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Which design would you choose?
1. design, big double fullered type X with gaddhjalt fittings
38%
 38%  [ 23 ]
2. design, very long and slender crusader themed type XI with disc or type B brazil nut pommel
41%
 41%  [ 25 ]
3. design, performance oriented gaddhajlt hilted type Xa
20%
 20%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 60

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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject: Ideas for a custom sword         Reply with quote

Hey people! So, I'm planning a new sword, custom made according to my wishes, and I would like to hear what you think about my ideas and I thought it might be fun to see which design will be the most popular. All designs are big one handed swords of early middle-ages according to the newest trend here. Wink

First design is a big type X with double fullers, about 36" blade, wide, around 2.5", dramatic distal taper and relatively acute tip for a X (but not overly), fittings would be type 1 crossguard (gaddhjalt) and probably a big type A brazil nut pommel (16v.I according to Geibig). Dramatic distal taper and double fullers are for reducing weight and improving balance since the blade is quite huge. I hope the weight to be no more than 3.5lb. That much I can handle well if the weight distribution is good.

Second design is a long and slender type XI, very long blade (at least 37, 38 inches, maybe even more) but relatively narrow (around 1.6"), very narrow fuller, and again pretty radical distal taper, fittings would be either type 1 or 3 and pommel either a simple disc pommel (type G) or a type B brazil nut. This one would probably be more crusader themed so there would probably be crosses engraved in blade and maybe brass crosses inlayed in pommel. Probably a brass inlayed inscription. This one should be no more than 3lb.

Third design is more simple and would be an option if I end up lacking enough funds for fancy stuff like double fullers, inscriptions or the effort to make very long or wide blades with very good mass distribution for the good balance.
This one would be simple Xa with 35.5" long and 2" wide blade, single fuller, gaddhjalt cross and type A brazil nut pommel. This one would be relatively normally sized so I would expect the weight to be under 3 lb and although relatively plain it should be pleasant for handling and cutting.

Results of this poll may not effect my decision but I am still interested in results and I hope it might be fun to hear your comments on designs, I will be happy to think about your ideas on how to improve my designs.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no way to answer "All of the above"! They all sound cool. I like the double fullered one best since we don't se too much of that around here.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where there really many double fullered X's out there?

Regardless of it, I will probably go with first option anyway, since it sounds definitely promising...
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Sep, 2011 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the second option but with ONLY inlay NOT inscriptions and PLEASE OH PLEASE no etching. There is little to no evidence of non-inlayed inscribed blade or pommel designs during these periods. My preference would be to lean towards a silver or brass inlay instead of bronze as these metals again are more common- especially silver.

Iron-inlay would simply be too expensive.

A type B pommel would also be attractive on such a sword.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I like the second option but with ONLY inlay NOT inscriptions and PLEASE OH PLEASE no etching. There is little to no evidence of non-inlayed inscribed blade or pommel designs during these periods. My preference would be to lean towards a silver or brass inlay instead of bronze as these metals again are more common- especially silver.

Iron-inlay would simply be too expensive.

A type B pommel would also be attractive on such a sword.


Yes, yes, I know, I am aware that both engraving and etching are not historical for such an early period, when I said engraved crosses I meant brass inlay same as the inscription, I just expressed my self wrongly, english is not my first language. It's good that I also don't even like the etched look of crosses and inscriptions so popular on modern replicas. Wink
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All options sound good to me... But it depends on what you want and what you already have.

Personally, I already have a light, agile and relatively short type X, so for collecting purposes, I'd really like a "cavalry" type XI.

What sword do you have in your avatar?
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Luka,

I voted for option 1 - multiple fullers are cool. I also have a multi-fuller design on deck, waiting for a future commission, but if and when that happens it won't be like the one you have planned.

Good luck with your choice and the outcome,

-JD
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Sep, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

THe sword in my avatar is Del Tin St. Maurice 2130, a bit customized. Good sword, but I would like a longer blade, a sword could be lighter with that blade length or it could be longer with that same blade. It's my only 11th -13th century singlehander for now, so all of these designs would fill that part of my collection nicely. All of them would be a cavalry length blades, but I'm just not sure which blade type would be the best one to make as a custom. I may be leaning towards double fullered X blade because it's a rare thing in a production world and an XI could be made by grinding my Del Tin 2142 blade for a more distal and maybe some profile taper near the tip and the fuller could be lengthened.
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A big, double fullered type X still sounds like a sword for dismounted use to me. And there is a good reason why they are not overly represented in the production market: they are not overly represented in the archaeological record either. Wink

Nevertheless, I have to admit that they are cool and that I want one as well...

But from hearing your description, the type XI sounds like what you are looking for.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, for the type of intended use, XI would be best. But I'm not sure big X would be bad too. It would be similar to a XIII, but with longer fullers, I don't know why it wouldn't function well for a mounted use.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I agree, for the type of intended use, XI would be best. But I'm not sure big X would be bad too. It would be similar to a XIII, but with longer fullers, I don't know why it wouldn't function well for a mounted use.


I tend to think that most swords of types X, Xa, XI, XIa, XII, XIIa, XIII (a and b) are designed heavily towards cavalry usage. We tend to think of our swords as weapons for use on foot because, well, we don't have horses.

I could be oversimplifying things, as I tend to do, but I think that infantry use was a secondary consideration in the development and dynamics of these weapons of the high middle ages (1100-1300).
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree, especially since most people wealthy enough to have swords at that time would be wealthy enough to fight mounted. And infantry tactics required a spear as a main weapon anyway.
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I tend to think that most swords of types X, Xa, XI, XIa, XII, XIIa, XIII (a and b) are designed heavily towards cavalry usage. We tend to think of our swords as weapons for use on foot because, well, we don't have horses.

I could be oversimplifying things, as I tend to do, but I think that infantry use was a secondary consideration in the development and dynamics of these weapons of the high middle ages (1100-1300).


Interesting point... I'm not saying I agree or disagree with you, but the development of the type X took place before the period you state. And the blade of the type X is a direct development (not to say the same) of the migration age / late Roman age spathae. Which were definitely used by infantry as well.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Hansen wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I tend to think that most swords of types X, Xa, XI, XIa, XII, XIIa, XIII (a and b) are designed heavily towards cavalry usage. We tend to think of our swords as weapons for use on foot because, well, we don't have horses.

I could be oversimplifying things, as I tend to do, but I think that infantry use was a secondary consideration in the development and dynamics of these weapons of the high middle ages (1100-1300).


Interesting point... I'm not saying I agree or disagree with you, but the development of the type X took place before the period you state. And the blade of the type X is a direct development (not to say the same) of the migration age / late Roman age spathae. Which were definitely used by infantry as well.


This is a good point, that what we think of as the type X was certainly around before 1000.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If go back to the spathas, they were first used as a cavalry weapons... Wink But however was the evolution of a X going on, by 11th century it would probably be mostly used by knights, usually mounted.

Btw, this brings up a question. What IS a minimal blade length practical for a mounted use? Average viking age type X sword has a 31" blade, and average Xa that would probably be used in a more knightly, mounted way was on average about 33". Are these 2 inches a deference great enough to differentiate between an infantry and cavalry blade?
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
If go back to the spathas, they were first used as a cavalry weapons... Wink But however was the evolution of a X going on, by 11th century it would probably be mostly used by knights, usually mounted.

Btw, this brings up a question. What IS a minimal blade length practical for a mounted use? Average viking age type X sword has a 31" blade, and average Xa that would probably be used in a more knightly, mounted way was on average about 33". Are these 2 inches a deference great enough to differentiate between an infantry and cavalry blade?


I think that's hard to say but I would guess that "no" a 31 inch sword could certainly be used from horseback.

You know, I think that we modern collectors are missing a HUGE piece of the picture when we think of the use of our finer reproductions. How many folks regularly experiment with these pieces mounted? How much do we know of mounted martial usage against other mounted foes or against infantry?

How tall were these horses? How did the rider position themselves when employing their weapon?

These are interesting questions to me. I believe that WMA and manuscripts like I:33 have taought us quite a bit about infantry use of the sword but on horeback we seem less knowledgable as a community.

This gap in knowledge is especially pertinent to those with a collecting and study focus on the High Middle Ages.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, and regarding the choices. How many TRUE type XIs do you see being made? I PERSONALLY feel that the fuller on the Albion Oakeshott (type XI) is a bit too wide compared to historic examples- at least to the well known ones. I should point out, though, that my arms and armor library is more limited to the big titles so I may not be the best sourse of information on this.

The community is full of broad type Xs. How about some love for more narrow blades!?! They're so awsome and noble looking!! A flat bottomed fuller may look especially striking on such a sword. I'd have to see if these type os fullers were seen in this type. . . .
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
If go back to the spathas, they were first used as a cavalry weapons... Wink But however was the evolution of a X going on, by 11th century it would probably be mostly used by knights, usually mounted.

Btw, this brings up a question. What IS a minimal blade length practical for a mounted use? Average viking age type X sword has a 31" blade, and average Xa that would probably be used in a more knightly, mounted way was on average about 33". Are these 2 inches a deference great enough to differentiate between an infantry and cavalry blade?


One might shy away from absolutes and instead think of weighting of different factors to optimize the intended use and preferences of the user. A knight might expect himself to fight both on and off his horse. Yes, there are stories of knights carrying two swords, one short and one long, but in the heat of battle it might not always be possible to stop and switch. Or it might not be affordable for everyone. So what if you have to pick one all-purpose sword?

I find that anything over 31" becomes more and more awkward in a cluttered environment - there's just not enough space to swing (reenactors might chime in here). On the other hand, on top of a horse, reach is obviously an advantage - but only up to a point. I don't own (and can't recall seeing) a single-hand sword with a blade longer than 38". At some point that length is going to become awkward - its just too much to support biomechanically.

So, to me it makes sense that the knightly sword blade would range between 30" and 38", depending on personal preference, body type, etc, and the all-purpose type would fall somewhere in the low-middle of this range.

All speculation and 20-20 hind-sight of course - I've only ridden a horse twice in my life!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I too voted on a Type XI sword with a disk or Brazil nut Type B pommel. I would say though that you should avoid going with crosses on both the blade and the pommel, because this seems to have been an extremely uncommon pairing. I cannot say that this pairing did not exist altogether, because I only have Records of the Medieval Sword with me at the moment, which is hardly the entirety of antique swords in existence. Nevertheless, a cross on both the pommel and the blade is not found on any Type X, Xa, or XI blades in Records. I, personally, would avoid it.

It seems to me also that crosses on pommels are nearly always found during the 13th century onwards, rather than earlier. I could be mistaken about this, and if anyone knows of a substantial number of swords with crosses on the pommel that can firmly be dated to an earlier period, by all means mention it. But, barring evidence to the contrary, I would suggest that a cross should probably go on the pommel only of a later crusading era sword. Since the types that you have mentioned, Type X, Type Xa with Gaddhjalt crosses, or a large Type XI seem to be more representational of pre-1200, I would forgo a cross on the pommel altogether.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say I agree about the lack of crosses on pommels pre- 13th. c. I've never seen a cross of any kind on a type A or B pommel period.

Regarding crosses on blades, they usually are found before and after some series of letters (often incomprehensible to us). Other crosses are seen along with straight lines (often 3) or simple shapes.

I believe that a plain pommel, whether disc or brazil nut/tea cozy would be the safest bet. Oh, and I'm beginning to live vicariously through this design process! Big Grin
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