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Sean Flynt

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 12:57 pm    Post subject: Military/Judicial Uses of the Boar Spear         Reply with quote

The hunting spear of the 15th and 16th centuries was adopted for use in the field and judicial lists, apparently without significant modification of the form or construction. We see them in contexts like the one below and in images of combat. The toggle seems to be common in all applications, as does the leather binding and tacks. The possible exception is that an offensive spike appears on the que of some spears, which suggests an adaptation for use against humans. I'd like to start a military spear project similar to the one shown below but I don't feel like I have enough information on this subject. What can y'all tell me about this?

Specifically, I'd like to know...:
...if the leather binding serves any purpose other than providing a secure grip (which would seem especially important given the implied force against the toggle).
...if there was any difference between hunting and non-hunting toggles.
...if toggles were always present in military versions of this weapon (the spear below does have a toggle, as do those in adjacent images from this edition of Talhoffer).
...if military/judicial spear toggles were more likely to be of the steel/iron form secured by a rivet through the socket.

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Sam Gordon Campbell

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think perhaps the leather serves maybe to fancy it up a bit. Besides that maybe acting to strengthen it as well?
By toggle do you mean the spikes that come out of the side of the head? If so I'd be inclined to believe, whether a civilian hunting one or a militarised one, they served the same purpose; to stop an angry thing charging at you.
And I'd say fixing it to the head with a rivet seems as good an option as any other.
And I believe Fiore has one too in his works.
I can see the resemblance to a partisan or any spear thingy with prongs, spikes, or extra blades coming off it Laughing Out Loud

Maybe you should make a "Boar Sword" too. I've always thought that one of those would be fantastic in an armoured altercation .

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Jean Thibodeau

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2011 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The hunting one's use a bone/wood (?) toggle held on by some form of leather or maybe rope/fabric (?) at the base of the spear head and maybe used at times in war in that form but I think that the military versions are very similar in look and function to the partisan or winged spears.

This one by A&A that I'm sure you are familiar with for example:

Why one would prefer the toggle versions for hunting may be because the toggle does the job of keeping a wild boar from getting close to you but with a war or fighting version metal lugs are additionally useful when fencing for various blocks or hooking actions that a toggle wouldn't be of any use.

Well mostly speculation(s) and asking the questions more than making affirmative statements. Wink

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Mrak E.Smith

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From current german sources I dont think there is any distinct difference berween hunting and fighting boar spear.The stopper in both case is in a form of tranverse bar held in place under the spear head by some form of rope or wire
hope the following pics would help:
from Maximillian's Triumph (hunting ones)
and from Hector Mair's fechtbuch(fighting ones)

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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Spears         Reply with quote

Hi Sean

If you mean the spiral wrapped langet that appears in the picture on the spear shaft it may be metal and not leather. There are several examples of such in collections.

My guess is the weapon versions would be more likely to have the solid toggle or lugs as opposed to a flexible mount.

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Kurt Scholz

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PostPosted: Sun 31 Jul, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Turning a boar spear into a weapon to fight humans reminds me about the Swedish sword staff. I'll take again a look at the spear collection in the German hunting museum in Munich. As far as I can remember not all exhibited hunting spears had for example leather wrapping and there was quite a variation of construction. However, I can't remember any rear spikes on them, although these could also be useful against boars.
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