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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Bastard sword, type XVII, Complex Hilt?         Reply with quote

Hope I am posting in the right spot. I'm considering starting a custom project in a few months, but trying to do some research first.

I'm a sucker for complex hilts, especially on bastard sword length and above. I also really like the type XVII blade on one of my Albions. One of my dream swords would be a combination of the two, but I've yet to see pictorial evidence of actual swords like this in period. I'm starting to wonder how often they were built like this?

I've glanced through the sword galleries here, but many of the photos on the complex hilts focus on just that-the hilt (Dont get me wrong I am not knocking the galleries, which I have found indispensable in past searches). Also, my eyes are not what they used to be, and differentiating between say, a type XV and XVII by photo alone is something I find challenging.

Despite being a lurker and occasional poster here for a few years, I count myself fairly low in the sword knowledge department. I was hoping some of you might have examples, or suggestions pointing me in a productive direction in looking for photos?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Michael
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Off the top of my head: Type XVII's aren't typically mated to a compound hilt. it's a bit of a clash of styles, IMO. A Type XIX would be a common choice and perhaps be attractive to you given the hexagonal cross-section.
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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forgive any ignorance in this question, as I'm really trying to learn, but I am wondering whether you mean an aesthetic clash of styles, or a functional one?

I've read complex hilts formed in part because of a more thrusting style of fighting, and type XVII seems pretty point focused. This is why I'm surprised not to see any.

Michael
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A clash of styles in terms of what was to commonly be found historically.
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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see. Thank you Nathan. This makes my search problem more clear.

Perhaps a better question for me to have started the thread with would have been: What blade types were commonly paired with complex hilts for 1.5-2 hand use?

regards,

Michael
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How 'complex' are we talking?

One of my favorite historical swords is this German piece at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which has a XVII blade much like the one on the Albion Sempac and Landgraf, but a rather elaborate guard like the upcoming "Hauptmann," including two side rings that are not easily visible in these shots.


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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 3:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Zach. That was the sort of thing I was hoping to see.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Luna wrote:
How 'complex' are we talking?

One of my favorite historical swords is this German piece at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which has a XVII blade much like the one on the Albion Sempac and Landgraf, but a rather elaborate guard like the upcoming "Hauptmann," including two side rings that are not easily visible in these shots.




Zach,
Do you have any closeups of the blade? It's difficult to tell if the blade has the right cross-section to be a Type XVII without seeing it in more detail.

Happy

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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:

Zach,
Do you have any closeups of the blade? It's difficult to tell if the blade has the right cross-section to be a Type XVII without seeing it in more detail.


Hi Chad,
I don't have any closeups of the blade, as I never had a camera with me while I was there, but somebody here must have shots of it. It's a very prominently displayed sword in one of the most famous museums in the world. Eek!

I CAN tell you that the blade is hexagonal after the fuller, though it may look from the photo as if it has a central ridge. I spent quite a while sketching it while I was at the museum, and that is a feature I remember well. The hexagonal cross section, combined with the lack of ricasso, short fuller, hand-and-a-half dimensions, and sharp profile taper led me to think of it as a type XVII--though I admit I am far from an expert on typology.


The V&A website lists the piece as ca. 1510, which seems a bit late for the heyday of the XVII, but darn if it doesn't seem to fit the bill. The blade reminded me so much of the Albion Sempach and Landgraf that I wondered at the time if it might have been one of Peter's inspirations.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O97450/hand-and-a/

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Zach Luna wrote:
Hi Chad,
I don't have any closeups of the blade, as I never had a camera with me while I was there, but somebody here must have shots of it. It's a very prominently displayed sword in one of the most famous museums in the world. Eek!

I CAN tell you that the blade is hexagonal after the fuller, though it may look from the photo as if it has a central ridge. I spent quite a while sketching it while I was at the museum, and that is a feature I remember well. The hexagonal cross section, combined with the lack of ricasso, short fuller, hand-and-a-half dimensions, and sharp profile taper led me to think of it as a type XVII--though I admit I am far from an expert on typology.


The V&A website lists the piece as ca. 1510, which seems a bit late for the heyday of the XVII, but darn if it doesn't seem to fit the bill. The blade reminded me so much of the Albion Sempach and Landgraf that I wondered at the time if it might have been one of Peter's inspirations.
http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O97450/hand-and-a/

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck.... *shrug* Worried


Well, you could make a case it's not a Type XVII simply because Oakeshott never meant to cover Renaissance swords with his typology. Happy Though that is well after the Type XVII's heyday, hexagonal sections and/or pointy blades do appear on later swords, though I don't recall seeing such a clearly-related late cousin to the Type XVII before.

Happy

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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott's typology is progressively chronological, with generous overlap in usage, so yeah, once we hit the time period in which complex hilts are well-developed, we've also hit the type XXI and XXII blades (and there is no type XXIII, alas...).
So one could say that's not a type XVII based on it's approximate birthdate, but Oakeshott certainly recognizes a resurrection of the XIIIA in the late 15th C. after a period of disuse.
I remember this sword fairly well from a few years back, and I'd say that if one mounted that blade with a #8 cross and an H1 pommel there would be no doubt as to it's typology. I almost wonder if it isn't a remounting of an older blade in newer hilt furniture. Or maybe a particular customer simply requested a more thrust-oriented variation on the hexagonal-sectioned cutter that was more common in that day.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure but I think that the sword here http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/13777.html might also be considered a type XVII.

Edit: Link was broken, now fixed.

Éirinn go Brách
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
I'm not sure but I think that the sword here http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/13777.html might also be considered a type XVII.


That's a Type XIX... which I might point out to Michael R. Black is a fantastic choice for a compound-hilted longsword. In fact, it's one of my favorite combinations.

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 29 Mar, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Stephen Curtin wrote:
I'm not sure but I think that the sword here http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/photo/13777.html might also be considered a type XVII.


That's a Type XIX... which I might point out to Michael R. Black is a fantastic choice for a compound-hilted longsword. In fact, it's one of my favorite combinations.


Thanks for the correction Nathan. The picture does not show the full length of the blade, and with the hex cross section I though it could possibly be an XVII, also I did not notice the ricasso area.

As an aside, when wielding this type of sword with both hands, I would imagine that the back hand would have to grip the pommel, as there seems to be room for only one hand on the grip. Would I be right in saying this? Sorry if I'm getting a little off topic.

Éirinn go Brách
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