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P. Norton




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Mar, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Questions about late 15C swords with fishtail pommels         Reply with quote

Greetings,

I'm new to this forum, although I've lurked for years. Happy

I have a couple questions about this type of sword:

http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_spotxviii16.jpg

(1) Would a single-hand type XVIII with fishtail pommel like this be out of place as a sidearm for an English archer in the second half of the 15th century? Unless I'm mistaken, this style of pommel was more common on the continent than in England. Perhaps an English archer who served in Burgundy under Charles the Bold would have been more likely to have such a sword? I'm thinking of an archer who is a well-equipped, professional soldier.

(2) Would this style of sword be out of place if used in conjunction with a small buckler? If I understand correctly, bucklers were ubiquitous during a long span of time that included the late 1400s, so more likely than not just about any single-hand sword may have been used with a buckler during this period.

Thank you for your time.
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know about your first question, but yes, it could be used with a buckler. I'm not sure if it is a single handed sword or a longsword, but plenty of longswords could be used with one hand and with a buckler.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions about late 15C swords with fishtail pommels         Reply with quote

P. Norton wrote:
(1) Would a single-hand type XVIII with fishtail pommel like this be out of place as a sidearm for an English archer in the second half of the 15th century? Unless I'm mistaken, this style of pommel was more common on the continent than in England. Perhaps an English archer who served in Burgundy under Charles the Bold would have been more likely to have such a sword? I'm thinking of an archer who is a well-equipped, professional soldier.



My thought is that it may be too fine a weapon for a non-noble. Although England seemed to treat her archers better financially than some other countries, that still seems like an awful nice sword for an archer. But that's just my opinion.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Chad that the sword you show with the type V pommel would ordinarily be beyond an archer's financial reach, nor would it be issued to him. Maybe a captain of a band of archers might have one. Of course, that sword could always be picked up as battlefield loot.

If that's the sword you want to complete you kit, go for it.
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would give your kit a little bit of flair and whose to say that it was not a reward for your services to a noble or other person of influence. I say go for it! Big Grin
J.E. Sarge
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"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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J. Scott Moore





Joined: 25 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 02 Apr, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also think that you should go for the sword, and you are correct, bucklers were used for a very very long time. it could very easily be coupled with a small buckler. I might even prefer it over a large shield especially for an archer. (it is difficult to manage a full size sheld with a bow of any size, let alone an english longbow.) Wink
"Whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war."
-Vegetius
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Matt Easton




Location: Surrey, UK.
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Apr, 2009 4:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes and yes. Big Grin
The style of pommel was popular in France, Burgundy, Flanders and Italy. And of course English archers spent a lot of time in those places and a lot of weapons brought in to the City of London by sea came ultimately from those areas. In fact most swords (and bills and armour and bow staves) recorded coming into London seem to be listed as Italian in the 1481 tax records. Wheel pommels do seem to have been more common for archers at this time in England, according to the art, but I would not let that bother you too much.
I would contradict a couple of the other guys slightly - I do not think this sword would be out of the reaches of a late-15thC English archer, because firstly anybody could seize or steal equipment while on campaign and anyway there was a roaring trade in second-hand weapons. So this sword could have cost half as much in 1480 as it did when new in 1460.

Regards,
Matt

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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd add a voice an agreement to the argument that the sword wouldn't have looked out of place on a particularly lucky or distinguished archer. It's worth remembering that a fair number of archers who had served long and well were eventually raised to the status of men-at-arms, and presumably they would have had gathered enough wealth (in terms of both bling and practical gear) to justify the promotion in terms of both social and military status.
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P. Norton




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for the information.
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