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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 3:05 am    Post subject: Sources for spadroons suitable for historical fencing         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm reviving some old projects in 2011, including working with certain English backsword and smallsword works (in particular, Hope's New Method for smallsword, spadroon and backsword). I'm looking for good quality blunt (or blunt-able) spadroons with simple, strong ward irons/knuckle bows (e.g. in the stirrup style) to compliment practice with the smallsword. While I'm prepared to go custom if need be (e.g. Paul MacDonald appears to make beautiful work), I'd really like to be able to order consistently made production versions as needed.

Light, straight 18th-19th century style spadroons appear to be something of a gap in terms of historical fencing suppliers - one can find longswords and medieval 1-handers, messers, rapiers, two-handers, smallswords, foils, epees and all manner of sabres (although there is a lack of good, blunt military sabres) but no spadroons that I can see. The best I've come up with are items like the spadroons at Military Heritage but they don't look like items designed to be blunted and banged around in historical fencing practice!

Also, I'm looking for a late period bridle gauntlet - one sufficiently long so as to provide cover for the whole of the left forearm and hand - as recommended by Sir William Hope. Something like this German one from the early 17th century or this British one, also from the early 17th century might fit the bill. I'd prefer steel, but a hardened leather one might be ok for practice too.

Can anyone recommend some sources for those? Much appreciated.

Cheers

Bill

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS


Last edited by William Carew on Fri 14 Jan, 2011 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Wolfe




Location: Orlando, FL
Joined: 01 Aug 2007

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only blunt spadroon I know of is made by Darkwood Armory. http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/index.php?main_...cts_id=260 Can't say that I have handled it, but again, its the only purpose built spadroon trainer that would be readily accessible. Hope it meets your stylistic preferences as well, since I have no idea what you're talking about in that regard. Laughing Out Loud
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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
Joined: 24 May 2008

Posts: 126

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi There
you are in Aus, how about Craig Sitch?
As for the Military Heritage stuff, I'm pretty sure it is the same supplier as Cold Steel, just not sharp. If so then they may be plenty robust enough for your purposes.
Phil
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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks chaps.

The Darkwood smallsword and spadroon are just what I've been looking for.

Cheers

Bill

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,793

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi William,

The Military Heritage 5 ball hilts are plastic grips. The 5 ball stirrups and counter guards are/were inherently weak and it seems easily broken. That leaves the 1796 officer and sergeant examples by them which may be a little sturdier. The later Weapon Edge (aka multi supplier) blades are being ground full length of the blade if that is a plus or not to consider (Stromlo Swords). There had been a simple stirrup or P type spadroon out there in the past but iirc, also a plastic grip on those

While many might label it blasphemy, there are a large numbers of both American 1840 pattern nco and musician swords out there and to be honest as a collector of spadroons, they are quite spadroony. There are the reproductions of the nco out there as well. I was recently impressed in handling the Hanwei Cromwell and even as a small basket for me, could see some potential for fencers of spadroons/backswords. The morturaies in general are not far off base of latter spadroons (imo).

Singlesticks would be the more disposable but I don't know a good source for modern made examples of these but were very much the real practice and even social fencing tools of the day back then. Gymnasium swords, as it were. Bob Brooks (Hotspur fencing) and Paul Wagner would be two to chat up and often on the SFI HES board. Paul had used some of the Hanwei practical morts with some modifications (also possibly breakage?).

The higher spread reproductions of the American 1840 may or may note fit the bill but should be pretty sturdy and the blades soft enough to easily dress out. They are a bit skinny in the profile though. While it has been awhile, I have attacked standing and hanging shipping cartons with quite a few of my old spadroons but admit I would not be too enthusiastic in playing with the bone and horn grips (or the newly made plastic ones) but the brass hilts seem pretty much indestructable. My musician sword without a counterguard is quite a handy dandy sword but a bit shorter on those. Shorter more so with a couple of others I stable. The 1788 hump grips with backstraps are quite comfy and lend to a nice sturdy feel.

http://files.myopera.com/3sails/albums/845886/spdrn10.jpg

Cheers

GC
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William Carew




Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Glen

Thanks for the excellent info and the warning about the MH 5 ball hilts (they looked a bit cheap in the images). I'm friends with Paul Wagner and I'm pretty sure he has recommended Darkwood blades to me in the past, so I've ordered a DW spadroon to see how it performs. BTW, that's a fantastic collection of spadroons, I'm very envious! Wink

For Jon, a great example of what I meant by 'stirrup hilt styllistic preferences' can be seen on the first 3 swords on the left in Glen's picture. The DW spadroon hilt is a little different (in an earlier smallsword style with finger rings) but very nice nonetheless.

Cheers

Bill

Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
COLLEGIUM IN ARMIS
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,793

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1788 hilt pattern porn








Anyone putting together a custom for bouting might the benefit of the back straps. More work (cost) for the cutler but a more durable arrangement than any of the other floating pommel builds (aside from the cast grip ones). A capstan nut assembly with the back strap and stirrup routine will make for being able to fight often while able to snug them over time.

Cheers

GC
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have built (pseudo) spadroons from the John Barnett Short Sword hilt and the 1840 NCO sword hilt (am working on one of these now - removing the overly heavy cast grip and replacing it with a wooden one). Both are sturdy, relatively inexpensive hilts (the Barnett is plated brass, but takes a lot of punishment). The problem is sourcing good blades,

http://www.southernswords.co.uk/english-short-sword-591-p.asp

Julian

Oh, and for singlesticks, both Paul Macdonald at Macdonald Armoury, and Tod at Tod's Stuff do excellent singlestick repros.
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