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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: 'Storta' sword under construction in the White Rose Armoury.         Reply with quote

Here is a project Iv been working on. I'm constructing this Storta to be suitable for re-enactment, note the cheek plates on the crossguard fixed to the tang and the tang going through the pommel to be peened.

Iv made the pommel using only the forge and grinding as i prefer to see a pommel on my work that has that 'non machine turned perfection to it' as historically they would not have been exactly round. I'm going to interference fit the claws/spikes after peening to the pommel.

At the moment its on stanby by to being Hardened and Tempered along with the Fish Tail I'm making as well.

Iv not seen very much Stortas being re-produced yet alone seeing many historical ones in books. Master Armourer Dave has also mentioned that there is little known of this type of sword.

This one I am constructing i have taken the measurements from a book of Master Armourer Daves, though i have forgot the books title.

Josef.



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Jim Mearkle




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think I've seen an offset wheel pommel before. That is interesting. Do you have any pictures of historical pieces with that detail?
Jim
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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hi Jim,
Iv spent a few months trying to find examples of original Stortas the first thing i noticed was the offset pommel leaning towards the 'knuckle guard' i thought exactly what you thought. but after constructing the sword and sparing a moment to wear a gauntlet whilst wielding this sword i soon realised the reason behind this. I think it is to close the gap between the knuckle guard and the grip, also bear in mind that this is a single edged sword. But most of all i have not found a Storta example yet with a pommel that is straight through the middle.
Have you any original examples of a 'Storta' to compare it to?

thank you for your interest.

Josef.
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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I shall take a picture and the book reference that i have taken my design from and post it very soon.

cheers

Josef.
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Jim Mearkle




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only storta I've seen is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY City. There are two pictures of it in the photo albums:

http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/3460.html
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/426.html

Honestly, every time I go there, I'm so taken by the early rapier next to it that I haven't paid much attention to it, but looking again, I see it does have an offset wheel.[/list]

Jim
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim Mearkle wrote:
The only storta I've seen is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY City. There are two pictures of it in the photo albums:

http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/3460.html
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/426.html

Honestly, every time I go there, I'm so taken by the early rapier next to it that I haven't paid much attention to it, but looking again, I see it does have an offset wheel.[/list]


I wouldn't call that an early rapier, just a one-handed sword, maybe even a backsword. The offset pommel seems very much like many messer and dusak hilts. Really, lots of single edged cutting swords have somewhat of a hook or lobbed pommel like that, even machetes today.



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For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The offset effect on pommels and grip ends of falchions, stortas, coletllaccios and messers is not the result of a normal round pommel mounted of center.

It is a "curling" form a bit like the head of a violin. You may think of it as a birds head: sometimes it is shaped with a beak, and sometimes it has this rounded end. The neck of the form is as important as the offset of the round end or beak. If you look at the photo of the Met one, I think you can see it has an all steel grip (hollow) with integral pommel. This is a bit unusual, but it does not stray far from the normal shape of these grips.
The Met Storta is published in "Swords and Hilt Weapons" a popular book presenting bladed weapons over time and in various cultures. It has a list of photographs in the end where origin and some times inventory number is presented.

The lower forward arm of the guard is a finger guard. Many sabers, Falchions or Stortas and Hangers of Italian manufacture have this feature.

Stortas can have round pommels, but these are then mounted centered, just like any sword pommel.

the round shape of the wheel pommel and the beak on the birds head pommel all serve the function of a hand stop. It helps the grip from slipping out of the hand in a swing.

Storta is the Italian name for Falchion. Stortas are not separated from other weapons in this group, meaning they are not different from Falchions other than they sometimes have features that are more popular in Italy than in other places. Functionally they are the same as any Falchion. Just as with Falchions, they sometimes dress up in many features of the Messer, making distinction between the two not always clear. The italian name for Messer is Coltellaccio (=big ugly knife). From the word Coltellaccio comes the well known name Cutlass.

EDIT: finally a word on that less than perfect look on original weapons and armour. It is one of the hardest things to get right. Modern sloppy or careless work does not come close. There are no short cuts to get there. We have to have a very good understanding of form and long experience of the craft and materials to be able to work with the confidence, speed and light hearted attitude of the masters of old. Only with this level of skill can we arrive at that effortless, asymmetrical, organic but still "perfect" shape. It is a life time of learning and striving. Before we get there it is important to aspire for as high level of perfection as we can. We will never really get there and that is a good thing Wink Cool

Sorry if I got into preaching mode, but talk about less than perfect shape always set my alarms ringing. It is so dangerously close to a mindset that is comfortable with a sloppy attitude towards work. I am sure you did not mean this. I just wanted to take the opportunity to focus on this important aspect of the craft.
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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hello all.
I'm really pleased to have some feedback! Happy

Peter,
I don't take any offence to your opinion regarding my pommels. I just prefer to see that something has been handcrafted and not just simply turned on a metal lathe which is all too common. I have read that wheel pommels were constructed in a sense of 'crimping' a bar from the forge with a punch around until it was in the desired shape then ground.
I got this from Oakeshott's book the 'Medieval sword' . I much prefer to construct my pommels in this way so people can see/understand that its been constructed using the eye of the craftsman and not an 'industrial' machine.

There have been times where I have made more than 3 attempts even 4 attempts wasting a days even weeks on parts for my products throwing them away and starting again until i feel confident in what i have done. I'm very passionate about my work. Though i must admit a true craftsman will always understand that his work isn't perfect and if he does I wouldn't call him a craftsmen.I hope that makes sense.

I intended upon constructing the solid metal grip as you have described and according to the original, though i decided to make the alteration to use wood and leather to make the balance better. I'm now pushing myself to take your advice around the 'birds head' type of reasoning behind the Storta. I seen and armourer construct the Storta in the same way as i have using wood and leather with an offset pommel. Iv learned alot from your reply and much appreciate it.

Being only 21 i have alot to learn, though people will never stop learning Happy
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josef, thank you for taking my post in this sprit.

Throwing away parts and blades is sometimes the best one can do to progress (sometimes the *only* thing). It is good to follow through with projects to the end, but "killing" something that one knows will not met expectations is liberating. A good way not to develop too much emotional attachment to individual parts or projects (and I wish I could follow this example better myself!).

Looking forward to see how this sword changes as you progress with work.
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Jim Mearkle




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:


I wouldn't call that an early rapier, just a one-handed sword, maybe even a backsword. The offset pommel seems very much like many messer and dusak hilts. Really, lots of single edged cutting swords have somewhat of a hook or lobbed pommel like that, even machetes today.


The early rapier is the one on the left. That's what the Met calls it. Spada da lato fits better to me. Anyway, it has a 2-edged blade and a centered pommel. It also has some gorgeous engraving on the hilt.

I guess you made the same mistake I did, only you focused on the storta instead of the rapier.

Jim


Last edited by Jim Mearkle on Wed 09 Jun, 2010 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ed S.




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Jun, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is one heck of a cool looking sword. I love this guard and offset pommel.
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Nathan Beal





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PostPosted: Thu 10 Jun, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice piece Josef, wouldn't expect anything less of White Rose nice to see the tradition being kept up.

How is the balance at this stage? looks very much like the blade will do most of the work in cutting but should break out of a swing easily enough.

N.

Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jun, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Everybody! Happy

Nathan,
Thankyou for you interest. Us at White Rose are still going great! The balance of the sword is exactly to the tips of the quillons at the moment, but i still havn't had it Hardened and Tempered so when it returns i will have 0.5mm approx to be taken of of the blade overall which will bring the balance even closer to the hilt. I will counter some of this weight when i fit the claws/spikes into the pommel ( which is going to be really exciting) I cannot wait to see the final product along with its rig! I really make an effort to get the balance just right, for re-enactors strength and balance are everything! Once sheathed and its rake is 45 degrees that really puts a smile on my face! : )

Josef.
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J. Dawes
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jun, 2010 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

'Counter the weight' - what am i on about. Its going to bring the balance closer towards the hilt. I expect the balance to be about 3 quarters of an inch from the hilt when completed.
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Grace Little





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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How did your sword end up J. Dawes? It looks pretty cool. I've always wanted to make my own like this.
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jan, 2016 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure you'll get a reply, as this thread is about 5+ years old by now...
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