sword, which almost invariably seems to have a straight guard.

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Brad Harada




PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about a modified style of guard like the one on the Del Tin #5150 http://www.deltin.it/5150.htm, a similar type which is also used on Albion's Burgundian http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...-xviii.htm?

The Del Tin is a replica of the sword #XVIII #4, once owned by Ewart Oakeshott which he dates in "Records" to 1460 - 1470. I've always found that particular guard aesthetically pleasing in that it echoes the fishtail design/motif of the pommel in the end of the spatulate tips. Perhaps you could have the guard elongated, escussion slightly reduced (more like the one shown in Dan's post), and given an light "S" twist (ala Albion's "Munich" and "Earl"). I think something like that would satisfy your requirements as you could keep the fish tail pommel and it would be historically plausible for the time frame.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brad Harada wrote:
What about a modified style of guard like the one on the Del Tin #5150 http://www.deltin.it/5150.htm, a similar type which is also used on Albion's Burgundian http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...-xviii.htm?

The Del Tin is a replica of the sword #XVIII #4, once owned by Ewart Oakeshott which he dates in "Records" to 1460 - 1470. I've always found that particular guard aesthetically pleasing in that it echoes the fishtail design/motif of the pommel in the end of the spatulate tips. Perhaps you could have the guard elongated, escussion slightly reduced (more like the one shown in Dan's post), and given an light "S" twist (ala Albion's "Munich" and "Earl"). I think something like that would satisfy your requirements as you could keep the fish tail pommel and it would be historically plausible for the time frame.


Now that's a good idea. I'd seen pictures of the original guard that inspired the Burgundian but mostly I'd been looking at longsword guards rather than single-hander guards. An S guard terminated in the fishtail-oid filework could work very well.

Thank you to the people who have replied so far, please keep the ideas coming, especially if you have pictures of extant examples.

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Justin King
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think an s-curved guard similar to the sword in this thread- http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ight=cluny - might work visually with a fishtail pommel, the types with the gradual overall curve like the Earl I think would bother me coupled with a fishtail pommel, although I can't say precisely why. How plausible it might be is up to you.

I would suggest something similar to Albion's Viceroy as a possibility but once the cusp is covered by a rainguard it might lose some of it's appeal. There is an example of an XVIII with a fishtail pommel and a guard similar to this in the spotlight feature on type XVIII & variants.
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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Jun, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:

I would suggest something similar to Albion's Viceroy as a possibility but once the cusp is covered by a rainguard it might lose some of it's appeal. There is an example of an XVIII with a fishtail pommel and a guard similar to this in the spotlight feature on type XVIII & variants.


If you mean XVIII.6 I think that's actually a fishtail-ended guard like Albion's Burgundian.

There is an example of a one-off Albion Viceroy built with a Regent pommel in Bill Grandy's collection though and I think it's a very nice combination even though I'm not a fan of the ricassoe'd blades like the viceroy has.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jun, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another. If I can decipher the text from the book where I found it (it's in German), this sword is in the Army Museum in Prague.


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fishtail2.jpg


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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Jun, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Finer is offering one on his website right now: http://peterfiner.com/Search/ItemDetails.asp?...temID=1005
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Al Muckart




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Aug, 2010 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And here's the finished sword. Thanks everyone for your input Happy

More pictures and stats of the sword are here:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=199222



 Attachment: 84.96 KB
Al Muckart's XVIII 2010-07-27.JPG


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Julien M




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Aug, 2010 2:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This cross guard is magnificient...congrats to both the future owner and to the Peter. The previous fishtail by Peter (the copy from the Wallace) was a splendid piece as well, so I'm looking really forward to see the final sword.

Cheers,

J
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