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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Katzbalger Suspensions/Scabbards         Reply with quote

I and another forum member have Katzbalger scabbards on our agendas (him first, me in 2012). I thought it would be easiest and best to create a myArmoury.com thread where we can collect images and other information to inform our work and the work of others who admire these weapons. Please contribute anything (public) you have that can help us understand the details! Don't hesitate to ask questions about any of this stuff or our work. In many cases we won't know the answers but new perspectives can help us find them.

NOTE: Not every weapon shown below is a Katzbalger. They're included here because they show details of contemporary suspensions.

NOTE: Don't overlook the links to the bigger downloads. Those are among the most informative images here.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Thu 06 Jan, 2011 9:02 am; edited 3 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More:


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-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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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sean,

You should look at this (purported) edition of Vegetius from ca. 1512 in the BSB, which in fact contains only pictures :

http://dfg-viewer.de/show/?set[mets]=http%3A%...6_mets.xml

Too many images to post 'em all and I'm not too sure about the BSB being OK with it if I post too much of their images, but here's the beautiful front page image :



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Frontpage from a Vegetius edition in the BSB, 1512
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many thanks for that link, Simon! I didn't know those were online now!
-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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Eric Hejdström




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe you can find some more interesting ones here:

http://www.st-max.org/images-people.htm
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Eric! Those show the distinctive chape quite well.
-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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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi again,

Here are three pics from a title-less book on the army of the HRE, from the middle of the 16th century, that's in the library (Bibliothèque d'Étude et de Conservation) of my French hometown of Besançon... Hopefully the whole book will soon be online as they are in the process of doing this (look out for it, it's a beautiful book). But awaiting that, I asked a librarian and it's okay to post a limited number of images/details, provided the source is quoted as it always should be, so here are the three details in it showing Katzbalger suspensions.

Pics courtesy of the Bibliothèque d'Étude et de Conservation, Besançon, France.



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Katzbalger suspension on a banner-man (Lendrich), ca 1550, from a book in Besançon - courtesy of the Bibliothèque d'Étude et de Conservation, Besançon, France.

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Katzbalger suspension on a Landsknecht captain (Landsknechthauptmann), ca 1550, from a book in Besançon - courtesy of the Bibliothèque d'Étude et de Conservation, Besançon, France.

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Katzbalger suspension on a sergeant (Feldweybel), ca 1550, from a book in Besançon - courtesy of the Bibliothèque d'Étude et de Conservation, Besançon, France.
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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

PS - there are other suspensions of non-Katzbalger swords in it, tell me if you're interested Sean, if so I can add a few more pics...
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simon, the book in question is probably the Kriegsmemorial aka Kriegsbuch of Graf Reinhard zu Solms which was illustrated by Hans Döring. The State library in Munich has a wonderfull copy of this work complete with colour versions of Döring's artwork. The Staatsbibliotek has yet to digitise their version but black and white photos can be found at bildindex.de http://www.bildindex.de/dokumente/html/obj05307652#|home

Is any part of the Besançon copy online and available to the public at the moment?

Here are my contributions to the subject












http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk50/Dstaberg/ursgraf.jpg

http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk50/Dstaberg/ursgraf003.jpg

The images are too many and probably to large to post here but I am slowly collecting the images showing landsknechts and other troops from my copy of the 1775 edition of Der Weiss Kunig here http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk50/Dstaberg/Weiss%20Kunig/

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote
Quote:
and another forum member have Katzbalger scabbards on our agendas (him first, me in 2012). I thought it would be easiest and best to create a myArmoury.com thread where we can collect images and other information to inform our work and the work of others who admire these weapons.


Well as the anonymous 'other' I can only thank you all for what is a pictorial gold mine and you will be able to follow my progress with the scabbard and chape in this thread http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21900

I like the heavily lashed version of the suspension where there is a weave behind the guard, mine and I think Seans' assumption is that the normal belt passes through this weave so that it acts like a kind of 'frog'.

Tod

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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jan, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Daniel,

Haha, thanks, that's fascinating! The Besançon library didn't know the title or artist as their version has absolutely no titlepage... I forwarded your information to them!

Alas, as I said at the moment this file is not online; they have not finished building their website. It should be ready by the end of 2011... If you really want a copy, you should write to bm.repro@besancon.fr At the moment it's not free, it's 0.15€ per page (this version has 56 pages so that's 8€ and some cents). If it were me I'd just send you the file but can't, alas, it's not possible at the moment, it's not public yet... If it happens soon I'll be sure to keep everyone here posted!

I compared the images from the Bildindex to the ones of the Besançon copy, and it does seem to be the same book (but with less pages) and artist, but with some interesting differences. For instance, in the Besançon copy there's exactly the same group of soldiers as on fol. 74v, except that the footman on the right, who bears a halberd in the BSB copy, bears a two-handed sword (also slung on the shoulder) in the Besançon copy.

All the best & congrats on your impressive Landsknecht knowledge, being able to spot similarities between two books based on three small details, wow...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm intrigued by the fabric suspensions of the type shown here in color and elsewhere in these images, usually with the distinctive knot up front. My first thought was that a scarf might work but I don't think a scarf has enough length to create the required knot. It seems to me that the VERY long (9') 19th c. silk officers' sashes sold by Atlanta Cutlery could work well. There's enough material to tie a suitable knot, wind around the scabbard, etc. This solution would be unique, historically accurate and MUCH easier than experimenting with the basket-weave knot, belt, buckle, etc.

http://www.atlantacutlery.com/p-791-officers-silk-sash.aspx



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-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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Eric Hejdström




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's an excellent idea to use a silk scarf for suspension. It seems to be quite common to use fabric and not a belt and a thin scarf of appropriate length would probably do the trick. It's certainly much easier than any other suspention. I wonder how the knot around the scabbard is tied since they mostly seem to be fitted horizontally. Maybe something similar to what's used on japaneese swords?
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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No suspension, then, other than a simple "horizontal" knot across the scabbard? I do seem to notice that in all the above pics where these fabric suspensions are shown, the Landsknechts have their hand on the pommel of the sword, giving it a slant... Except in the pic you re-posted just above, Sean, which seems to show that, if left alone, the scabbard hangs vertically...

That doesn't seem a very practical arrangement for walking with a sword, no? Wouldn't it beat against the leg and get in the way?

How about tying the sword more in front, with pommel down and point up, as shown on some of these pictures? This seems more practical to me, and a good way to wear a short blade such as a Katzbalger...

A fabric suspension would be interesting, anyway. Easy to do, as said, pretty original and probably quite classy if a beautiful fabric is chosen!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With 9' of material to work with, you could tie pretty much any knot you like, including a variant of the basket weave or the single knot so common on all scabbards in the period. Note that the weapon shown in the image above is bastard sword. The scabbard is secured by a single knot. The sword in the scabbard would provide enough weight above the knot to tip the scabbard forward and keep it out of the way. It's not a long blade/scabbard anyway. In this period, empty scabbards with the single knot are typically shown hanging straight down. In fact, even some of the very long daggers and slender civilian swords of the period hang straight down even when in the scabbard.

I have an untested theory about the angle of the (Katzbalger) dangle. The basket-weave knot is so large and extends so far down the scabbard that if it is tied separately on the scabbard and the belt is simply passed through it from top to bottom (perhaps woven in and out of the knot to prevent the sword from sliding accidentally), that creates the horizontal carry associated with these swords. Also, Katzbalgers are often shown with part of the suspension winding around the scabbard from top toward the bottom, which seems like a good way to adjust both belt length and angle of suspension. This is where that 9' of silk would be quite helpful. This is pure speculation, but it would be easy enough to test.

-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: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I claim the gold sash!


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-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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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bow to your superior knowledge of knots Sean! Razz

Another point... How do you think the scabbard was held in the knot? I mean, if it's just a knot around the scabbard, then there's nothing stopping the scabbard from sliding out of the knot when you try to draw the blade. Could there be a system for preventing that? I don't see any in the pics above, so perhaps it's just a function of tightness of the knot compared to the tightness of the sword's fit in the scabbard... Or perhaps the user of such a rig was meant to use both hands to draw his sword (left hand on the scabbard to keep it in place). Eric spoke about Japanese swords: this reminds me that the traditional way of drawing a Japanese katana is with the left hand around the saya's mouth...

Still, to me it seems kinda strange to use a fabric knot to hold a scabbard, seemingly without anything (such as risers on the scabbard) to prevent said scabbard to slip up or down... Especially with such a slippery material as leather... Seems to me that in addition of the drawing problem, such a rig couldn't be trusted to hold a scabbard well in place during long marches... But I could very well be wrong, this indeed needs experimentation...

Keep us posted Sean!

PS : aha, on the scabbard you posted a pic of there are two things above and below the scarf-mark (I assume that's what it is) that, to me, look like small risers...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sword belts in this period were often worn quite loose. They sword hangs from the right hip bone, basically, with its weight providing the tension needed to keep the rig in place. The empty scabbard isn't heavy enough to drag down the belt. That loose belt might require a two-hand draw, assuming there's any tension at all keeping the sword in (and I think there must be with horizontal carriage of a short sword with massive pommel) If you pull straight out, which is possible with such a short sword, there shouldn't be a problem with a single-hand draw.

I think a tight fabric knot would be sufficient to retain the scabbard. In any case, it's very simple to create risers when making a scabbard, and those would further prevent slippage. Tension between sword and scabbard is an interesting technical challenge. There must be enough to prevent the sword from dislodging, but not so much as to impede the draw. It's one of the things I've worked hardest to achieve in my scabbard projects.

-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: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simon G. wrote:


PS : aha, on the scabbard you posted a pic of there are two things above and below the scarf-mark (I assume that's what it is) that, to me, look like small risers...


There aren't any risers on that particular scabbard. What we're seeing there are the edges of the built-in pockets for the by-knives. The gold panel is the background for a painted motto, so would not have been concealed by the suspension. That's a helpful clue to suspension, I think. By-knives present yet another technical challenge where the suspension is concerned. Tod is going to figure that out for us, though. Wink

In the case of this civilian weapon, my current guess is that it might have been suspended in the manner of some Cinqueda, with a narrow belt or thong woven through slits cut in the leather at the upper back of the scabbard. That provides secure carriage without interfering with the by knives or decoration. Many light swords of the period seem to have been suspended by a thong from a separate belt, and that might be the case here.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to play with the DHF (Das Heilige Sturm Fahnlein) in Corona CA... anyhow... many of us used the method of tying the scabard with a sash... it does need to be long and the best way to get it to stay horizontal like you see in the woodcuts is to take the short end and tie an overhand knot on the scabbard wrap it arround a few times and then tie another overhand knot with the long end which will go arround your back to tie in the front. This way it wont dangle and stay close to your body... this is very important especially when your in a pike formation with a few other thugs... you don't want your katz banging arround.

Oh, and the best woodcuts to look at are the ones by Hans Sebald Beham after he got kicked out of Nueremberg he actually went on campaign with the Landsknechts...


Last edited by Christopher Treichel on Fri 07 Jan, 2011 10:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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