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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2009 2:32 pm    Post subject: Cord/leather knots on grips         Reply with quote

I'm intrigued by those grips below from brass effigies. They appear to have been popular in the mid XIV century.

I wonder if those cord patterns were always sitting on the top of the leather wrap or rather underneath the pressed leather.

Picture 2 seems to yield a clue as it appears that the cord (leather?) pattern is over a classic leather wrap with cord marks.

What do you think? Any picts of period art or surviving examples? (that might be a long shot...).

The only example in the replica world I can think of might be the albion chevalier's grip picture below.

Cheers,

J



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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Aug, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The thing I always liked about that style of grip other then the look has been that it seems as though it would offer a sure grip. I think the strips in between the brass nails would flex and move slightly when force is applied (while swinging), and inhibit the handle from slipping free. Not to mention this method seem rather easy to produce.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien,

One famous surviving example of this style of grip is the sword of Can Grande della Scala in Verona. it was found in is grave and is now on display in the Castel Vecchio.
I saw it during a ressearch trip now almost ten years ago....

It is a splendid little sword. Probably a type XII, although it is rusted into the scabbard (covered in red velvet with gilded chape and lockets.

The grip is bound with fine silver wire and has red silk cord knotted in a criss cross pattern over it. The silk cord has rotted away in most places, but the pattern is visible in the corrosion of the silver, and some knots and some sections of cord do survive in places.

My impression is that in general the criss-cross binding was done over some kind of under wrap.
Combination of materials would have varied greatly. In some effigies you can make out that the under-material has been stamped, or patterned somehow. I read that as leather being impressed with tools. No examples survive as far as I know.

The sword of the Infante de la Cerda, found in his coffin (published by Oakeshott in his "Records" page 70) shows another version of the technique, where cord is artfully bound and knotted to form both under-wrap and criss-cross pattern in one go. An advanced from of macramé.

Yet another example publishedby Oakeshott is "The Sword of Santa Casilda" page 84. it has smooth leather under wrap with leather strip in criss-cross binding on top, secured by gilt pins. This grip is the direct inspiration for the grip of the Chevaliere of the NG line.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Cord/leather knots on grips         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
I'm intrigued by those grips below from brass effigies. They appear to have been popular in the mid XIV century.

I wonder if those cord patterns were always sitting on the top of the leather wrap or rather underneath the pressed leather.

Picture 2 seems to yield a clue as it appears that the cord (leather?) pattern is over a classic leather wrap with cord marks.

What do you think? Any picts of period art or surviving examples? (that might be a long shot...)...




Hi Julien...

Here are the only images of knotted grip swords that I have.

Hope it helps

ks



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WHL.J1.1320.LAKv1.jpg
Dated 1320... Imgae from "A Record of European Arms & Armour" by Guy Francis Laking." Volume 1

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FT.V1.18.PMA.Bg.jpg
Preserved in Philidelphia Museum of Art. Image by Bill Grandy

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FT.V1.18.Bast.Italian1460.L.jpg
Italian Dated 1460... Imgae from "A Record of European Arms & Armour" by Guy Francis Laking." Volume 2

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DISC.G.18.LeatherGrip1400Cld.jpg
Dated 1400.

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SCHVES.Z.1490.ABI.jpg
Image from "Armi Bianche Italiane” by Boccia, Lionello G. and Coelho, Eduardo T. 1975 Bramante Editrice

Two swords
Lit in Eden’s flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Fabrice Cognot
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Location: Dijon
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Aug, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a nice painting on a quite large wooden panel at the musée National du Moyen Age in Paris that once was in the private chapel of the Jouvenel des Ursins family, showing the various family members kneeling and in armour, and at their sides swords with wire/cord-wrapped grips :


(call number INV9618)

Of course, the pic above is far too small, but the original gives varied examples of very nice and elegant of such wrappings/knotworks.

And, to answer your question, the cord thingies are above.

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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the clarification Peter, much appreciated.
One can plainly see how close the chevalier's grip is to the one of "Sword of Santa Casilda" on your picture Kirk. The grip of the sword of the Philidelphia museum must be one of the oddest grip cover I've seen on a med sword so far...very interesting. Fabrice, I'll make sure to check that painting (among other things!) while going to the musee de Cluny next month!

Cheers,

J
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