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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: What type of sword is this?         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

It seems to me that there are a lot of experts in this forum. I recently purchased this sword and was wondering if any of you could tell me what type of sword this is in terms of Oakeshott's typology. I will provide a link from Kult of Athena as they provide more pictures than the hanwei website.

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=SH2250N

Hanwie labels this as a bastard sword but I believe this to be a misnomer. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I judge this to be a longsword. I just recently began to study Oakeshott's typology. If I were to venture a guess I would say that it is either a XIIa or a XIIIa.

I look forward to your knowledgable replies =)



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Eric Gregersen
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A. Gallo





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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term "longsword" is very general and carried various meanings from the dawn of the iron age up to the appearance of true two-handers. In the most common definition, a bastard sword is a long sword.

A lot of bastard swords wouldn't be wielded one-handed with a shield by anyone sane or normal-sized, but still default into the hand-and-a-half category nonetheless. This one does lean more in the direction of a proper two-hander.

I'll take a crack at classifying it until an actual expert corrects me:

Firstly, there's a good chance it would have been considered 'unclassified' as it does have certain "improvised" (made up by Hanwei) design cues about it, but it's not entirely impossible for... c.1350-1420?

Roughly type XIX blade, just because it's very generic except for the ricasso. However those usually had a fuller extending all the way through the ricasso and not as far down the blade, and on a sword of this magnitude the ricasso would have probably been long enough to grasp. Thus it looks more like a poor supersized rendition of a one-handed XIX (in both blade and hilt) than a reproduction of the real XIX's with 38+ inch blades. The tip could be seen on anything with a tapered diamond (many types); it would need to relate to some consistency elsewhere on the sword to say anything about it. It's kind of just 'there'.

Pommel is type J.

Cross is a decorated, curved type I. I was leaning toward type 7, but it looks just like the one on XIV.6 in Records, which is a (paraphrased) "Sophisticated form of I".

Edit; It's strange how it's lot more easy to date than classify. While the individual features don't match one another, they all coexisted (on dramatically differing swords of dramatically differing lengths) at the same time.


Last edited by A. Gallo on Sun 20 Feb, 2011 6:52 am; edited 12 times in total
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 3:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn't say it's a XIX because of a relatively long fuller, no short fullers on the ricasso and no hexagonal cross section. It is more of a XIIa with a ricasso. It would best fit into 14th century, but it is certainly not historically accurate. If I had that sword I would cut out a tang out of ricasso and slightly shorten the end of the current tang. And maybe grind of some material from the tip section from the fuller end to the tip.

(Or I would just buy a Hanwei/Tinker GSoW. Wink )
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 5:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a sword that doesn't fit the typology neatly because it has features (or combinations thereof) not usually found on historical sword.

The ricasso (rectangular cross-sectioned bit right below the guard) is most often found on Type XIX and not the rest of the types. But, as has been mentioned, the rest of the blade is all wrong for XIX. The combination of fuller and diamond section tip could put it into the XVI family, but the ricasso is wrong for XVI and the blade doesn't taper enough in profile. Some XVIII's had fullers, but not generally this long.

So you could say it's a:

-Lightly tapering XVIa with a ricasso, though XVIa's are more likely to be hexagonal in section than diamond.
-Lightly tapering XVIIIa with a ricasso and long fuller.

or something else. Happy

Happy

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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, the proportions, the blade profile and the long, narrow fuller would indicate a large XIIa. The pommel is also of a form, uh, typical for the type. The crossguard looks almost exactly like that on a famous Type XIV from the late 13th Century - the first example in the featured article about that type - which would be around the right time period for the XIIa, too. In period, this would be called a warsword, or a "great sword of war" (spelling optional), because they were designed for heavy combat rather than casual carry.

On the other hand, the flattened diamond cross-section of the point and the quadrangular, un-fullered ricasso are both quite atypical of the lenticular XIIa, but they look more like modern design concessions rather than anything historically inspired - I'd say they went for a XIIa and simply didn't quite get all the details right.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
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A. Gallo





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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heinz type 57, then?
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A. Gallo wrote:
Heinz type 57, then?

Well, I wouldn't want it on my fries, but sure...

An important point, though: just like Heinz, of which there were actually always rather more than 57 types, sword typology is neither prescriptive nor an exact science. Unlike Heinz, however, it is descriptive - and nothing more. Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow. Super fast /informative replies guys. Thanks a lot.

So now I'm questioning the cross section. I had thought it to be lenticular but also noticed that the portion of the blade from the fuller to the tip has a slightly... um, is "stiffer" the word? Slightly raised? section to it. The only other thing that I have to compare it to is the Christian Fletcher/Angus Trim signature line Castile sword which is advertised on their site at a type XII.

Also, I understand that it is not an accurate reproduction in every sense of the word... ;-) I bought it just before finding out much information there really is out there on sword typology. I mostly bought it because it is peened and seemed a close approximation (for the money) of the german longswords I am seeing in some books I recently bought. Well, they usually have more cruciform hilts but there it is...

For my next purchases I am interested in a type XVIIIa or a XV. Albion has some very nice XV swords but since a purchase like that would cause some serious marital strife I am considering one of the cheaper Hanwei tinker swords. I see that the Hanwei tinker calls itself a type XVIIIa and am thinking about buying the sword blank and making my own furniture for it (mainly so I don't have to have a round pommel and a nicer leather handle). Any info on how accurate a job they do of replicating the XVIIIa?
[/quote]

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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:
Wow. Super fast /informative replies guys. Thanks a lot.

So now I'm questioning the cross section. I had thought it to be lenticular but also noticed that the portion of the blade from the fuller to the tip has a slightly... um, is "stiffer" the word? Slightly raised? section to it. The only other thing that I have to compare it to is the Christian Fletcher/Angus Trim signature line Castile sword which is advertised on their site at a type XII.

The usual term for a cross-section with a prominent central ridge and four straight bevels is diamond, or flattened diamond. There's a helpful chart for reference under the "Cross-Section" heading in the "Understanding Blade Properties" article. Happy

While you're at it, read through the rest of our featured articles, too! There's far more solid, pertinent information there than anyone could be bothered to type out in this thread. Big Grin

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko,

Thanks for the article. It looks very interesting. I have been perusing the articles available on the site (mostly the ones on Oakeshott typology: a man and his legacy and their corresponding sub-articles) but have managed to miss that one somehow.

Time to obsess some more... ;-)

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A bastard should be able to be used by one or both hands, though most lean towards two hands. No way does this sword qualify for that.

It puts me in mind of the late 15th century great swords, a resurgence of type XIIIa's. This Hanwei sword isn't a pure XIIIa, but I think it resembles that type more than anything else.

It also reminds me of Del Tin's 15th century hand-and-a-half replica, DT5156 - http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=DT5156



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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
It also reminds me of Del Tin's 15th century hand-and-a-half replica, DT5156 - http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=DT5156


Hey, I like the blade on this one. Double fuller with ricasso... Another one that wouldn't fit easily into Oakeshott's typology. Would anyone have period examples of that kind of blade?

As to the Hanwei Bastard Sword, I'd too go for "roughly type XIX". In Records, swords XIX.9 & 10 offer examples of XIXs with diamond cross-sections (apparently). But as has been stated, the fuller on these goes through the ricasso, which is also far longer. However, the other options proposed here also seem quite valid... In the end the best thing to do is try and find a similar original, if possible.

Hopefully modifying this one towards more historical accuracy wouldn't be too difficult, especially by modifying the ricasso. Hanwei aren't the only ones to get this part wrong. I have ordered some swords (should arrive soon) that have the same small problem. But I think it can be solved relatively easily (ie by grinding the ricasso so the fuller extends through it, which will already make this sword a more acceptable type XIX, even though the fuller remains too long for the type).
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Simon G."]
Quote:

Hopefully modifying this one towards more historical accuracy wouldn't be too difficult, especially by modifying the ricasso. Hanwei aren't the only ones to get this part wrong..


How would you modify the ricasso? When I first got this sword I thought about grinding a few inches off the top of the blade to extend it into something useful (after all, the thing is less than two inches long... so worthless) but I soon realized that the blade is very thick at the ricasso and gets instantly thinner thereafter. I think it would look funny if i modified it in that way.

What do you think?

Eric Gregersen
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Simon G.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:


How would you modify the ricasso? When I first got this sword I thought about grinding a few inches off the top of the blade to extend it into something useful (after all, the thing is less than two inches long... so worthless) but I soon realized that the blade is very thick at the ricasso and gets instantly thinner thereafter. I think it would look funny if i modified it in that way.

What do you think?


It's difficult to answer as I have never handled a Hanwei Bastard Sword... And I have not yet recieved the blades I want to modify myself, nor did I ever attempt to do what I described. So I'll just point out to threads about similar projects (i.e. fuller modification):

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3028 where the exact thing we're speaking about is done (alas, few details on the process)
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=6836
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=6924
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=22279 the thread I myself started for advice about this

When you speak about grinding off the top of the blade, do you mean making more tang out of it, or more blade (with edges)? The first possibility is probably quite easy to do, the second one probably less and it would have more chances of "looking funny". As to keeping the ricasso but extending the fuller through it, I don't know. From this thread, it does appear possible and can produce good results, but will it succeed on another model from another maker, and would you or I be able to pull it off? I suppose it's a risk to take. Wink
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Ron Reimer




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the problem is dating a ricasso on XII swords Oakeshott has an example in "Records of the Medieval Sword" page 75, dating it between 1050 and 1200.I use the blunt version to fight with and often use it in tandem with a shield.I don't find it unwieldy, quite the contrary I find it suprisingly fast and agile(within obvious limits).
Ron
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Kevin Rolly




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:

How would you modify the ricasso? When I first got this sword I thought about grinding a few inches off the top of the blade to extend it into something useful (after all, the thing is less than two inches long... so worthless) but I soon realized that the blade is very thick at the ricasso and gets instantly thinner thereafter. I think it would look funny if i modified it in that way.

What do you think?


I wouldn't touch it.....

I own this sword and I think it's a beauty. The ricasso is part of this sword's aesthetic and (in my somewhat amateur) opinion is what gives it it's strength and balance. If you use it you'll notice it has a fantastic "chirp" as it cuts through the air and to try an modify the blade I think would only ruin it's beauty and character. It's also incredibly light - 2lbs 9oz with a balance point of 5.5 inches which makes it effortless to use one handed.

I am new to serious sword collecting and before I get a custom one made I wanted a relatively affordable, well made bastard sword. This is the one I decided upon. I can see making aesthetic changes, but to augment the structure of the blade I think would be a regrettable mistake.


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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin,

I'm glad to see that you own the same sword I do. I agree with you on what a pleasure it is to handle. For the price I didn't expect much from it, but I have been pleasantly surprised. My only complaint is that the "antique" job they did on it is not even. It is thicker in some places than others, and to be honest I just might take some time (and a lot of elbow grease) and remove it one of these days.

I was looking at some of those poses the Mikko was kind enough to provide (thank you, Mikko!) and I just don't think I'm up to it. If I do make any modifications it will be to make a more attractive handle. The one it has is fine but I have found some information on making what looks like a really nice one on yeoldgaffers.com that looks much like what I have on my Christian Fletcher signature Castile sword.

Also, Kevin, do you find the placement of the riser a little awkward? I feel like it would better suite my hand if I adjusted it a little more towards the pommel.

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Kevin Rolly




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:
Kevin,

I'm glad to see that you own the same sword I do. I agree with you on what a pleasure it is to handle. For the price I didn't expect much from it, but I have been pleasantly surprised. My only complaint is that the "antique" job they did on it is not even. It is thicker in some places than others, and to be honest I just might take some time (and a lot of elbow grease) and remove it one of these days.

I was looking at some of those poses the Mikko was kind enough to provide (thank you, Mikko!) and I just don't think I'm up to it. If I do make any modifications it will be to make a more attractive handle. The one it has is fine but I have found some information on making what looks like a really nice one on yeoldgaffers.com that looks much like what I have on my Christian Fletcher signature Castile sword.

Also, Kevin, do you find the placement of the riser a little awkward? I feel like it would better suite my hand if I adjusted it a little more towards the pommel.


I actually like the placement, but I haven't seriously used it in a cutting capacity, so that might change. And yes...the one thing I might redo is the grip. That could definitely be sexier. The antiquing I like. Though I am going to eventually sharpen this.

Yes, for the money this is quite a piece of work....and I was nicely surprised to find it appearing in the forum.

-Kevissimo
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Feb, 2011 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find the ricasso to be extremely unattractive.
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