Info Favorites Register Log in Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search is now completely member-supported. Please contribute to our efforts with a donation. Your donations will go towards updating our site, modernizing it, and keeping it viable long-term.
Last 10 Donors: Anonymous, Daniel Sullivan, Chad Arnow, Jonathan Dean, M. Oroszlany, Sam Arwas, Barry C. Hutchins, Dan Kary, Oskar Gessler, Dave Tonge (View All Donors)

Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Question regarding the Chatelet and Hamburg Falchion Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
M. Eversberg II

Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jul, 2009 9:15 pm    Post subject: Question regarding the Chatelet and Hamburg Falchion         Reply with quote

I am once again working on my falchion article, and I've decided including two falchions to compare is not enough.

During my early research (if it can be called that), I discovered 4 "named" falchions that follow the classical pre-saber grind blade form. These are the Conyers (or Durham), the Chatelet, the Hamburg, and the Thrope. There are very likely others, but I am unaware of them as of this time.

I was able to find plenty of information regarding the Thorpe and Conyers, two of the most studied falchions (owing to their great state of preservation), but nothing on the other two.

The Chatelet is a French weapon, apparently a "weapon of tenure" for the Great Chatelet of Paris. From what I've discovered, the Chatelet is a kind of judge, and was probably a nobleman. That's where everything goes cold for me. I know it's in the Museum of Arms, Paris, but I cannot find any images of it, nor any other information of measure or otherwise.

The Hamburg falchion is a German weapon, and I have one image of it. That's all. I'm assuming it was dug up in or near Hamburg, Germany but I have no further speculation or information.

I was wondering if you fellow members of mA could assist me in finding information pertaining to these two weapons? I've plundered the other falchion and messer threads here, but nothing else can be found here. Any assistance would be much appreciated.


This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number
Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,310

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jul, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

" Châtelet " is a small castle/fortification and not a person and could be a forward isolated position near a great fortification or the equivalent to a Keep inside a larger castle. ( A large gate house with corner turrets could also be called the châtelet of a castle as this gate house is for all intents and purposes a small castle serving as the entrance to a larger fortification ).

" Châtelain " would be the governor or owner of a castle in period or today the owner or renter of a castle or palace.

" Châtelaine " would be the wife of the owner of the castle or she could be the master of the castle herself.

" Châtellenie " would the land or " Fief " associated with the castle itself.

So depending on the contexts " Le Grand Châtelet de Paris " probably means the Great Paris Keep or Gate House.

There could be a sword/falchion associated with the " Châtelet de Paris " in the sense that the master of the place would have this sword as a badge of office or some famous sword on display there closely associated with the place ??? But, I'm just guessing here. Question As far as I know " Châtelet " doesn't describe a type of weapon the way one would say a falchion or messer or glaive etc .... ( The specific falchion you mentioned could, I guess be known as the " Châtelet de Paris Falchion " or the Châtelet Falchion for short?).

So, finding the right context might help in doing a search since starting with the wrong assumptions may just lead to dead ends as far as figuring out what you are trying to find out. Wink Question

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Danny Grigg

Joined: 17 Sep 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Take a look at this falchion from a French Museum, is this one you're taking about?

Here's another falchion from a different French museum:

Another Falchion from the same museuem

ca. 1340-1345 - 'soldiers at the Holy Sepulchre', Cathédrale, Strasbourg, Musée de l'Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg, France

1380-1385 - 'Třeboň-altarpiece, resurrection' (Master of the Třeboň-altarpiece), Praha, Klášter sv. Anežky České, Praha, Czech Republic

I hope these help.

Regarding the pics in your article from Westminster on the wall of the painted chamber, do you have any better quality pics?
Are they published in any books?


View user's profile Send private message
M. Eversberg II

Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Reading list: 3 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,435

PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure how I managed to mix up the judge and the structure; I distinctly remember reading something about it being a judge Confused


As to the first falchion, I am unsure if that is it or not (I don't know what the arms are supposed to look like), but I've not seen pictures of that before.

The second one I've seen here before (different images though), and Peter Johnson mentioned one the the Army Museum of Paris; I'm assuming it's the same one you posted. One much like it, but with a more gradual meet between the point and the edge, is shown on page 235 of Oakeshott's Archaeology of Weapons, as well as a rendition of the Apocalypse of St. John.

The one shown here appears to be a later period falchion, which Peter said uses a "saber grind", which relies on fullers to lighten the blade as opposed to a thin cross section.

Regarding the Westminster Painted Chamber image, I do not have a better one (yet, I might find one). That one in particular I'm unaware of having been published, but as a college student, I don't possess a whole wealth of published material.

The earlier article is very much a draft, one I put out to see what kind of other feedback I could provoke. I believe the next version will be much clearer, more coherent and hopefully more informative. Part of the difficulties I'm having (not new to anyone who does this sort of thing but new to me as a young student of arms) is the lack of available information regarding measurements and weights. Period art and current photography shows me what it LOOKS like, but not what it IS like.

Another problem is knowing just how much stuff I have. Sure, I've got quite a few images of falchions, from photos to period art, along with dates and (for some) locations. But how much have I missed? How much better could my article be if I had those?

A result of all that is that I must make conjecture, which is a dangerous thing for someone who can't even take out his own loan. It's easy to say falchions were used by noble and common soldier alike simply by seeing it in the hands of regal cavalrymen (likely knights in the 13th and early 14th) and lesser equipped infantry. Last thing I want to do is hazard a guess that's quickly disproved by something I haven't seen yet.


This space for rent or lease.
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number

Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Question regarding the Chatelet and Hamburg Falchion
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

All contents © Copyright 2003-2023 — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum