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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Dresden Kriegsmesser         Reply with quote

The first kriegsmesser below is (or at least was) in the collection of the Historisches Museum Dresden. I think it is the only such weapon I've seen with a chappe rather than a "nagel". I have no information about the weapon but I can make some educated guesses based on other examples, including the second one shown below. Hermann Historica dates that weapon to ca. 1520 (south German).

So, I would guess that the Dresden example is south German ca. 1500-20, approximately 102 cm overall, with two grip scales attached by tubular non-ferrous rivets and covered with leather. No pommel, cap or plate. Tooled chappe of tubular type as used on swords of the period. Does anybody have any information to suggest that this interpretation is not correct?

The big question concerns the Dresden weapon's blade. The grip is approximately 1/4 the overall length of the weapon. That's a long grip, but even so the absence of a pommel suggests that this weapon would be unwieldy unless the blade is relatively thin. Any guesses about the thickness / section of the blade? I would guess that it's either a thin triangle its entire length OR a thicker triangle at the forte and gradually changing to a thinner and more lenticular section below the fuller. It might even have a symmetrical lenticular section and sharp false edge below the fuller. I just can't tell....I'm going to try to make something in this family, so related images and observations are most welcome. If any of you can visit the museum and actually view, photograph, sketch, or otherwise document this weapon (and also one of their katzbalgers) I'll be willing to pay you for your services. Big Grin



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-Sean

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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there was one like that second one with no pommel in the museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber... when I visited in 06... I remember it was slab sided full lentgth tang which was as thick as the blade... it was in the section with tools for hunting... its been a few years but I think I remember it gradually narrowing towards the tip of the blade... http://www.reichsstadtmuseum.rothenburg.de/ here is the link to the museum
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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I knew I had seen messer #2 somewhere... check outh www.hermann-historica.com closed auction #56 lot #564... lots of nice pictures and description of that exact piece... also pics of the revese and magnification... you can also see that the shell was cross peened on to the guard throught the blade... also that the grip is leather covered wood...

Last edited by Christopher Treichel on Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
I knew I had seen messer #2 somewhere... check outh www.hermann-historica.com closed auction #56 lot #564... lots of nice pictures and description of that exact piece... also pics of the revese and magnification


Yep, that's where I grabbed that VERY large image and a few others (save the whole page and retrieve the full-size image). Wonderful details! Thanks for the museum site!

-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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This appears to be the same general type and period, so it's a clue to length, scabbard and suspension (looks like there's a by-knife as well).


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-Sean

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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that looks more like a Schweitzersable or Hauschwert http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=112795 ... more of a curved blade... landsknecht woodcut I know of with a messer is the one of Kuntz von den Rosen... but you can only see the hilt http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons..._Rosen.jpg
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification!
-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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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
there was one like that second one with no pommel in the museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber... when I visited in 06... I remember it was slab sided full lentgth tang which was as thick as the blade... it was in the section with tools for hunting... its been a few years but I think I remember it gradually narrowing towards the tip of the blade... http://www.reichsstadtmuseum.rothenburg.de/ here is the link to the museum


I have the same recollection as Christopher, it was in the hunting tools section. I'm still trying to find my photographs from my trip in order to respond to another post. I'll go spelunking in my basement again tonight. Happy

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 1:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just came back from a little research trip where I came across some messers (plus some *very* interesting swords :-). I learned a new things about messers: the rivets can be of wood!

*Many* messers of the longer kind had originally leather covered grips, hiding grip slabs, tang and rivets. They still classify as messers, even if you do not see an exposed tang or riveted grip slabs. Some lack a nagel and have rings. A 16th C feature. They can still be called messers.
And as has been pointed out in this thread: Pommel or cap is not always present.
On this trip I was showed a stunning messer in very god state of preservation, with a grip lacking pommel and the wood components held together with wood "rivets". Balance was incredibly agile and the overall weight low, despite having a long blade. This weapon made a big impression on me. Extremely elegant.

In the wood cut above, the landsknecht is armed with a messer. Perhaps you can also call it a hauschwert, just like you can call a long sword a war sword or great sword.

There are quite a few lang messer/krieg messer that have pronounced curve: that is a feature that does not decide type one way or the other: rather its hilt construction. In the wood cut I see nothing that does not feature on messer weapons from this period. Grip, guard, nagel, blade shape, scabbard, by knives(?), suspension method... everything fits the bill of a messer.

Some are perfectly straight and have a centered spead point, just like the one Sean asked about. This one in Dresden is one that I have been curious about for some time. It belonged to Heinrich der Fromme. The very same man who owned the outstanding sword discussed in this thread:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2618

I do not think it is unwieldy at all. Blades on these weapons can be very thin.

I did not make it to Dresden this time. There are several swords that I am very interested to study in this collection. This messer is high on my list...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter! Funny that you mention the HdF sword. When I first saw this messer it immediately reminded me of that sword. Something about the chappe and proportions. Same workshop, maybe?
-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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Michel Pérusse




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
I knew I had seen messer #2 somewhere... check outh www.hermann-historica.com closed auction #56 lot #564... lots of nice pictures and description of that exact piece... also pics of the revese and magnification... you can also see that the shell was cross peened on to the guard throught the blade... also that the grip is leather covered wood...
I'm sorry as this commentary is on the messer from Hermann Historica and not the Dresden piece, but I find it very interesting and intriguing to see that they peened the nagel through the blade?

On the Dresden piece and Mr. Flynt's project: it's true that the leather chappe is rather unusual on such a weapon (to me, at least) and I'm looking forward seeing how this will come out...but I guess that, reading about these blades thinness and comparing blade shape/profile between the original and a CS Grosse Messer, there will be some serious work needed on that blade...I raise my hat to you, Sir! I would be very interested in seeing the tools and techniques involved.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michel Pérusse wrote:
Christopher Treichel wrote:
I knew I had seen messer #2 somewhere... check outh www.hermann-historica.com closed auction #56 lot #564... lots of nice pictures and description of that exact piece... also pics of the revese and magnification... you can also see that the shell was cross peened on to the guard throught the blade... also that the grip is leather covered wood...
I'm sorry as this commentary is on the messer from Hermann Historica and not the Dresden piece, but I find it very interesting and intriguing to see that they peened the nagel through the blade?

On the Dresden piece and Mr. Flynt's project: it's true that the leather chappe is rather unusual on such a weapon (to me, at least) and I'm looking forward seeing how this will come out...but I guess that, reading about these blades thinness and comparing blade shape/profile between the original and a CS Grosse Messer, there will be some serious work needed on that blade...I raise my hat to you, Sir! I would be very interested in seeing the tools and techniques involved.


You've guessed that I'm planning to massacre a CS messer! I expect to do a great deal of grinding and filing on that blade and I don't know if I'm up to it. I really don't even have much idea what I'll find when I open the box, though I'm assuming the worst Big Grin . All I know is that there isn't much (any) choice in off-the-shelf messer blades out there and I've long wanted to own one of these weapons. Although I don't intend to attempt the Dresden messer exactly, I can immediately see areas where the CS blade would need significant changes. The lower quarter is the obvious problem but there's also room on the back for a new grind closer to the fuller after the typical slight step down from the forte. Might still be too heavy at this length, especially without a pommel. If it's far out of balance and overweight I'll thin the blade as well as I can. If it's only a bit out of balance I'll consider cutting down and reshaping the original pommel. Failing that, I'll consider a more radical approach, creating a new full-tang profile out of the upper portion of the blade to create a shorter langesmesser with pommel. I might end up with a letter opener before I'm finished. Wouldn't be the first time, and I learn as much from the failures as from the successes (maybe more) Big Grin "Proceed and be bold"--Sam Mockbee.

-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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michel Pérusse wrote:
I find it very interesting and intriguing to see that they peened the nagel through the blade?
.


That's the typical construction, though I've seen photos of some examples that appear to have the nagel just above the cross (probably still riveted). Here are a couple of very instructive photos from Hermann Historica showing the nagel, peen, hazard of using a round rivet shaft and deep file marks that make me wonder if the back of the nagel is scored in the same way, perhaps to help prevent it from turning (if so, it clearly didn't work). Since that portion of the cross was meant to be covered, maybe the cutler simply didn't worry about the rough finish. Maybe both ideas are correct (or wrong).



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-Sean

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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Similar none pommeled examples that I have seen upclose had longer handles to make up for the lack of balance and the blades were almost paper thin.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Stagmer wrote:
Similar none pommeled examples that I have seen upclose had longer handles to make up for the lack of balance and the blades were almost paper thin.


Yes, I'm keen to see what effect I'll get by taking a bit of the blade for tang and taking off a pretty big chunk from the distal end. A previous failure makes me wary of the small or absent pommel on blades not made with that mounting in mind. I'm rolling the dice. Actually, I'm paying tuition Happy

-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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Michel Pérusse




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:


You've guessed that I'm planning to massacre a CS messer! I expect to do a great deal of grinding and filing on that blade and I don't know if I'm up to it. I really don't even have much idea what I'll find when I open the box, though I'm assuming the worst Big Grin . All I know is that there isn't much (any) choice in off-the-shelf messer blades out there and I've long wanted to own one of these weapons. Although I don't intend to attempt the Dresden messer exactly, I can immediately see areas where the CS blade would need significant changes. The lower quarter is the obvious problem but there's also room on the back for a new grind closer to the fuller after the typical slight step down from the forte. Might still be too heavy at this length, especially without a pommel. If it's far out of balance and overweight I'll thin the blade as well as I can. If it's only a bit out of balance I'll consider cutting down and reshaping the original pommel. Failing that, I'll consider a more radical approach, creating a new full-tang profile out of the upper portion of the blade to create a shorter langesmesser with pommel. I might end up with a letter opener before I'm finished. Wouldn't be the first time, and I learn as much from the failures as from the successes (maybe more) Big Grin "Proceed and be bold"--Sam Mockbee.


Indeed, not much repros off the shelf to use as base for such a project...I was glad to see you take on this project because of course it's interesting in itself, but also as I had been thinking of using the CS Grosse Messer as base for a similar home improvement myself...hence my guess! It will be inspiring and educational to see the route you will take.

(though, I was thinking of redoing it into a piece with a nagel and a handle similar to the previously mentioned example (hence part of my interest in it's guard construction)...so, through the blade is the usual method? Wow, that's news to me. Then, it got me thinking of using maybe two peens just outside of the blade? Solution for the shifting problem (and avoiding drilling through a hard blade)...or could the nagel's shoulders be fitted in a slot in the guard (a bit like a blade's shoulders do)?)

Among other things, the "clipped-point" from the CS blade is one easily notifiable difference in profile between it and the Dresden example...and something that must be changed in any case, in my opinion...

About balance and lack of pommel: the use of a heavy type of wood? Or, as M. Stagmer suggested: a longer handle? Wider?

Looking forward seeing where you go with this!
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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:

You've guessed that I'm planning to massacre a CS messer! I expect to do a great deal of grinding and filing on that blade and I don't know if I'm up to it. I really don't even have much idea what I'll find when I open the box, though I'm assuming the worst Big Grin


I can assure you that you will see a heavily bubblewrapped CS messer in factory-direct condition - although, maybe, a little dusty Laughing Out Loud

While the term "massacre" gives me a slight bit of pause Wink, I'm excited to see what becomes of it! It has never sliced a matt, noodle, or bottle in my possession, but it think it drew just a little blood the first time I admired it. Eek!

Good luck with it - I'm sure everyone on the site will be most interested in the final result.
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Nov, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michel Pérusse wrote:
I find it very interesting and intriguing to see that they peened the nagel through the blade?


maybe that is why its called the "Nagel" which is German for Nail...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I neglected to update this for those of you interested in a similar project. First, you should know that the CS has extremely sturdy construction. Laughing Out Loud I basically did a failure test of this hilt and that involved a chisel, hammer, grinder and locking pliers. The end of the tang is "U" shaped and the thicker threaded rod was welded to the bottom of that "U"--after installation of that odd cross. Can't get the cross off with the rod intact. My first thought was that I could just put the tang on the anvil and break off the rod with a few shots. No way. Forget any concerns about breaking that weld while cutting melons. I had to grind the rod to the thickness of the tang in order to remove the cross.

Well, then you have a very robust blade that turns out to be a poor choice for a messer due to the weight and distribution of same, but a reasonable choice for a shorter falchion. And, hey-presto, there's an early 15th c. English longsword pommel and cross sitting on my shelf waiting for an appropriate blade! So, this will be one of those interesting falchion variants with scent stopper pommels. There's one shown in the image below (Wat Tyler having a cold chop for lunch), and there's an extant German example of the same period (see "Records") but with narrower blade.



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David Teague




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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
This appears to be the same general type and period, so it's a clue to length, scabbard and suspension (looks like there's a by-knife as well).



What is the timeframe of the image? Late 15th or early to mid 16th?

DT

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