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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Arms and Armor Custom 17th Century Military Sword         Reply with quote

Sometime during the summer of 2008 I was looking at photographs of the auction swords at Hermann-Historica and came across this amazing piece of work. It showed up later at Garth Vincent Antiques, where it apparently disappeared into someone’s collection. I decided that I had to have a version of it, and eventually commissioned Arms and Armor to recreate it. For this thread’s purposes, I’m calling it the HH sword. Pictures of it have shown up on this forum a number of times in the past year, mostly attached by me.

What kind of a sword is it? Garth Vincent called it an English Mortuary sword, which was definitely wrong. All HH would say was that it was an officer’s sword, Flemish or German, from the second half of the 17th century, 38.5 inches overall length.

Cyril Mazansky has a chapter of his book, British Basket-Hilted Swords devoted to this type. He calls them Hilts Based on Side Rings with Pierced Plates, a rather ungainly name.

Other characteristics:
One or more scroll guards, extending from both sides of the knuckle-bow to the side-rings
The outboard side-ring is cusped up towards the pommel, attaching to a side branch which is screwed to the pommel
The inboard side-ring is often smaller, more oval shaped, and usually has a thumb ring (the HH sword doesn’t have a thumb ring, but I asked Craig Johnson of A&A to add one)

This model shares characteristics with other contemporary types. It is somewhat like one half of a mortuary sword, especially with the scrolls. Since Mortuary swords are sometimes called “half-baskets”, maybe one could call this one a “quarter-basket.” It has a resemblance to many 17th century continental military swords (see my avatar) – the lobed knuckle-bow and side branch, the pierced side-ring plates, the thumb ring. Taking all these features from other swords, it combines them to become a unique type. Mazansky writes that only a very few of these swords are known to exist. I’m not sure if he means that few have survived, or that not many were made in the first place.



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Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Upon request, the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds was kind enough to send me photographs of this very similar sword, IX.1248 - German, dated 1660 – 1670. Of all instances that I’ve seen, it is closest in form to the HH sword. Even so, although all features are in the same position, except for the scroll guards it is different at every point – blade fullers, pommel, grip style, branch and knuckle-bow lobes, plate piercings, side-ring angles, thumb ring, and so on.


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Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sat 26 Sep, 2009 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some photographs of the work in progress over at Arms and Armor. You can see what a terrific job they are doing at recreating the HH sword.

Note the small ricasso. I hadn’t noticed it, but they saw it on the photo of the original. This model was unusual in that it lacked a thumb ring or loop, but on my request they found a way to attach one, even though the inboard side-ring militated against it.

There are still a few thing to do before completion, including creating and attaching the pierced plates and bluing the entire hilt, plus lots of finishing off stuff. I will post more pictures as I get them. I believe I’ll have the completed sword in my hand sometime in October. That will be a happy day.



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Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks stellar. I'm really loving the original you picked as inspiration and I think A&A is doing a great job so far at replicating it. I'm impressed and will be the first to tell you that I'm quite jealous of your soon-to-be newest toy.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree with Nathan on this sword. While this is from a much later era then my main interest it is still a very nice looking one. The proportions look very nice and it is visually appealing as well. The gang up at A&A does a really good job at this, don't they? Cool
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Eric Root




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool, Roger, I really like those felddegens you've posted pictures of, and the idea of a
thumbring.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Sep, 2009 11:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a couple more photos. The plates have been inserted into the side-rings. The star shaped piercings are pretty cool, they give the sword a Walloon flavor.

It isn't quite finished, but they are getting very close.;



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Last edited by Roger Hooper on Sat 26 Sep, 2009 10:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, man oh man, I want that, Roger. That's going to be fantastic.
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Daniel Sullivan




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger,

congratulations on a real stunner! Although mortuary types are a bit late for my era of interest, I have always liked that style. And this jewel is a step or two beyond!

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods." However, guess I can lust all I want.

Regards,
Dan
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks really awesome Roger!
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
That looks really awesome Roger!


Thanks everyone for your kind words, and praise for A&A's work.

Once the hilt has been blued and the vertically fluted grip is in place, it will look even better.


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Thu 24 Sep, 2009 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sure it doesnt need to be posted again but I will anyway,
Super Fine, Roger!

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like your opinions on this. You can see the remains of gilding on the pierced plates on the original HH sword. Do you think that having A&A recreate that on their version would have enhanced or detracted from the sword's appearance?
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That...indeed...is a very nice looking piece! Congrats Roger and accolades to A & A.


cheers,


Bill

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Josh Maxwell




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I'd like your opinions on this. You can see the remains of gilding on the pierced plates on the original HH sword. Do you think that having A&A recreate that on their version would have enhanced or detracted from the sword's appearance?


Personally, I like the look of the sword's components as they are now, with the addition of the blueing I think that the final result will be stunning. By putting the gilding on, I feel it may push the sword over the top and may look too gaudy. Just my two cents, but I'm a fan of little to no embellishment.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Goodwin wrote:
That...indeed...is a very nice looking piece! Congrats Roger and accolades to A & A.


cheers,


Bill


Bill, as it is a first cousin to Mortuarys, it is definitely your kind of sword. Big Grin

Josh, I agree, the gilding probably would have made it look a little tacky. Maybe around 1675, gaudy was good.
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Chris Lampe




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2009 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I look forward to seeing the finished product and would also be interested in seeing a photo of the whole blade. It looks really nice!

If I do another custom sword it's going to be A&A.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep, 2009 10:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some photos of the finished sword - pretty amazing. Arms and Armor have really outdone themselves. I am really looking forward to seeing this sword in person.


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J Anstey





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PostPosted: Tue 29 Sep, 2009 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very very nice!!!

Congratulations

Jason
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David Etienne




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep, 2009 1:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now this is another amazing recreation from A&A! I love that hilt and the bluing gives it a lot of character. I'm planning to get a custom sword next year (when I'll be 40) and I will undoubtely contact A&A.

Cheers,

David
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