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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Help categorise a fictional sword, please?         Reply with quote

I know, I know, this will drive the purists and such crazy. The sword is depicted by people who, as far as I know, are not sword fanciers but are nonetheless good researchers and careful with detail -- when it applies to moving the story along.

This sword does not, in itself, move the story along.

So. I present to you a long straight blade, apparently double-edged, with a sharply pointed end. It has a solid basket hilt (if I use the term correctly) - about 1/6 to 1/4 of a sphere in width (if that makes sense), with a distinctive cast or carved decoration.

The length of the blade is close to the length of the user's leg, quite long, but it's also fairly narrow in proportion.

(No, I don't really have any good images of it. Just pieces.)

What name, category or terminology might be used to refer to this style of construction? It's definitely not any kind of a two-hander, and I think it's too substantial to be a rapier, but past that I'm a bit lost.

Thank you in advance.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Help categorise a fictional sword, please?         Reply with quote

L. Winters wrote:
I know, I know, this will drive the purists and such crazy. The sword is depicted by people who, as far as I know, are not sword fanciers but are nonetheless good researchers and careful with detail -- when it applies to moving the story along.

This sword does not, in itself, move the story along.

So. I present to you a long straight blade, apparently double-edged, with a sharply pointed end. It has a solid basket hilt (if I use the term correctly) - about 1/6 to 1/4 of a sphere in width (if that makes sense), with a distinctive cast or carved decoration.

The length of the blade is close to the length of the user's leg, quite long, but it's also fairly narrow in proportion.

(No, I don't really have any good images of it. Just pieces.)

What name, category or terminology might be used to refer to this style of construction? It's definitely not any kind of a two-hander, and I think it's too substantial to be a rapier, but past that I'm a bit lost.

Thank you in advance.


I dunno, just by this description I'd say it sounds like a fairly feasable baskethilt cut-and-thrust sword of some kind. Some of them do have very narrow blades. (For that matter, some rapier variants were quite substantial.)

I'm not sure what you mean by the hilt being "about 1/6 to 1/4 of a sphere in width," though. Think you can explain it in a different manner? Question Also, what do you mean by "solid" basket?

The blade being as long as the user's leg will of course depend on how tall said user is. For someone of my height, I'd estimate it about 33", which isn't really that extreme - especially not for a narrow sword of the proposed type.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: Help categorise a fictional sword, please?         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
I dunno, just by this description I'd say it sounds like a fairly feasable baskethilt cut-and-thrust sword of some kind. Some of them do have very narrow blades. (For that matter, some rapier variants were quite substantial.)

Ah, see, this is why I ask! Big Grin I must be educated so I can ask intelligently.

Anders Backlund wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by the hilt being "about 1/6 to 1/4 of a sphere in width," though. Think you can explain it in a different manner? Question Also, what do you mean by "solid" basket?

OK, imagine the hand holding the sword being encased by a sphere. Half a sphere (cut along the line of the length of the weapon) would be a really full basket, right? And by solid, it's not comprised of those artistically protective swirls which I've seen for some swords. If you look at the first hit for 'cutlass' in the full site search here, that's the kind of 'solid' I mean (only the fictional sword is more decorative, but that's not important).

I probably should have said 'guard', right? [/sheepish]

Anders Backlund wrote:
The blade being as long as the user's leg will of course depend on how tall said user is. For someone of my height, I'd estimate it about 33", which isn't really that extreme - especially not for a narrow sword of the proposed type.

He's quite tall, so the sword as a whole looks pretty impressively sized.

What else might I tell you about it so we can name this critter?
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like a Spadroon blade with a full basket to me...
Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm, from a little Googling (turning up some posted pictures from this very forum, unsurprisingly), that does seem a good match.

I was just looking again at my source, and it does seem to have a narrow fuller, which I hadn't quite noticed before.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,822

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Time period would be another consideration. Here are a pair of later 18th century spadroons with more than simple guards. There are also a variety of earlier and diverse swords such as the "mortuary" type hilts along with schiavona single edge blades and single edge Scot/Brit baskethilts.

Cheers

GC



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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The blade as drawn's closest in shape to the first one - the period is sort of Victorian/Industrial Revolution, but we haven't been told yet where the sword itself is from.
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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah - something I was reminded of just a few minutes ago. Does the description I give have any reasonable resemblance to a Mensur academic sabre?
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Marko Susimetsa




Location: Finland
Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can check it out here:

http://fencing-future.com/cntnt/eng/fehtovani...rnoe_.html

Mensur fencing seems to be connected with schlager swords, so - yes - your description could refer to such a blade.

About the setting... Do I smell steampunk?
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could be a schläger, yes. Some of them had these huge bell-baskets on very narrow blades. They wouldn't be pointed, though - they actually had squared points.

Here's one: http://hoeglund.org/vapen/sablar/Mensur1921.htm

The idea with these swords were that the duels were not to be fatal, rather the objective was to put a wound on your opponent's face, preferably leaving a scar. (Ironically, even though its a dueling form using sharp blades, it is statistically safer then many sports, including regular fencing.) As such these swords were not "real" combat weapons.

If the sword in question was used as such, it might simply be of similar type - perhaps a military blade with a schläger-inspired basket?

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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L. Winters





Joined: 11 Dec 2010

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marko Susimetsa wrote:
About the setting... Do I smell steampunk?

I blush in your direction, sir - although the more specific subgenre in this case is 'gaslamp fantasy'.

Anders Backlund wrote:
If the sword in question was used as such, it might simply be of similar type - perhaps a military blade with a schläger-inspired basket?

Hence my question. I'd really like to narrow this down to a nice, firm, lightbulb-moment-for-sword-fanciers term if possible. [Somemodifier]schläger, for example. Basket-hilted rapier. Something. Just not 'greatsword', which is way off.

I appreciate all the good and helpful comments here.
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