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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: EBE Hand and a Half hilt, 2009         Reply with quote

As many of you know, I tend to be drawn to some of the more unusual sword designs and forms history has left us. Many things fuel this interest, but one such thing that creates a desire to have something replicated is often just the simple notion that the design hasn't been, or has rarely been, replicated before.

One such type that we really haven't seen much in terms of modern-made replicas is the 16th century compound-hilted hand and a half swords that are often mounted on robust blades, often of Oakeshott Type XIX. These sworsd are complex in their construction and detailed in their presentation while retaining robust and deadly properties. That's a good combination for me.

I approached maker E.B. Erickson about a year and a half ago with a commission for such a sword. While there were many compound-hilted swords from which we could choose, I had my eyes set square on a particularly complex variety. ElJay didn't flinch at the complexity of the project and took it on.

Here is what we used as the primary inspiration:


Another angle: http://pics.myArmoury.com/german_hh_1530b.html

And here is another example of the type:


Other images: http://pics.myArmoury.com/german_hh_1520b.html and http://pics.myArmoury.com/german_hh_1520c.html


I am drawn to this design because it's very organic and has a motif that looks to be inspired by bundled twigs and vines. The splayed out pommel and cross-guard finials both show this treatment. I also like that all the flattened surfaces are finished with a cross-hatching or "waffle" treatment. Very unique.

Many of today's collectors won't be attracted to these types of swords. That's okay with me. In fact, it fuels my own interest. As I say, I tend to want to get my hands on things that have not been made very often. It's a learning experience for me and something much more about being exposed to new and different things than it is about simply adding one more thing to a pile of a bunch of other things. If I can't get something intellectually tangible out of the deal, I'm generally not going to be all that interested.

One detail that calls to me in the first example is the unusual guard on the hilt that protects the back of the hand. I was so intrigued about this feature that I created a post asking our community about it. This feature is so unusual that I wasn't sure I really wanted it or not! I took note that it appeared that many surviving samples appear to have been made with the feature, but were removed presumably by their owners as a period modification. ElJay suggested that we create the hilt with the guard and I could always remove it myself if I didn't care for it, essentially replicating the same process that can be seen on some of the antiques. Sounded good to me.


ElJay told me about a week ago that he completed the hilt and put it in the mail. It was delivered today and I took a few photos of it to give you guys a first look. They're included below.

As you can see, he nailed it. I don't know any other maker that would have taken on this type of project and done so well with it. He saw things in the photographs of the antiques that I never saw. Now seeing his version, I can see the same details in the antiques clear as day. That's a great understanding of swords and a perfect example of this thing being a learning exercise as much as it is a chance to play with a new toy.

I will be having Ollin Sword Design create a Type XIX blade, clean everything up, and mount the entire sword for me. I'm eager to see the results! I suspect it's going to be a substantial and attractive weapon.


Today's photos of the hilt:







Click any photo to see a full-sized version

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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
WOW! I like that!I look forward to seeing it with a blade. Mr. Erickson sure can turn out a beauty of a hilt:-)
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Really impressive !! beautiful work and I agree it is going to be an awesome and deadly looking weapon when it is married to the blade! You and Mr. erikson are both to be congratulated.

Now Sir, it is time for you to drop the other shoe and tell us your decision and impression of the guard "button" and if you've decided to keep or remove it.
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I always enjoy seeing some of the stuff that is a bit different come to life from time to time. Not always (I suspect) the easiest thing to do but neat when it happens.
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Holy @%*&! Eek! That is gorgeous. I have wanted to see one like that for a while, almost commisioned something similar but my love of Viking swords got in the way... Great, great work by E.B. Erikson. Nathan, I am truly green with envy. Hmm...why do you make me want to spend ALL of my money myArmoury? Confused Wink Laughing Out Loud
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Jason Elrod




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That turned out even better than I thought it would. Absolutely fabulous.
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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is for me. I'd love to get a chance to handle some custom made blades like those just to see what I would like, and then have one made for me. A blade like that show's exquisite taste, and I'd like one for myself one day.

Thanks for sharing Nathan.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only thing that's keeping me from tearing out my eyes in envy is knowing that my complex German EBE commission is just over the horizon, ca. 2011/2012. But here's what I want to know--How are you going to blue the hilt? By coincidence, I have some spare PermaBlue I could send you. Laughing Out Loud Seriously, though, what's your plan? Mine is going to be blued and I'm not sure what the best option will be.

Stunning hilt, fellas. Absolutely amazing. If you photograph that finished sword next to your EBE Katzbalger...well, I just don't know what I might do.

I share your interest in these common but rarely produced types, esp. the Germans. Every time Eljay gets his hands on one he dramatically raises the bar.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicely executed. I betchya' the gents at OllinSword will enjoy putting
this together ...
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Daniel Sullivan




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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: EBE Hand and a Half hilt         Reply with quote

Nathan,

A real stunner. The beauty of some of these pieces never fade. Wouldn't say I'm envious, but I do start breathing rapidly when looking at the photos!

Dan
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 11:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's interesting...

Speaking of which, judging from the reactions of the board, your assumption many of today's collectors wouldn't like this beastie might not be all that accurate. Wink

And am I the only one who wants to call that hand guard a "gas petal guard"?
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another magnificent hilt by Eljay -

There is so much detail, one needs to look close and long and all the facets of it start to jump out at you. I'm glade to see a thumb loop - love them. The hatch motif that is repeated all over the hilt gives it an unusual, almost modern look

Will Ollin be putting any detailing on the blade like the engraved cusped grooves one often sees on XIX ricassos? Have you discussed blade dimensions with them?
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 2:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow.. .that's all I can choke up at the moment................... Eek!
Roanoke Sword Guilde

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Julien M




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh my...this is beautiful craftsmanship (I've been looking at these pictures for 20 minutes so it has to be an understatement)...I know now that I need to have a complex hilt bastard sword in my collection at some point!

Looking forward to see the complete sword.

Cheers,

J
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is one of the most visually pleasing pommels I have seen yet! EBE has some serious talent.
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Ben Sweet




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning.... Exclamation ... Just as it it is, nothing but pure art at its finest...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan and I were just talking, once again, about the organic look of German complex hilt swords--terminals like berries or nuts, bars like vines or twigs. It's sometimes quite literal, sometimes subtle. Although we might look at this pommel and think it's a cutler's fantasy, consider this seed pod from outside my office. Maybe Eljay's eye/mind for biology predisposes him to brilliance with these forms.


 Attachment: 212.51 KB
seedpod.gif


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Markus A




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hello
would be interesting to ask are the pommel and other elements done in castings or are those forged ?if then this is really impressive work.even if casted its still very impressive.its surely an task to copy an orginal so faithfully.
would look perfect antiqued or browned.
compliments
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Feb, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everybody for the comments. I'm sure ElJay appreciates the praise. I'm very pleased to add this one to my collection!

Roger Hooper wrote:
Will Ollin be putting any detailing on the blade like the engraved cusped grooves one often sees on XIX ricassos? Have you discussed blade dimensions with them?


I'm not sure what they'll do. We haven't discussed the details yet. I'm going to ask for some sort of details on it. Most Type XIX blades seem to have some ornamentation on them. I quite like the examples shown above that inspired this new hilt, but there are many examples that are also very nice.

Sean Flynt wrote:
Maybe Eljay's eye/mind for biology predisposes him to brilliance with these forms.


That's a very interesting point and your example is quite fitting!

Markus A wrote:
hello
would be interesting to ask are the pommel and other elements done in castings or are those forged ?if then this is really impressive work.even if casted its still very impressive.its surely an task to copy an orginal so faithfully.
would look perfect antiqued or browned.
compliments


ElJay doesn't do any casting. Everything is done with forging, grinding and filing. There's a lot of filework on this one.

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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Aug, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow. Just saw this for the first time. Man he has got some skills. I love his hilts. He takes his time and creates masterpieces everytime. I would love to make a blade for one of his hilts.
Matthew Stagmer
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