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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: Hanwei German Main Gauche museum original         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

Just picked up this one at kult of Athena during my trip to chicago (among other things...).





I have to say it is an extremely well made and attractive for the price. It is also sure to impress (probably way more than more deserving items in your collection) because of it's trident button feature (clic...clic....clic...I don't get tired of it either Happy )

I bought this one also because it was very true to the original...the thing is, I can't remember where I saw the damn thing.

If you know where the original is kept and if you have pictures of it don't hesitate to let me know.

Cheers,

J
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks really interesting: How robust is the mechanism ? Do you think that this example or even the period original was sturdy enough to be used vigourously or was it a clever idea in " theory " but too fragile to survive heavy fighting and a hard parry ?

Even if it broke down if it saved your life in it's one and only use, once, I guess that would be enough for it to be worth while and the " surprise factor " also comes into play trapping an opponent's rapier long enough for one's rapier to dispatch him. ( Rapier the most likely weapon it would face along with maybe some other of the cut and trust military swords of the period )

Obviously one wouldn't expect to successfully parry a twohanded sword or even a longsword with a hard stop ! Even less a heavy polearm ! ( But then one wouldn't expect even a more conventional left hand dagger to stop the heavier weapons easily ! At best maybe deflect a not to extreme one. Wink Question ).

I envy your being able to visit Kult of Athena, did you get to meet and talk with Ryan ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm fairly certain photos of the original are published in the German book Kombinationswaffen. I am not at home right now, but will check when I get a chance (or perhaps someone else who owns the book will).
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
That looks really interesting: How robust is the mechanism ? Do you think that this example or even the period original was sturdy enough to be used vigourously or was it a clever idea in " theory " but too fragile to survive heavy fighting and a hard parry ?

I envy your being able to visit Kult of Athena, did you get to meet and talk with Ryan ?


Hi Jean,

It is very sturdy indeed, I don't have my calipers at hand but the blade is very very thick, especially at the ricasso (see below). When unfolded, both arms of the trident rest on the curved quillons tips, so there are not about to break even in the event of a deep trust as they can't go backwards. The central blade is also very sturdy in itself (hanwei as another main gauche of similar design, and the main blade is hollow at the base, which would considerably weaken the all thing). The assembly is very tight and nothing moves even sideways (when pressure is applied sideways on the arms of the trident). The mechanism is no gadget and is 100% reliable, the pressure needed to unfold the side blades is just about right, effortless but not as sensitive to go off by mistake.



Yes visiting KOA was great! I did meet Ryan and the rest of the crew there. Very nice and helpfull people really.
The showroom is 1 hour by train from Chicago union station (6$). You'll need a cab to reach the store from there too. As CHicago's O'Hare airport is located between Elgin and the city center, it is ideal to plan your visit right before taking off, as the taxi ride from KOA will end up costing the same and take the same time from there or from the city.

I enjoyed this visit very much (stayed more that two hours and had the team carry out a lot of products from the storage area so thanks to them for their patience Happy ).

I got to challenge most pre concieved notions I had about some makers I did not have the opportunity to approach up close (del tin, arms and armor, olin, windlass etc). Love some del tin (their St michael falchion tended to stick to my hands), but disliked their viking line up, was really impressed by Valiant Armoury signature stuff (leather work and grip work) etc etc.

Since I already had two albion bare blades shipped at my hotel, I forced myself to be reasonnable and got the dagger above (it's been a while since I got a full product rather than single components) and a fueller bastard sword blade from HT (very impressed by it).

Definitely worth a look if you are in the area! (it's not so far away from Montreal is it? Happy )

Cheers,

Julien
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 2:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:

Definitely worth a look if you are in the area! (it's not so far away from Montreal is it? Happy )

Cheers,

Julien


Checked and the distance driving is 848 miles / 1,365 Km: So not the far side of the Moon but not exactly in the neighbourhood either. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

I don't have a car ..... cars are dangerous ( irony since weapons don't scare me at all. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud )
Oh, and since 911 I would have to get a passport which I don't currently have.

Interesting about how sturdy the dagger sounds, and practical: I might just get one as it would seem very addictive to activate it open ..... a lot ! Not exactly my main period of interest currently but my interest in weapons is not only focused on specific regions or periods but very general also, I just concentrate more of my purchases to the 1000 to 1500 time period, give or take 50 years.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

According to our Spotlight Article on Combination Weapons, it's in the Historisches Museum in Dresden.


Happy

ChadA

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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great stuff Chad...thanks for that!

This pict below shows quiet well that Hanwei reproduced the hilt cast in great details. With some light antiquing and a new tooled leather wrap for the scabbard and this could look awesome.

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I'm fairly certain photos of the original are published in the German book Kombinationswaffen. I am not at home right now, but will check when I get a chance (or perhaps someone else who owns the book will).


Yep, it is. It's on page 145, with a description in the index on page 261. Interestingly enough, it's Italian, not German... I suspect Hanwei took the inspiration from this German book and just assumed it was German because they couldn't read the text. Happy

My German reading abilities are moderate, but not good enough for a true translation. Nonetheless, I can give a brief summary of some of the highlights. It says it is Italian from 1585, and was a gift of Herzogs Vinzenz the first from Mantua to Kurfuersten Christain the first from Saxony in 1587. It gives a brief talk about it's parrying abilities and describes it's traits (which can be seen from the photo). It's currently in Dresden, and is 44 cm long, with a blade of 31 cm long and 25 mm wide. It weighs 440 grams.

If I get a chance to scan it, I'll post a pic, but I'll definitely say that Hanwei did a very good job on the decoration of the hilt of this replica. I've often thought about buying this very piece because of that.

Interesting side note: I was in Europe with Dr. Forgeng last month, touring museums, and he pointed out that almost all of these spring loaded parrying daggers in existence are actually Victorian. Only a handful are actually original, but it was a highly popular item to recreate in the 19th century.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, Chad posted while I was typing. Happy
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I suspect Hanwei took the inspiration from this German book and just assumed it was German because they couldn't read the text. Happy


That's rather funny Happy To be honnest the overall style of the ornementation is indeed more reminiscent of Italian renaissance that anything german.

Bill Grandy wrote:
If I get a chance to scan it, I'll post a pic, but I'll definitely say that Hanwei did a very good job on the decoration of the hilt of this replica. I've often thought about buying this very piece because of that.


Well you can have a go here Bill, even though you may be taking a chance...some dude is selling these at 53.99$, new, on ebay (which would mean I did not get such a great deal)!

http://cgi.ebay.it/PAUL-CHEN-SH2194-GERMAN-MA...3a5a0fec50

Now I've paid mine at 159$ at koa, and these prices sound suspicious to say the least. but might be worth a shot. who knows...

Bill Grandy wrote:
Interesting side note: I was in Europe with Dr. Forgeng last month, touring museums, and he pointed out that almost all of these spring loaded parrying daggers in existence are actually Victorian. Only a handful are actually original, but it was a highly popular item to recreate in the 19th century.


Yeah that would not suprise me much! These are the perfect item for display and show off in front of distinguished guest after a good meal and a glass of brandy Happy I picked this one because it looked damn good, but also because I can now produce some of my stuff, but can't even dream of making something that complex myself. On the top of that, it is of sturdy construction, and that was what sold it for me, no rattling anywhere despite the fact that such designs seems prone to such issues.

One question: does your book mentions the materials used on this dagger? Is the original hilt solid silver? Gilded silver? I'm not sure what the hanwei one is made of.

If you could find the time to upload that pict that would be great Happy

Cheers,

J
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jul, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a thought about usage: The obvious way to use it is to spring it open just before parrying and trapping the opponent's blade between the central blade and one of the spring blades, but I wonder if one might not also use the dagger closed and if one had the opponent's blade down at the guard and then sprung the spring blades it would trap the blade between the spring blades and the quillons.

Depending on spring strength pulling the sword out could be difficult or merely slowed down ! But in a fight if you can trap the opponents weapons for even 1/4 second it's enough to have a great advantage.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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