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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Jun, 2004 6:08 pm    Post subject: Swords and Sword Makers of England and Scotland         Reply with quote

I just picked up this book ......



SWORDS AND SWORD MAKERS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

by Richard H. Bezdek

Over the course of 25 years, Richard H. Bezdek has gathered an enormous amount of historical information on the swords and sword makers of England and Scotland. This monumental book, the largest ever published on the topic, is the culmination of his research. Among the tremendous amount of material of use to collectors and historians is detailed information, much of it never-before-published, on: * English sword makers from the 14th century and Scottish makers from the 16th century all the way through the renowned Wilkinson Sword Company and other major sword manufacturers of today. * The important early English sword- and blade-making communities of Hounslow Heath and Shotley Bridge, and the influential Cutlers Company of London. * Early armorers who made swords. * The many types of craftsmen associated with sword production, including hilt, blade and scabbard makers and decorators; and goldsmiths and silversmiths who decorated, mounted, assembled and sold swords. * Cutlers, merchants, outfitters and exporters who sold swords, including those who exported swords to the United States. The book concludes with dozens of beautiful illustrations of hilt designs taken directly from famed sword hilt maker Matthew Boultonís 18th-century pattern book and more than 450 spectacular photographs of English and Scottish swords of every type and era from some of the worldís major collections. 8 1/2 x 11, hardcover, photos, illus., 424 pp. ISBN 1-58160-399-1
Price: $69.95 SSMES

http://www.paladin-press.com/SearchResult.aspx?KeyWords=Bezdek

Lot's of great pics (all black & white) some culled from private collections , ie: James Forman
* The man has alot more than just dirks, I tell you (such as a c. 1525 narwhale gripped H&H claymore!
Clamshell claymores, ribbons, etc!)

Many of Pat Tougher's former Earlshall Castle pieces are on hand, including Walter Allan's, etc!
( ever see a WAS half basket ? .... pretty cool ! )

Of course some repeats from the Culloden book / G. Jenkinson collection, etc!
Lots of military/regimental pieces ( including a curve bladed Drury type hilt )

Good text & info, too ! ..... I think this one is a must for any basket-case's library *g*

Only real gripes ..... I wished they'd used some color shots, and included better stats !

Mac

'Gott Bewahr Die Oprechte Schotten'
XX ANDRIA XX FARARA XX
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Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jun, 2004 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Is there any reference to a late 18th century manufacturer named Thomas Gills?
Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Thu 17 Jun, 2004 11:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got this book, too -- picked it up at the OKCA show! Was going to review it but got lazy (common occurance with me *g*).

Lots of swords in it, some I've seen illustrated elsewhere (for instance, in Culloden, the Swords and the Sorrows and in Pat's own catalog). Of course it covers more than just basket hilts, there are plenty of military sabers, smallswords, etc. illustrated as well.
My complaints are like Mac's -- the lack of color pics and the lack of stats are disappointing.

BTW Pat told me some of the captions (at least for the pictures he sent in) are incorrect or incomplete. Which ones they were, I don't remember....

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Scott Bubar




Location: New England
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jun, 2004 4:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Zamoida wrote:
Wow! Is there any reference to a late 18th century manufacturer named Thomas Gills?


I believe that's Gill, Rob.
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jun, 2004 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Bubar wrote:
Robert Zamoida wrote:
Wow! Is there any reference to a late 18th century manufacturer named Thomas Gills?


I believe that's Gill, Rob.


Yes, there is a whole section on the Gill family of sword makers, Prescott, Lancashire.
Amoung other things .....
* They began sword and sword blade production in 1783.
* Gill suggested that sword blades be tested by striking them flatways on a cast iron plate and edgeways on a cast iron cylinder. He developed a spring-activated machine that allowed swords to be tested in this way. It was eventually used by the Ordnance Department in the Tower of London armoury.

Mac

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Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jun, 2004 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really? Sweet!!
Thanks Mac!

Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
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Scott Bubar




Location: New England
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2004 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It occurs to me that my last post appears rather nitpicky.

The thing is, that "s" doesn't make much difference if you're scanning a book index, but for those of us who worship at the altar of Mother Google, it can make the difference between sharing in her abundance and being cast into the outer darkness.

For instance:

Quote:
Blade making in Britain had fallen off so much that in 1783 the London Cutlerís Company sought government permission to import blades duty free from the Continent and this provoked a Birmingham tool maker, Thomas Gill, to declare that he could produce British blades of equal quality. In 1786 the Honourable East India Company ordered 10,000 blades and each was to be subjected to a bending test. Of the 2,700 English-made blades 1,084 failed the test; of 1,400 German blades only 28 failed, and of Gillís 2,650 only 4 failed. In addition to the bending test Gill had his blades struck flat, as hard as possible, on a block of cast iron and edgeways on a block of wrought iron and it is reported that some cut through the block.

--Frederick Wilkinson Swords and Daggers (p.58)


(As quoted in the article The 1796 And Its Influence at The Duelling Association site.)
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Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jun, 2004 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that's true. I've been trying to find a good body of information on Thomas Gill for a research project I'm doing onthe 1796 Light Cavalry saber, especially since he made the original I currently own Happy . When I made the original post I had the maker's mark on my mind, and it was only after I had made the post did I realize I was supposed to drop the "s". Doh! Razz
Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
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