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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Grand Couse, is it period?         Reply with quote

I've suddenly developed quite an interest in the coutreau de breche or couse. Wasn't really aware of this until I saw one at the Castlerock Museum, and I find it a very interesting weapon. I'm having a lot of trouble finding more info on them though, as most google searches assume I'm misspelling "course", and coutreau de breche mostly turns up French sites which I can't read.

I did find the picture attached, but since I can't find anything else on this I'm wondering if this was a modern imagining or if a "grand couse" did indeed see use.

Any direction will be appreciated, thanks!



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grand-couteau-de-breche or grand couse.jpg

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Impressive and " Couteau de brèche " translate literally as Breach Knife: I would guess a really big knife or polearm used to defend or attack in a siege a breach of the wall or maybe even create a breach or take advantage of one in an enemy formation ?

Obviously this weapon would be used under different circumstances but seems by the name being a weapon to hold a narrow place by oneself or in small groups.

First time I have seen one of these reproduced and at such a grand scale.

As far as historical it does resemble weapons seen in period art. ( Not sure if there are any known surviving ones. It's a bit the same case with the so-called Medieval Choppers ).

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




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks to me like it's part of the glaive family.
Still, I wouldn't want to be on the recieving end of it.

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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In case anyone is interested, here's the maker I got that picture from:

http://forge.morat-grimm.fr/fr/hast/50-grand-...iveme.html

I thought it was very impressive as well. I think part of what appeals to me is the simplicity. This isn't as fancy as many glaives I've seen; it's just meant to hurt things.

Jean, do you happen to know the names of any of the period art pieces that depict weapons that look similar to this?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hanson wrote:


Jean, do you happen to know the names of any of the period art pieces that depict weapons that look similar to this?


In a battle scene of the Maciejowsky Bible.

I'm sure a pic of it is on this site somewhere just search the Maciejowski Bible and or with Medieval chopper.

The one in the pic has a head that looks just as big but has a shorter haft, about 2/3 the size in proportion to the person holding it:
Scale is something hard to be sure about as it may be just the way the artist decided to draw it and there could be some with longer hafts.

I'm looking at it right now in my copy of " ARMS AND ARMOUR OF THE MEDIEVAL KNIGHT " page 61, man at arms/heavy infantry wearing a kettle hat and quilted armour on the left.

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




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, something like this:


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otm10va&b.gif

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hanson wrote:
So, something like this:


Yes very similar but the one I found in the book seems to have a longer handle but shorter than in the pic you show of the recreated piece.

Size and length is sort of speculation as they look like short 4' to 5' feet weapon with maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of the total length being the haft.

Style wise both illustrations seem to be of the same weapon type.

I sort of like the idea of a long polearm version but haven't seen any illustrations of a really long hafted one.

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




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pic on the first post of this Topic:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...al+chopper

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




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting. That does indeed look almost identical, but with a bit of a shorter haft.

I guess that's one more polearm to add to my list of things to buy!
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Sep, 2011 3:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

look up glaive or kuss or something in that family line.
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Sep, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hanson wrote:
I guess that's one more polearm to add to my list of things to buy!


Scott I think you should definitely get one of these Happy
That way I can hopefully check it out once it is in your collection Razz

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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Sep, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I seem to recall that the coutreau de breche is documented in Stone's Glossary. I'm on vacation in another state right now so I cannot verify that. I have a cut down volgue that looks quite similar. If anyone is interested I'll post a pic next week when I get home.
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