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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional

Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Sun 14 Feb, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: Late survival of Petersen type H/I ?         Reply with quote

One piece of artwork that has always interested me is an early 13th century depiction of a knight from the Church of St. Justina in Padua.
The knight is armed in fairly typical fashion for the time period (full mail, flat topped kite shield, helmet with face-mask etc). However, the sword the knight is wielding appears to have a hilt of Petersen's type H/I. The cross is a bit longer than would be found on a original type H/I...but the pommel seems very characteristic. Does anyone have any evidence of any similar swords found in artwork or archaeology dated to this late of a date (c. 1210)? Might this be a local survival of an older pommel form (such as the lobed pommels found in northern England) or perhaps the use of an antique sword (the blade is a rather broad and spatulate-tipped type X)? Any input would be appreciated,

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Luka Borscak

Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,307

PostPosted: Sun 03 Nov, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just stumbled into this old thread and I thought it is a pity that nothing was contributed to the original post. Type H/I hilts are thought of as typical Norwegian/Swedish hilts, but recently I found out there is a great number of H hilted swords across the Europe, good percentage of them in Slavic countries. Also few people think of them as of Frankish swords and in southern slavic countries like Croatia they are introduced by Franks, so Franks must have used them rather regularly. My theory is that these swords first appeared in Norway and Sweden, spread across the Carolingian Empire and came to surrounding countries, mostly slavic but probably other as well. Such a wide spread of these swords must have taken a rather long period of time and there must have been many of them made so I see no reason why some of them wouldn't be produced or at least used much later than it is usually thought. And connections between different countries are surprising and can lead to weapons appearing at unusual places and times. Type H swords are a bit longer lasting in Russia than in the West and Sicily in the 12th and early 13th century might be more connected to Russia via Byzantium than we might think... So, a sword type wide spread and long produced in areas surrounding Sicily appearing in Sicily later than what is typical for other areas? Nothing too weird...
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William Swiger

Location: Reston, VA
Joined: 23 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Nov, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Luka.

I also think that some Nordic styled hilt and/or blade types carried on in use. They could have been original swords passed down or hilts refitted with new blades. May have been made new in some other areas outside their original area of popularity for whatever reasons as Luka said. Do not think if you wanted a sword, the smith would say "we don't make those now, check out our new models".

Non Timebo Mala
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