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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject: 13th century buckler design         Reply with quote

Hi all. My WMA group will soon be starting an MS I.33 course. My new swords will be arriving tomorrow, so now I'm looking into bucklers. There's one thing that really stood out to me when I pages through a facsimile of I.33; When you see a buckler from the side it's pointy, almost cone-shaped. See the attached image. Also, they appear to be larger when drawn from the side. Virtually all bucklers I see for sale are rounded, resembling a shield boss with a wide brim.

Were 13th century bucklers really that pointy? Are there any pictures of such extant bucklers? I see that Manning Imperial makes one like this but at $450 it's just way too expensive for me. I'm considering getting one custom made if it's not too expensive (Allan perhaps?)

Any ideas, tips and pictures you have will be greatly appreciated!



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I33.jpg


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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some historic bucklers can be found here:

http://forum.arsgladii.at/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1654

I am very content with this buckler:

http://www.trainingsschwerter.de/shop/catalog...ucts_id=44

I have seen many bucklers with spikes and pointed ends - but they are in no way suited for modern training/sparring in I.33 sword & buckler techniques. If you don't mind getting your hands and belly poked, they will nevertheless serve well Wink

Regards,
Thomas

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a few preserved 13th c. bucklers from Norway, which are flat, with iron fittings on the front.
Evidently, both types where used.
I would guess that the concave type is a "high performance" version, as it would be less convenient to carry around.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas R. wrote:
Some historic bucklers can be found here:

http://forum.arsgladii.at/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1654


There are some really nice bucklers there. I especially like the 14th century one from Londen on page 1.

Quote:
I am very content with this buckler:

http://www.trainingsschwerter.de/shop/catalog...ucts_id=44


That one looks nice as well. Different from what you usually see.

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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Feb, 2011 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First off, while I know some bucklers historically were pointy, I don't think that thats what I.33 intends to depict by those images. In fact, I don't think it intends to show the buckler side on, crazy as that sounds. They are showing that the buckler is in and important special position.

There are two reasons for this. One is that the position I use for hat image is the only thing I've found that makes the fiddlebow disarm work as illustrated. The position also has tremendous application for other things, but fiddlebow is where it is crucial, and where I figured it out.

The other thing is, while the buckler is frequently used to pin the opponent's weapons, The manuscript never shows the buckler being used to strike with the face of it. So even if there is a spike, they never use it. The system does call for actions that require you to slip the buckler under your sword arm. A spike would be counterproductive for that.

I recommend the following bucklers:
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=57
http://www.alcheminc.com/bucklers.html

They are the correct size (I really prefer 11" for I.33 over any other option), and well made and both are good value at their price points. Both are American-made, which may increase your cost for shipping.

This guy is local to me and makes a decent cheap buckler:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/Buckler-Shield-Medieval-Ar...dZViewItem

Personally, I don't think they are as good value at the 'buy it now price,' but at the starting price, for sure they are.

I'm going to start filming and posting my interpretation of I.33 this weekend. The videos will not be particularly well edited initially, but they will be up on youtube. I'll mention it here when I do.

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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could try Talerwin Forge .
That's where Stephen got his from.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions all.

Quote:
. In fact, I don't think it intends to show the buckler side on, crazy as that sounds. They are showing that the buckler is in and important special position


What special position do you mean? Perhaps you could post a photo of you holding a buckler that way?

At the moment I am contemplating commissioning a custom buckler based on this buckler at the Museum of London. It depends a bit on how expensive it will become. It's a buckler with an iron dome with saw-teeth edge and separate a steel rim, riveted to a wooden back. Image courtesy of the Museum of London. Note that only half the buckler has been conserved in this picture. The other half was left corroded.



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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions all.

Quote:
. In fact, I don't think it intends to show the buckler side on, crazy as that sounds. They are showing that the buckler is in and important special position


What special position do you mean? Perhaps you could post a photo of you holding a buckler that way?

At the moment I am contemplating commissioning a custom buckler based on this buckler at the Museum of London. It depends a bit on how expensive it will become. It's a buckler with an iron dome with saw-teeth edge and separate a steel rim, riveted to a wooden back. Image courtesy of the Museum of London. Note that only half the buckler has been conserved in this picture. The other half was left corroded.


I am making one of those within the next two weeks. Its certainly interesting. And not cheap. : Big Grin
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Poor picture bud here is a side view of the buckler above showing that its made of 3 layers of materials.



Cheers,

J
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nils Andersen has a replica of one of the Norwegian bucklers.
The vikverir resource site also has pictures of the largest of the surviving specimens; http://www.vikverir.no/ressurser/hist_mus_osl...amp;page=3

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions all.

Quote:
. In fact, I don't think it intends to show the buckler side on, crazy as that sounds. They are showing that the buckler is in and important special position


What special position do you mean? Perhaps you could post a photo of you holding a buckler that way?


Hold the buckler forward and slightly to the left, with the hand turned thumb down so that the buckler faces right and slightly forward. If both combatants hold their bucklers this way, the bosses should be pointing more or less at each other diagonally across the space between.

The picture here is me teaching at Longpoint, demonstrating 6th ward.

The primary advantage of this position is that you don't block your own vision. If you hold the buckler square on, typically you block your line of sight so that you can only see your opponent's head and feet. This way you can see everything, and by simply rotating your hand while maintaining a firm grip, you can bring the buckler into line. Meaning you can change the angle of your buckler without sliding the handle around in your grip.

Talhoffer offers an alternate solution, which is to hold the buckler high and online.

The standard depictions in I.33 showing the buckler's front or back typically means that the bucklers are square on, either because the arm is not extended, or because the combatants are in a shield bind of some sort, or something similar. Whether the front or back is depicted is indicative of either the relative position of the sword, or the opponent's sword, or both.

I hope that helps, although I'm starting to stray pretty far from the topic of the design of the buckler itself!



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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
I hope that helps, although I'm starting to stray pretty far from the topic of the design of the buckler itself!


I'd actually love to see a more thorough description of your interpretation, which seems very original. At least I've never seen anyone advocating that kind of position with a buckler before. I'm willing to bet you don't advocate it just for the sake of complexity or originality though Happy Perhaps start a new thread?

Personally I don't believe in this position at all (as of now) for the following reasons:
  • I don't think any artist (medieval or otherwise) would depict a fighter whose buckler's flat is facing the viewer with a side view. OK, they didn't have perspective nailed down at the time, but to this level. You might argue that this is some form of encoding, but I'd follow Occam's razor and say that it means indeed that the buckler is held just as it looks when the position makes physical sense
  • I can't clearly see why the third guard, for example, would be depicted in I.33 with the profile view or the front view for the buckler, if the side view is in fact some sort of encoding for the very special position you advocate. I haven't checked all the plates, perhaps this happens to other positions as well
  • The buckler has been used a lot and has been depicted a lot in later treatises, when perspective was perfectly understood. All the treatises I know show bucklers held face forward, flat towards the opponent (not in all positions of course, but in some at least): I've just checked Marozzo, Lovino, Di Grassi...
  • Even the text of di Grassi is explicit:
    Quote:
    If a man would, that the Buckler work the said effect, to wit: that it may be able with his smallness to cover the whole body, he must hold and bear it in his fist, as far off from the body as the arm may possibly stretch forth, moving always the arm and buckler together, as one entire and solid thing, having no bending, or as if the arm were united to the buckler, turning continually all the flat thereof towards the enemy.

    Does the position obscure the vision? Yes, of course, but they seemed to think that the advantage was worth it.
  • On the practical side, I figure it exposes the hand a bit too much, and gains only a clearer vision. Plus the position won't really make sense with a larger shield, it would be a specialized skill for the small buckler.

I hope you don't find me impolite for raising these matters, I guess a lot of people will give or already have given you the same questions, and I'd like to know what your answers are. As I said I'm all for thought-provoking interpretations Happy

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've responded to your excellent comments here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=216080#216080
Ottawa Swordplay
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Foong Chen Hong




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Apr, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, I still haven't find a single 13 century buckler beside the one in the I:33 manual.

They are rare aren't it?

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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Apr, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not rare in depictions.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?year=...anuscript=

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 30 Apr, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something interesting I have noticed is that a fair number of 13th century bucklers seem to have a floral pattern on their face.
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