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Richard Culver





Joined: 10 Jan 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Migration period shields (Germanic) shield grip ?         Reply with quote

I am knew here but in my researching of things I have hit across here many times.

I am researching early Germanic shields. Many of the reenactors always use grip dead in the center, yet I have seen archeological drawings showing some to be off set to one side in the hand area. I believe the Sutton Hoo shield is thought to be offset as well.

I am having a dickens of a time finding accurate/involved information on shield grips of this time and when dead center became the norm, that is if it never was and the off-set ones I have seen are the exceptions.

Any help regarding finding resources or better detailed drawings would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Richard Culver
The Colony, TX

P.S,: this is information being sought for SCA purposes where I am NOT a sport fighter but more concerned with appropriate look out on the field/the historical basis of what I do or am intersted in.
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Sun 10 Jan, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Buck up for a copy of I.P. Stephensons The Anglo-Saxon Shield http://www.amazon.com/Anglo-Saxon-Shield-I-P-...amp;sr=1-1 and Early Anglo-Saxon Shields http://www.amazon.com/Early-Anglo-Saxon-Shiel...amp;sr=1-2 . You'll find just about everything you need there.
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Michael Doughty




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Nov 2007

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jan, 2010 12:57 am    Post subject: offset shield grip positioning         Reply with quote

Center grips can be offset just a bit to allow more room for a large gloved hand to fit within the shield boss. This also provides a bit of a mechanical advantage for turning the shield from side to side. Some fighters like the effect, others do not.
Michael Doughty
Ald¨lfr the Shieldmaker
Saxon Shield
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Richard Culver





Joined: 10 Jan 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jan, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: offset shield grip positioning         Reply with quote

Michael Doughty wrote:
Center grips can be offset just a bit to allow more room for a large gloved hand to fit within the shield boss. This also provides a bit of a mechanical advantage for turning the shield from side to side. Some fighters like the effect, others do not.


Oh I am aware that it can happen, but I am looking more at how often it did historically. I have it that way now and the control and space for the hand is quite nice.

I did take up the recommendation for the Early Anglo-Saxon Shield book. The other was just out of my price range right now.

Thanks for the help,

Rich
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jan, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's my understanding that the round shields had a strictly center grip, but the earlier pre-migration Germanic shields that were similar in shape to Celtic ones had grips below the center of gravity in order to keep the shield from bumping the leg. I wish I had some sources to back that up, so sorry if I'm mistaken.
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Michael Doughty




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 23 Nov 2007

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jan, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: offset shield grip positioning         Reply with quote

Richard Culver wrote:


Oh I am aware that it can happen, but I am looking more at how often it did historically.


There's just not enough archeological evidence extant to demonstrate how this might have been done, or how often it may have been done. As far as I know, no shields have yet been found with the hand grip still attached in place. The off-center placement is entirely conjectural and based on experimental archeology.

Michael Doughty
Ald¨lfr the Shieldmaker
Saxon Shield
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Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The off-center placement is entirely conjectural and based on experimental archeology."


Not quite, there is plenty of archaeological evidence for offset grips from the 5th c onwards. A close examination of AS cemetery reports shows that grips tended to be offset along the centre line; see for example Dover Buckland grave 27 in Evison's 'Dover Buckland Anglo-Saxon Cemetery'. The Sutton Hoo is very definitely offset, (Bruce-Mitford, 'The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial' Volume 2) so too are those in Valsgarde graves -- see Arwidsson's 'Valsgarde 8' and 'Valsgarde 7'. Of course this can only be gleaned when the grip has stayed in place relative to the boss, but where this occurs it seems to be what happens.


There is more if you want it.

Cheers,

paul
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jan, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Not quite, there is plenty of archaeological evidence for offset grips from the 5th c onwards. A close examination of AS cemetery reports shows that grips tended to be offset along the centre line; see for example Dover Buckland grave 27 in Evison's 'Dover Buckland Anglo-Saxon Cemetery'. The Sutton Hoo is very definitely offset, (Bruce-Mitford, 'The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial' Volume 2) so too are those in Valsgarde graves -- see Arwidsson's 'Valsgarde 8' and 'Valsgarde 7'. Of course this can only be gleaned when the grip has stayed in place relative to the boss, but where this occurs it seems to be what happens.


Stephenson deals with the archeological evidence regarding offset grip finds as well.
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Steve P




Location: Denver, Colorado
Joined: 22 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jan, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an example of a Sandinavian shield grip from the Ilerup sacrificial bog in Denmark. 3-4C I believe.

http://www.illerup.dk/custom/illerup_largeima...ension=gif
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Myles Mulkey





Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 250

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve P wrote:
Here is an example of a Sandinavian shield grip from the Ilerup sacrificial bog in Denmark. 3-4C I believe.

http://www.illerup.dk/custom/illerup_largeima...ension=gif


Laughing Out Loud I just saw this diagram this morning and was going to post it, but you beat me to it! All the Illerup shields are round if my understanding serves correctly. So it seems that more were off-center than I previously thought.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well it would seem to me that the grip is only very slightly off-center to make it easier for a warrior to grip it comfortably, while keeping the cutout as small as possible (the bigger the cutout - the larger shield boss would be needed). Since I am about to begin as precise a replica of Valsgarde 8 shield 1 as I possibly can (sans the gold decor, will have to do with brass in it's place), I certainly will attempt to replicate the off-center grip as well and we shall see how that handles in the end.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve P wrote:
Here is an example of a Sandinavian shield grip from the Ilerup sacrificial bog in Denmark. 3-4C I believe.

http://www.illerup.dk/custom/illerup_largeima...ension=gif


i dont see this as off center rather than larger part for the back hand and the smaller part for fingers. look at roman shields, some tend to be done that way too
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