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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: E. B. Erickson Mortuary Sword         Reply with quote

Most of the mortuary swords that we see look kind of shabby and ill designed with a lot of badly executed foliage and faces on the hilt. However, one can find varied and beautifully made examples, especially in Mazansky’s, British Basket-Hilted Swords, where an entire chapter is dedicated to this type.

When I commissioned E. B. Erickson to make a hilt for me, I eventually decided to go with a Mortuary. At first I wanted a close copy of the Tojhusmuseum version, but then decided to do a synthesis of parts found on different swords. The Mazansky book was very helpful as were a pile of photos that Bill Goodwin was kind enough to make available.to me. Nathan Robinson also reviewed and evaluated different hilts with me.

I came across a Green Man face that I much preferred ove the typical goofy cavaliers. I asked ElJay to make some sketches of a hilt featuring a leafy Green Man, and as an afterthought, to do an oceanic Neptune version as well. ElJay came up with 2 great designs. After going back and forth with them, I asked ElJay to do the Neptune/Shell variation.



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ElJay Green Man

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ElJay Neptune
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ElJay recently sent me a few pictures of the unfinished hilt.


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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't yet decided which blade to put on this hilt - one of the three shown below.


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Blade 2

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Blade 3
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmmm... Surf&Turf!!!!! Wink

I like that a lot and look forward to the finished project. I'm seeing more than just those two influences though (foliage & the sea) and I think both the patron and maker deserve a five thumbs up on this one.
Cheers

GC
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David Wilson




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PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

NICE! ElJay is, of course, the right guy for the job. Whatever blade you choose, it will be quite nice.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 14 May, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I vote for the top blade...hollow ground blades are sexy Happy .
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Perry L. Goss




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 6:29 am    Post subject: pick the blade...         Reply with quote

Roger:

I like the top one. An older blade antiqued - updated to a "modern" hilt system. Too bad you couldn't have it engraved!

Scottish: Ballentine, Black, Cameron, Chisholm, Cunningham, Crawford, Grant, Jaffray, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, MacKay-Reay/Strathnaver, Munro, Robertson, Sinclair, Wallace

Irish/Welsh: Bodkin, Mendenhall, Hackworth

Swiss: Goss von Rothenfluh, Naff von Zurich und Solland von Appenzel
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

super nice Eljay & Roger! The first one gets my vote.
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Julian Reynolds




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is that an asymmetrical guard (ie. no guard bars on the inside/left side)? Unusual for a mortuary hilt.

Julian
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 15 May, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Is that an asymmetrical guard (ie. no guard bars on the inside/left side)? Unusual for a mortuary hilt.

Julian


Yes, there will be two side-knuckle-guards, ElJay hadn't yet made the other one at the time he snapped that photo. However, it's not that unusual for a Mort to have only one, particularly the hilts with thumb rings.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 16 May, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some forumites might be thinking that this hilt is outside the parameters of Mortuary swords, and is more fantasy than historical. While there is a lot of variation in this type (as one can see by reading British Basket-Hilts), there has never been a Mort like this one. Still, I don't think it would have elicited comment back in 1650. This hilt does incorporate elements of original pieces.

For instance -

One of my favorite Morts, CM16.696, from the Cleveland Museum (on Mazansky, page 253) shows a Green Man on the side-knucklebar. Another view shows a very cool face on the prow of the boat shaped hilt. Note the thumb ring.

As for faces on the prow and the stern, look at the next two photos.

Concerning the shell shapes, it's true that they usually appear on proto-morts, but not always, as shown on one of the originals that ElJay owns.



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CM16.696, Mazansky, page 253

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CM16.696, Mazansky, page 253

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Proto Mort shell

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Another shell variation

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ElJay's original Mort
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Tue 17 May, 2011 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

good variations examples Roger. The mortuary hilt has seemed to be the "red-headed step-child" of the basket hilt world for a long time, (you know me and morts) glad to see it getting some exposure again.

cheers,

Bill

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Jul, 2011 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some photos of the nearly finished hilt. It will soon be on its way to A&A for a hilt and a scabbard.


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Jul, 2011 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want it.
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Michael B.
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PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love the detail of the almost flower like design blending the handle into the pommel. Wonderful piece, can't wait to see it finished.
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Lewis Ballard




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2011 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger:

It goes without saying that this is a lovely, lovely piece. My congratulations to you, for conceiving of it, and to Eljay, for turning your vision into beautiful steel reality. Have you decided which of the blades you'll be going with, or are you still contemplating and calculating?
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2011 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lewis Ballard wrote:
Roger:

It goes without saying that this is a lovely, lovely piece. My congratulations to you, for conceiving of it, and to Eljay, for turning your vision into beautiful steel reality. Have you decided which of the blades you'll be going with, or are you still contemplating and calculating?


A&A are going to recreate the one I called Blade 3 earlier in this thread, the backsword
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I received the ElJay hilt mounted on an Arms and Armor blade today. It is a beautiful sword, though rather heavy, definitely a cavalry backsword.

Overall length - 41 inches
Blade length - 35 inches
Blade width - 1.625 inches
COG - 4 inches
Overall weight - 3.3 lbs
Blade weight - 1.3 lbs.

I think ElJay did some work at the end to make the hilt features more 3 dimensional.

Here are some final photos, taken by A&A.



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lucky man. I'm very envious. Cheers!
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Ben Bouchard




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Nov, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Holy crap! What a gorgeous piece! Congratulations on adding it to the collection!
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