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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 5:19 am    Post subject: XI.3 from Records         Reply with quote

I am thinking of getting a custom-made sword at some point in the near future, and JD Crawford's thread reminded me that I've wanted one with a Brazil-nut pommel for some time. My favourite period is the latter half of the 12th century, however, so I want one that would be appropriate for that time. I understand that the Brazil nut pommel tends to be more common on swords from an earlier period than this; nevertheless, I'd still like one reproduced.

I've had my eye on XI.3 from Records for a little while now. Oakeshott identifies it as being from the period 1100-1150, although he says that it might be from as early as 1075. Does anyone know his reasoning for the early date? Also, I know that sometimes Oakeshott's dating is a little unusual, and may not always be accurate; does his date seem like a reasonable time frame for this sword? If the dating seems reasonable, this weapon is obviously from the first half of the century, but I do not think it would be at all unreasonable that it, or a sword similar to it, could have seen use during the second half of the century. It looks like XI.1 from the myArmoury article is the same sword, and I see it's been dated to the latter half of the 11th century. Any particular reason for this?

Also, does anyone else have any photos of it, besides the one from Records and the myArmoury article? In particular, I would love to see photos at a side angle, which would give a much better sense of the hilt components.

Is it just me, or does one side of the guard appear to be a little longer than the other side? I have this impression from the photograph in Records, rather than the online photo. The pommel looks like it sits slightly askew as well. Assuming these impressions are accurate, what would have caused this: usage, the passage of time, or was the sword probably like this when manufactured?

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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great choice Craig - I also love that sword. I was thinking of doing the same, but I already have A&A's St. Maurice, which is very similar. This one is less fancy, but beautiful for its simple and elegant proportions.

My impression is that Oakeshott went with his gut on many of these dates, looking at the sword overall in context, unless there were specific markings to use for dating. As you mentioned, the very similar XI in Records has Anglo-Saxon Ruins on the tang that appear to be 10th century. On the other hand, some people still argue that the also similar St. Maurice (Vienna) sword is dated to late 12th century. So putting this one in the middle might have seemed like a safe bet. However I agree with you, if a very similar sword is firmly dated earlier, then without further evidence one cannot say this one could not have come just as early, or at least that the possible time range could be broader than what Oakeshott stated.

I think the asymmetry in the cross length might just be lighting in this picture. From what I know its hard to get a pommel like this exactly symmetric by hand. The tilts against the tang could have happened later. A question I have grappled with is whether to ask the modern reproducer to emulate the same imperfections. However, the ones on this sword seem so small that you might likely get equal sized imperfections just by accident in the reproduction process.

Good luck with your plans, JD

PS - if you take this job to A&A one tempting option would be to go with a simplified version of their St. Maurice, but to get a more historically accurate version I would point out the differences - the slightly shorter blade, the slightly wider pommel, the more narrow fuller, and the flattened (rather than diamond shaped) weak end. (I really was thinking about this!).
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sort of reminds me a lot of the Albion Gaddhjalt except for very subtle details like the guard seeming a little thicker and the fuller just barely narrower.

So maybe I would consider getting the Gaddhjalt unless I wanted to go the full custom route and had some reasons to think that the sword is different enough to justify having a different of made ?

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_gadd.html

The Gaddhjalt was my first Albion and I still have it and it's a fine looking and handling sword with a lot of blade presence.

I assume you already know the Gaddhjalt and I wonder why you might not consider it " close enough " to the XI.3 ?

I know that the Oakshott type is different, on paper, but it seems to be one of those cases where a type X to my eye looks substantially the same as specific type XI. ( If the fuller was much narrower the difference would be more apparent ).

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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great choice! I actually just commissioned that sword myself from Robert Moc! Have you decided who is going to make it for you? I can't offer much in the way of additional photos but it sure is a nice sword. I really like the inlay too, should look really nice when it's done. The contrast of the silver on the steel is a lot stronger than I thought it would be! It'll be fun to see pics of different makers take on this sword...assuming that we're having them made by different people! Can't wait to see pics when it's done!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Sort of reminds me a lot of the Albion Gaddhjalt except for very subtle details like the guard seeming a little thicker and the fuller just barely narrower.

So maybe I would consider getting the Gaddhjalt unless I wanted to go the full custom route and had some reasons to think that the sword is different enough to justify having a different of made ?

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_gadd.html

The Gaddhjalt was my first Albion and I still have it and it's a fine looking and handling sword with a lot of blade presence.

I assume you already know the Gaddhjalt and I wonder why you might not consider it " close enough " to the XI.3 ?

I know that the Oakshott type is different, on paper, but it seems to be one of those cases where a type X to my eye looks substantially the same as specific type XI. ( If the fuller was much narrower the difference would be more apparent ).


Jean,

In my case, what I'm looking for is a sword with a) a Brazil nut pommel, and b) a sword that can be, if not firmly dated as being manufactured in the 12th century, at least a weapon that would have be reasonably likely to have been carried by a knight at this date.

I've excluded the Gaddjhalt because of my dating criterion. While Chad and Patrick's article on Albion's Gaddjhalt states that the weapon was most popular from 1000-1150, most of the antique Gaddjhalts I've seen have been dated much earlier than this. If you look at the myArmoury article on the Type X sword, you'll see that X.5 and Xa.7 are datable to 950 and then 950-1050, respectively. While it certainly is possible that there were quite a few Gaddjhalts still in use during the 12th century, they don't fit my timeline particularly closely, especially because my favourite period is the latter half of the 12th C.

Also, for this particular sword, I think I am going to have one of the narrower blade types from this period reproduced. For a broader blade, I will probably pick up the Senlac, which is a style that I think could quite reasonably still be in use in the latter half of the 12th C.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Sep, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, thanks for the explanation and although I understand your reasoning about the Gaddhjalt being from an earlier period it does at least to my eyes look very much the same in style ?

Maybe it's just me but at times very similar swords seem to be given different type designation by different people and I think even Oakshott was known to have changed his mind over time about a specific sword's type.

The Gaddhjalt seems to me to be, if I understand the description on the Albion site correctly' as being a late Viking sword, so maybe I see it as an " early adopter " sword of this basic design. The St Maurice Sword ( A & A version, since their seems to be at least two swords called the St Maurice sword ) seems of the same general aesthetics with the same brazil nut type pommel. Confused Question

Now there may be 2 centuries between the early versions of this style and the late documented use of this style, but to me a rose is a rose is a rose by whatever name you call it.

One can certainly argue on the details of blade width, blade type X or XI depending on fuller width. Period engravings, blade maker markings etc .... that would clearly make one sword much earlier that the other but the variations in blade characteristics between two swords made at the same time could be as wide as with two blades made a couple of centuries apart in many cases. ( Which characteristics clearly make a sword earlier or later and which are just the normal variations one would see over the entire few centuries that a " general " type was in use or popular ? ).


Just giving you arguments for the sake of discussion: I totally respect that if your goal is to match a particular sword the best way to be sure to get it right is to stay as close to the original as possible since some subtle differences we might not give importance to or not even know about could date the reproduction earlier than desired.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 14 Sep, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:


One can certainly argue on the details of blade width, blade type X or XI depending on fuller width. Period engravings, blade maker markings etc .... that would clearly make one sword much earlier that the other but the variations in blade characteristics between two swords made at the same time could be as wide as with two blades made a couple of centuries apart in many cases. ( Which characteristics clearly make a sword earlier or later and which are just the normal variations one would see over the entire few centuries that a " general " type was in use or popular ? ).


I think part of what can be misleading is the breadth of swords that can fit in the category of X, Xa, and XI. Yes, there's a lot of similarities between different blades which are both Type Xas, or Type XIs, but this tends to obscure that there are differences between swords of the same type, especially if we start to look closely at them. And, from what I understand, some of the differences in blade types, not to mention construction details, allow us to place them a bit more concretely in a time frame than the designations of "X", "Xa" and "XI" allow. It seems to me that Geibig's research and typology is more useful than Oakeshott's when it comes to drawing these distinctions, and providing us with a bit firmer dating criteria than Oakeshott.

Research and typologies aside, another reason that I do not specifically want to order the Gaddhjalt is because I do not actually want a Gaddhjalt guard. I just want a plain, cruciform guard. I realize that this can often be difficult to see in photos, and if the one I have mentioned in Records has a Gaddhjalt guard, then I should probably consider looking for another.

Really, if Albion threw the Gaddhjalt's pommel on the Hospitaller, I'd probably be content to simply buy that sword, rather than making a custom one. As, however, Albion is not doing customizations of this sort, (to my knowledge at least), I've been looking to track down a sword with a Brazil nut, cruciform guard, and probably with a somewhat narrower blade and fuller, although I'm still open on this criteria.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Sep, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I missed the emphasis on targeting the late 12th in your first post. My personal (totally unprofessional) opinion is that this sword was made earlier, but could well have still been in use up until your target period.

Regarding production swords, it comes down to a matter of taste doesn't it? I like this one because of the wide pommel and elegant taper to the blade. The cross does not have the taper in profile seen in Albion's spike-hilt, but it looks like it might taper in the other dimension.

Albion might not customize a Hospitaller for you, but other folks can do this for you if they happen to have a brazil nut pommel that fits the tang, or if you can get your hands one one - so that is certainly an option and might be a bit cheaper than a full custom job. I've done stuff like this with a couple of swords and it worked out well.

But again, there is something special about replicating a specific historical sword, and for a bit more money you can feel good about helping the industry, as Jean keeps pointing out. Whatever option makes you happy man!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:

Albion might not customize a Hospitaller for you, but other folks can do this for you if they happen to have a brazil nut pommel that fits the tang, or if you can get your hands one one - so that is certainly an option and might be a bit cheaper than a full custom job. I've done stuff like this with a couple of swords and it worked out well.


Who does customizations of Albions these days? I know Christian Fletcher used to offer them, but I don't think he does any more, at least not from judging by his webpage.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, does anyone know of a sword with a Brazil nut pommel similar to this one that more firmly dates from the mid to late 12th century? The only ones I've seen are in the Geibig article.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, if you want to go the semi-custom route you might talk to Dan Dickinson. He did this similar job for me: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19674

The pommel he used for that project came from an A&A st. Maurice, with the engraving removed.

Also I believe that Ollin and/or Odinblades do this kind of customization, although I don't have personal experience with them.

If you can't find the pommel you want, surely someone can make one (it must be easier than making the entire sword). There are nice illustrations of latter day BN pommel types in 'Sword in the Age of Chivalry'.

Good luck, JD
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These two from the Geibig typology article are supposed to be 12th century, the second one maybe even 13th:

http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_geibig20.jpg
http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_geibig21.jpg

Also, a St. Maurice of Turin is a later day brazil nut, too.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Craig, if you want to go the semi-custom route you might talk to Dan Dickinson. He did this similar job for me: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19674

The pommel he used for that project came from an A&A st. Maurice, with the engraving removed.

Also I believe that Ollin and/or Odinblades do this kind of customization, although I don't have personal experience with them.

If you can't find the pommel you want, surely someone can make one (it must be easier than making the entire sword). There are nice illustrations of latter day BN pommel types in 'Sword in the Age of Chivalry'.

Good luck, JD


Well I do with OlliN, at least with custom work but not a modification, and I can recommend them.

I don't have experience with Odinblades but his reputation for craftsmanship is very high.

And then there are these from Del Tin ( I assume that Del Tin swords are generally well researched and based on good information in their sales information about the swords they make and sell ):
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...form+Sword

This one has a different type of pommel but also a very late use of a Viking type of pommel, but I could see where the same kind of sword could be credible with a brazil nut pommel"
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword

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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had OlliN do some mods for me, both adding a new blade to an existing hilt and adding new hilt components to existing blades. OlliN are always great to work with and I'm sure they could do a great job if that's the route you decided on... Christian Fletcher did a new hilt for my Albion Knecht not too long ago. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to ask him if he could do a mod for you. His work is top notch as well...
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Sep, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I say go custom- not mix-n-match.

Also Odinblades would be better for a fantasy sword- I wouldn't recommend for a historical blade.

Go with OliN, A&A, Michael Pituka, or Barta.

Just MHO
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 17 Sep, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
And then there are these from Del Tin ( I assume that Del Tin swords are generally well researched and based on good information in their sales information about the swords they make and sell ):
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...form+Sword

This one has a different type of pommel but also a very late use of a Viking type of pommel, but I could see where the same kind of sword could be credible with a brazil nut pommel"
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...king+Sword


In this case Jean, I'm specifically looking for a Brazil nut pommel like the one seen here: http://www.dibatavia.com/crusadorsword.html .

I agree Jeremy that Odinblades isn't really suitable for a historic sword.

Luka, thanks for posting them, although as I mentioned above, I actually have seen those two already. I like the latter of the two swords a bit more, but since I really do want a 12th century blade, the fact that this particular sword might be from the 13th C makes me hesistant to have it reproduced. Yes, I know that it's silly of me, but that's where I'm at right now when it comes to making a custom or semi-custom sword.
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Cornelis Tromp




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PostPosted: Tue 21 Sep, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: XI.3 from Records         Reply with quote

Quote:
I've had my eye on XI.3 from Records for a little while now. Oakeshott identifies it as being from the period 1100-1150, although he says that it might be from as early as 1075. Does anyone know his reasoning for the early date? Also, I know that sometimes Oakeshott's dating is a little unusual, and may not always be accurate; does his date seem like a reasonable time frame for this sword? If the dating seems reasonable, this weapon is obviously from the first half of the century, but I do not think it would be at all unreasonable that it, or a sword similar to it, could have seen use during the second half of the century. It looks like XI.1 from the myArmoury article is the same sword, and I see it's been dated to the latter half of the 11th century. Any particular reason for this?



Hi Craig,

the reason Oakeshott dates this sword from the Copenhagen museum around 1075 is because it has the same silver inlay handwriting as a broken sword (with wheelpommel) found in a viking grave at Kangasalain in the south of Finland
dating from 1050-1100, discovered by Jorma Leppaaho.

re: this type of late viking sword.
I have a similar authentic one (great swift figthing sword), will try to post some pictures later.
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