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Ed T.




Location: Baltimore, MD USA
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PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Gaston Phebus Knife by Tod's Stuff         Reply with quote

This piece arrived just in time for Christmas, a gift from me to me.

I commissioned this knife to be used by my alter ego, Ned Walderne, late 14th century English huntsman. We (Ned and I) hang out with La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/, where the standards for historical accuracy are high so I had to do my homework. I asked Tod (aka Leo Todeschini) of Tod's Stuff http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/ to make me a knife right out of the pages of Gaston Phebus's Le Livre de la Chasse. What I received was "spot on" and I couldn't be happier with Tod's efforts.

The handle is pear wood with copper tubular rivets and the bolster plates are steel as is the chape. Overall length is 15", blade is 9 3/4". The knife is not too fancy, but rather a hunter's tool for killing, skinning and butchering game.













Here are some images taken from The Bibliothèque Nationale de France, FR 616 http://www.bnf.fr/enluminures/manuscrits/aman10.htm







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David McElrea




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PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed,

That is a beauty. I have been impressed by just about everything I've seen Tod do. You and Ned are one/two lucky man/men.

I'd love to see a photo of it in hand to give a better sense of proportion, if at all possible.

Thanks for sharing,

David
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sat 03 Jan, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great knife you've got there! I think "spot on" says it all! I love the detail on the sheath. The copper rivets are very nice as well. The question is.....will you use it to clean game?
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 2:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations, that is a nice one!

How is the scabbard made (looks like leather over wood to me, but I am not sure)?

Johan Schubert Moen
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very, very nice!
The depictions from the manuscript shows knives of slightly different character (so I think) - some of them have what looks like a small self guard made as one part with the grip. A knife such as that can perform as a highly efficient close quarters fighter.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Ed T.




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: answers to questions         Reply with quote

David said:
Quote:
...love to see a photo of it in hand to give a better sense of proportion...

Here you go.








From Tim:
Quote:
...will you use it to clean game?

I would like to participate in a medieval style hunt some day. Check Saint Hubert's Rangers out. http://www.sthubertsrangers.org/



Johan asks:
Quote:
How is the scabbard made (looks like leather over wood to me, but I am not sure)?

The scabbard is standard medieval construction in that it is two layers of leather.
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the picture, Ed. That's an excellent knife to add to your outfit, and the perfect choice in blade and maker.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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David McElrea




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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

DItto on the thanks, Ed. Truly a beautiful piece. Nice to see it in context, as well, especially after other discussions about the wearing of the dagger/knife. May you have great enjoyment out of it.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful knife!

I'm working on something almost identical. I worried that I didn't get the shoulders right, but judging from Tod's work, I did it properly. It's great to see one of these in detail.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Allen Andrews




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is so cool. I am envious of your new acquisition.
" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Firstly, thanks for the kind words - I really enjoyed this project as it needed a bit of thought and interpretation and also thanks to Ed/Ned for involving me.

Quote:
Sean Flynt wrote
I'm working on something almost identical. I worried that I didn't get the shoulders right, but judging from Tod's work, I did it properly. It's great to see one of these in detail.


Secondly, don't get too excited yet as there was some conjecture.

Ed first approached me about this a few months back and he posted up a couple of requests for info that didn't really throw much up, so given the depth of knowledge on this site I for one assumed that there were not many of these knives around to look at; so we had to ad lib it a bit with some educated guesses.

The scabbards are very chracteristic but I have never seen a knife blade that shape so I surmised that whatever the blade shape was it was not the shape of the scabbard. If it were that shape it would also make for a lousy hunting knife. So the shape of the scabbard is clear and I finished it with a typical 'crimped' ended chape that seemed to fit with what was shown in the manuscripts, but the blade was not.

The manuscripts show the handles clearly and sometimes they have almost a bollock dagger style base to the grip, but more usually go straight into the blade and has a end 'knop', more than three rivets and thins before the 'knop', so that is I hope correct. You cannot see the blade/handle intersection, but as a working knife you would generally expect a step out so I gave the blade a slight step out.

The blade section I gave an apple seed grind to leave lots of weight in the blade and leave it with a strong chopping edge, as again this is really a working tool rather than an item of finesse.

So that just left the blade shape as a major area of conjecture and as the clipped and curved blade was a popular shape at the time, is a good hunting shape and is usually shown in out door hunting/farming contexts I simply assumed that this was pretty much the shape of knives that were hidden by the scabbards in these manuscripts.

So Sean I hope we both got it right..............

Regards


Tod

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds (and looks) perfectly reasonable to me. I collected dozens of images of this general type (though about a century later) for my own project, and they're all over the place--some very curved, some slightly curved, some clipped, some not, some blades stepped out, some not (I should note that many blades are stepped out but followed by the grip scales/shoulders.

I was looking at a narrow date range and type and didn't see a knife exactly like this one. However, I did find this image of a long curved blade with unclipped point. Looks to me like either design is o.k. FWIW, I also see lots of clipped-point scabbards.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Ed T.




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
The scabbards are very chracteristic but I have never seen a knife blade that shape so I surmised that whatever the blade shape was it was not the shape of the scabbard. If it were that shape it would also make for a lousy hunting knife. So the shape of the scabbard is clear and I finished it with a typical 'crimped' ended chape that seemed to fit with what was shown in the manuscripts, but the blade was not.

Tod, Sean; The shape of the blade that Tod made for me resembles the knife blade in the last Gaston Phebus detail I posted (above). Though there is no scabbard in that picture the blade has a clipped point and the cutting edge is curved. I haven't found any reference to 14th century blades shaped like the scabbards (above) unless they come from the Middle East and that's obviously not what our hunters were using.

Ed T.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, all of my examples are late 15th. I don't find much in a search of "messer" for the date range 1375-1400. I did turn up this (slovakian?) image of ca. 1385, showing what appears to be a clipped scabbard.


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clipped.gif


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great work! I found a similar shape in "Knives and Scabbards" by J. Cowgill, M. De Neergaard, and N. Griffiths. Even though they're from the 14th c, there isn't much to go on.
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Jan, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I wrote
but I have never seen a knife blade that shape so I surmised that whatever the blade shape was it was not the shape of the scabbard


Look hard enough, or in this case Sean, and history keeps turning up pretty much everthing - I am still waiting for someone to post up a hand forged assault rifle made in 1214.

Quote:
Sean Flynt wrote
I also see lots of clipped-point scabbards.


Yes they were around, but certainly The Book of the Chase predominates in these curved forms.

Quote:
RD Moore wrote
Great work! I found a similar shape in "Knives and Scabbards"


The blade profiles are similar, but what is interesting is that they are 4" and 2" long and the 2" I would have to put down as a penknife blade as they have clipped points for cleaning out the quill tips and are this kind of size; they are however both late 14thC so it does seem it is a shape that was popular through this period.

Tod

Also look at illustration 16 on page 52 of the cook, showing also a very similar blade and dated 14thC

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