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Sam N.




Location: Beijing, China
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Aug, 2010 9:43 am    Post subject: 16th Century Austrian/German Rapiers.         Reply with quote

Right now I am on a quest to find some good examples of late 16th century German rapiers/sideswords, Basically, what Joachim Meyer would have called a rappier. I want a good antique example to inspire a semi-custom practice rapier/sidesword. I'm looking for the type of sword a normal, mid to high-class civilian gentleman would have carried about with him and worn in court in Austria or Germany during the latter part of the 16th century. I have found many great examples of military reitschwerts and early rapiers that seem to have German blades and Italian hilts, but what I'm very curious about is if there were some distinctive local civilian styles of hilt in the German states.

Civilian rapiers before 1550 are also welcome since I would assume some swords from earlier continued to be used.

Thanks for the help Happy.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Aug, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can find some 16th century rapiers in the Recent Auctions section of herman Historica - http://www.hermann-historica.de/gb/index_alte_auktionen.htm
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Aug, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote






I don't know for sure which all of these are Germanic and not all fit your description, but this should at least get you started.

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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Sam N.




Location: Beijing, China
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Aug, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the pictures. I've already completely gone through all of the Hermann Historica auction records with pictures I can in my search for what seems to be an elusive thing. As for the museum photographs, they are interesting. I think I recognize them, are they from the Musee de l'Arme (forgive the lack of accents) in Paris? While the photos are awesome for examples, the only problem is I'm not sure which weapons are which. So far my impression is that all of the swords that don't have a very distinct Saxon-style military hilt on them ( Bruhn-Hoffmeyer type Group VIIb single-handed swords, basically) are all Italian, or at least look Italian to me Razz. While I know it seems that plenty of Italian hilts seemed to be imported to Germany during the 16th century and beyond, I still wonder if German cutlers didn't come up with some of their own unique designs, besides military hilted swords, of course.

It looks like the search continues. Thank you for the help nonetheless.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Aug, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, this is a little later than what you're asking, but here's a sword from my collection that's from 1640ish, is German, and would be exactly the type of rapier that Meyer was using:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19689&

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Sam N.




Location: Beijing, China
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill, the 1640s sword you posted is interesting. Looking back on the photos posted earlier, it actually seems to be a very common hilt style. Perhaps this is a good example of that local civilian style I was looking for? Still, I wonder where the other hilts are, such as the cross-hilted swords with either just a side-ring or two side-rings and a knuckle-bow found in Meyer. Was that just artistic license for simplicity's sake? Were they actually illustrating more military-style hilts?

On that note though, are there any good resources for rapier hilt typology available (A.V.B. Norman's work for instance) on the 'net? As much as I would love to get my hand on a copy of "Rapier and Smallsword", it seems that very few libraries have it and it's prohibitively expensive to buy.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam N. wrote:
Still, I wonder where the other hilts are, such as the cross-hilted swords with either just a side-ring or two side-rings and a knuckle-bow found in Meyer. Was that just artistic license for simplicity's sake? Were they actually illustrating more military-style hilts?


Definitely not artistic license, as I've seen some in museums and books, and even handled a couple. Sadly, I don't have any pictures for you.

The whole military/civilian sword idea is not an easy one, as there are few hard lines to distinguish what would make one military and another civilian, particularly when it comes to functionality.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice pictures! Can anyone confirm which museum they are from?

Here are some pictures from the Army Museum in Delft, which also contain some 16th C. rapiers.
http://1501bc.com/page/leger_museum_delft2/index.html

Sam N. wrote:
On that note though, are there any good resources for rapier hilt typology available (A.V.B. Norman's work for instance) on the 'net? As much as I would love to get my hand on a copy of "Rapier and Smallsword", it seems that very few libraries have it and it's prohibitively expensive to buy.


"Rapier and Smallsword" is being reprinted by Ayer Company Publishers for about $50, I think.
Their site: http://www.ayerpub.com
I think this is a direct link to the book, but their website is a bit quirky. http://www.ayerpub.com/Product.asp?ProductID=...&Res=T

I ordered and received mine a few months ago, and I think it's a really good buy for the money, even if trans-Atlantic shipping was a bit steep.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Norman is in reprint? Eek! That's BIG news, but there's no listing on Amazon.co.uk, and the Ayer site is currently broken. You can have my money, folks--just let me give it to you!
-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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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Norman is in reprint? Eek! That's BIG news, but there's no listing on Amazon.co.uk, and the Ayer site is currently broken. You can have my money, folks--just let me give it to you!


I believe there's a facsimile version from Ken Trotman.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
Norman is in reprint? Eek! That's BIG news, but there's no listing on Amazon.co.uk, and the Ayer site is currently broken. You can have my money, folks--just let me give it to you!


I believe there's a facsimile version from Ken Trotman.


Ahhh...interesting that it's about the same price as reported for the Ayer reprint.

-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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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ayer have been selling AVB Norman direct for a number of years (since 2006). I bought mine direct from them a couple of years ago, for 30-odd + shipping. Bargain, particularly when I saw the price the original A&A versions are. Invaluable book - everyone should have a copy!

Julian
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Aug, 2010 5:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pictures that I posted are all from Musee de l'Arme except for the last which is from the State Museum in Copenhagen.

Greg

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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