Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > First "Morning Star" Flail Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  

Is the Morning Star flail for offencive or self defense work?
Both
12%
 12%  [ 6 ]
Self-defense
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Offence
76%
 76%  [ 38 ]
Neither, it is just to look intimidating
6%
 6%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 50

Author Message
Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: First "Morning Star" Flail         Reply with quote

When was the morning star(handle, chain, spiked ball) flail first used?
Are there any originals (or pictures of originals) still viewable?

Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Nick Larking




Location: netherlands, reusel
Joined: 12 Aug 2009
Likes: 9 pages
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe The morning star flail would have been first used for offence it was specificly designed for warfare and to hurt really bad.

The first flail was probably used in defence and they found out it was a realy good weapon. Flails were used by farmers so i imagine that when some evil person would come the farmer would just use his flail to protect himself.


Here is one from a museum
http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/collections/...flail.jpg/

Flail
Each of the 6 points on the flail's weight are approximately 2.5cm long. This potentially lethal star-shaped weight is attached to a heavy metal chain about 30cm long and secured to a strong wooden handle. On the handle is carved 'AA10', below this is a raised band of wood, and the end of the handle is neatly rounded. It was made during the nineteenth century in India.

Place: India
Object Type: flail
Period: Post Medieval
Broad Date: Post Medieval
Century: 19th century
Materials: Metal, Wood



And this is an agricultural flail (used by farmers)
http://images.absoluteastronomy.com/images/en...flegel.jpg
(this one isnt from a museum though, but they looked like thise one atleast)


I dont know when the first flails were being used but the first flails were those of farmers i believe.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the earliest attestation of a flail in a military context is actually a visual depiction wherein it is being used as a siege implement by a solider to damage castle walls, much the way a pick might be used in a similar manner. The flail depicted is nothing more than a round ball attached to a length of chain and a wooden haft. So it appears that, after being adopted for warfare, the flail was originally a siege implement, which later developed into a weapon.
View user's profile Send private message
Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
I think the earliest attestation of a flail in a military context is actually a visual depiction wherein it is being used as a siege implement by a solider to damage castle walls, much the way a pick might be used in a similar manner. The flail depicted is nothing more than a round ball attached to a length of chain and a wooden haft. So it appears that, after being adopted for warfare, the flail was originally a siege implement, which later developed into a weapon.


Interesting! I hadn't heard of this before. Do you have the specific reference or (better) a link or image?

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Chris Gilman




Location: California
Joined: 07 Dec 2007

Posts: 77

PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct, 2009 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term "Morning star" and "holy water sprinkler" are for a shafted weapon with spikes. Historically I do not believe the Morning star or Morgenstern was used in reference to a flail. As the trashing flail is a very old farming tool, I would think it's origin as a weapon would be impossible to date.
Chris
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 28 Oct, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:
I think the earliest attestation of a flail in a military context is actually a visual depiction wherein it is being used as a siege implement by a solider to damage castle walls, much the way a pick might be used in a similar manner. The flail depicted is nothing more than a round ball attached to a length of chain and a wooden haft. So it appears that, after being adopted for warfare, the flail was originally a siege implement, which later developed into a weapon.


Interesting! I hadn't heard of this before. Do you have the specific reference or (better) a link or image?

Cheers,
Steven


There's a line drawing, figure 326i in Arms and Armour of the Crusading Era: Volume I of the image in question. It's taken from a carved doorway, in San Miguel de Uncastillo, Aragon, from the 12th century. Nicolle writes "This beautifully carved arch may be responsible for one of the greatest popular fallacies in arms and armour, one that Hollywood continues to perpetuate despite massive evidence to the contrary. Namely that the 'ball and chain' was a typical knightly weapon. The doorway from San Migeul de Uncastillo includes one of a small number of representations of this device which is here shown in association with an apparent crowbar. Both were probably wall-breaking or demolition tools rather than weapons," p 130.
View user's profile Send private message
Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Thu 29 Oct, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Craig. Unfortunately that book is still on my wish list.

I am curious then as to what advantage it provides over other tools. My main concern being that I'm not familiar with it being used for that purpose in other times or places. Obvioulsy it would transmit less force to your hands and easier on the user for that reason. But what else?

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ben Potter
Industry Professional



Location: Altadena, CA
Joined: 29 Sep 2008

Posts: 342

PostPosted: Fri 30 Oct, 2009 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone have any information about how it was (is) used in combat? I can't see how this weapon could have been designed for use against fortifications, as all the pictures of originals I have seen have sharp spikes, and if they had been used against stone they would have been blunted. Also, many of the "heads" are too light to be of much use against inanimate objects. Any thoughts on this?
Ben Potter Bladesmith

It's not that I would trade my lot
For any other man's,
Nor that I will be ashamed
Of my work torn hands-

For I have chosen the path I tread
Knowing it would be steep,
And I will take the joys thereof
And the consequences reap.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lucas LaVoy




Location: New Orleans, LA
Joined: 08 Mar 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed 11 Nov, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is maybe a little tangential, but I just came across this one from a recent HH auction.

http://www.hermann-historica.de/gb/index_alte_auktionen.htm



What struck me about it was the type of chain it uses, which I can't remember seeing on any other pieces before. At first I thought it was just a time or labor-saving idea, but I realized that a chain built this way a ( "block chain" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_chain ) moves in one plane; it cannot go sideways without breaking or bending. It seems like this would eliminate a lot of the problems with controlling the weapon that are normally so obvious when looking at flails. In any case as Ben pointed out, this type at least doesn't seem large enough to be very useful against masonry.

No idea where this piece is now, but I'd be interested if anyone has seen a similar construction elsewhere.



 Attachment: 11.14 KB
block chain flail 1.jpg


 Attachment: 11.82 KB
block chain flail 2.jpg


"Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing."
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > First "Morning Star" Flail
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 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum