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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject: Castellan - first impressions         Reply with quote

Hello!
I know this is not a new sword model and that it have been reviewed, but I must share my impressions of it.

I have today a Baron, Senlac, Yeoman and Munich.
When I first saw the picture at Albions homepage of the Castellan, Mercenary and Constable I really didn't appreciate this swords. The Castellan looked a bit strange and it was both smaller and still more expensive than for instance the Talhoffer.
Why buy a sword like that?
The pommel which was the reason for the little higher price didnt look that very fantastic. A sword to take a fast look at and decide to live without ;-)

I wanted the big ones! After buying both Munich and Baron I did start to understand the point of a handier one and a half sword. With swords size is a rather important factor to performance and flexibility.

I also read my Records of the Medieval sword over and over again, Read some notes form Peter Johnsson and started to get interested in the Castillion find.
When my ordered Burgundian didn't want to show up I decided to change that order to a Castellan with lightbrown grip that Soeren had in stock. I thought light brown would be a interesting color for a sword type often shown with black or oxblood grip.

My preference for swords as most things in life has been the utilitarian, clean, simple look.
My first sword was the Senlac with its extremely clean (though not simple) hilt. It feels in one sense as a perfect sword.

The Castellan is a different piece. It has a very elaborate, and rather complex hilt which I really shouldn't like, but...
I just love it. Big Grin
Really strange!
All this flared lines and surfaces are just superb!!!!! Totally awesome and leaving my other swords behind (I think).
I am actually suprized. I can also say that this sword just is not possible to understand from pictures alone, you just cant "see" all these shape in a photograf. The pommel is nice in pictures but gorgoeus in life, hard to explain. The cross too has a three-dimensional quality that pictures just cant reveal. Even the grip has a fantastic and very dynamic shape! I'm very impressed with Peter's design!!!!

Albions manufacturing:
Looking at the production quality of the sword it have a blade that is as good as perfect (cant understand how the make these) and a cross/pommel with some small flaws not destroying the impression. The grip is also very nice done, with much life in the leather.

The handling of this sword is more of a single hander than that of a hand and a half. I would almost prefer to use it as a single hand sword. Light and very fast.

I can really recommend this one, and it really has to been seen in reality!
I would prefer this over my Munich (I think).

Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI


Last edited by Stephan Johansson on Sat 07 Feb, 2009 12:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree that the Castellan is indeed one of the most fascinating swords I have owned. The type did not appeal to me for a long time, it's proportions are odd at first glance and perhaps take some digesting to really appreciate, but it is now one of my favorites and one of the most versatile swords I have handled. Very little of this can be grasped from seeing it in pictures, however.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree. I love this sword. I had the opportunity to play with Bill Grandy's Castellan for awhile and was not expecting to like it very much. Once it arrived, I was immediately surprised by it. After playing with it for a week or so, I realized just how excellent it is. Photos don't do it justice and give no indication of its quick handling dynamics and ability to deliver robust strikes. Nice combination.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the various Albions that I've handled, the type XVas seem to be among the most lively and nimble blade types out there. Besides owning a SQL 15th C Bastard, I had the opportunity to try out the Fiore, and it was simply amazing.
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this style of sword is under-appreciated by many collectors, perhaps because it is not very common in the reproduction market. It seems to be relatively uncommon in the form of surviving originals as well, does anyone know where pictures or period depictions can be seen of originals in the style(s) that inspired Albion's Castellan, Constable, and Mercenary?
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Kenton Spaulding




Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
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Posts: 286

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, Stephan, the Castellan is definitely a beautiful sword with an incredible feel in the hand. I sold mine due to financial difficulties, but I would not be surprised at all if I replace it one day. The handiness is really great, as the sword really does feel perfect in one hand, but good in two as well.

What color did you get for a grip? With all the angles and flare of the hilt, I decided to spice mine up with a dark blue grip, which really looked great. I'd defiantly recommend the color for this sword, because it adds a little bit of a noble flare while still being somewhat subtle and not stealing attention from the hilt components.

Congrats on a truly sweet sword.

Kenton
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Stephan Johansson




Location: Borås Sweden
Joined: 28 Dec 2007

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My Castellan has light brown grip.
Here are some pictures.
I will try to get better pictures of this beauty!



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Best Regards
Stephan Johansson

IN NOMINE DOMINI
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must agree. My Castellan is just about the favorite sword in my collection. It is a true bastard in that you really can use it one-handed. Two handed, both hands fit on the grip and on the neck of that unique pommel ( an unspecific type V) and it tracks very well. Mine has a blue grip, but so dark that it may as wll be black in most lights.

It is one of Albions most underrated swords.



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Felix R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Reading list: 25 books

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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As Craig said, the XVas of Albion really seem fantastic, I have the Fiore and experienced exactly that feel, although my Crecy feels good the 2" longer Fiore even feels better and allows for half swording.

According to Oakeshott, the XVa isn´t that uncommon, have a look at the swords depicted in Records of the medieval sword, then have a look at The sword in the age of Chivalry. The type XV was quite common and had a long lifespan from the late 13th to the late 15th cent.

See a Fiore impression for reference (brown grip)



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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Castellan is inspired by a part of a group of swords dredged from the Dordogne river near Castillon.

Here are two relevant threads:

Dordogne Swords
Castillon Swords and Oakeshott's, Records


And pics posted of this hilt form:




The Mercenary may not have a specific inspiration. There are a number of historical swords with similar elements, but I can't recall any one that has the same combination of features as the Merc.

The Constable is simply a combination of the Merc pommel and Castellan guard that someone at Albion thought looked cool.

Our Castellan review has some more info, as does our review of the Mercenary and Constable.

There are several articles on the Dordogne swords. Oakeshott published one each in the 1st and 10th Park Lane Arms Fair catalogues, as well as in the book
Blankwaffen/Armes blanches/Armi bianche/Edged weapons
by Karl Stuber, Hans Wetter (editors).

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Reading list: 20 books

Posts: 551

PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the info and the pics, Chad. I have read the review of the Castellan and it occured to me that the picture in it is the only one I can recall seeing of an original sword similar to the Castellan, and I could not recall seeing any originals much like the Constable or Mercenary either.
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