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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Weapons and armor from Prague Castle         Reply with quote

Hello

In 2006, I visited Prague, and had the chance to take photos of weapons and armour showed there. I wasn't "into" WMA back then, and I had a little tourist camera I didn't know how to use... but the photos are still interesting I think.

Better yet, I later sent them to my trainer - who is also an armour smith - who commented in depth on several of these photos.

If you are interested, I can also post those he didn't comment on, and if there is a piece in particular that is of interest, I'm sure I can re-edit the photo to a higher quality.

One handed swords:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...art-1.html

Painted armour:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rague.html

Late period bohemian armour:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rmour.html

neat armour with a hilarious mistake:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rmour.html

More armour:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rmour.html

Black armour:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...astle.html

Helmets:
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rague.html


Cheers,

Pierre
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Augusto Boer Bront
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Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Joined: 12 Nov 2009

Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sat 12 Nov, 2011 11:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm the only one that thinks that these are all reproductions?
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Pinterest albums to almost all existing XIVth century armour.
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I wouldn't bet money on ALL of them being reproductions, but you're right in that many pieces give off that vibe. Swords, sabatons, spectacle helms... a lot of things do not look or seem right.

On the other hand, I am hardly an expert in any way. (Mercenary Tailor, when in business, had pictures of original pieces that had I seen them at a Ren Faire I would have labeled as modern.)



Edit: Looked again and am even more convinced.

No offense, but the swords look like heavy wallhangers, most with no historical equivalent I'm familiar with. Much of the armour just looks far too nice and clean, as well as out of proportion. The sabatons look like a joke to me, some of the leg pieces look like stove pipes, a few of the helms look like they belong at an SCA event.... So yeah, I'm not feeling it. Compare the lot with this: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...mor+armour

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My teacher commented that some of these weren't authentic either. All I can do is present what as at the Castle.
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pierre T. wrote:
My teacher commented that some of these weren't authentic either. All I can do is present what as at the Castle.


He did at that, though I still disagree with him on a few points. For example, even the swords he oohs and aahs over look like they lack the subtlety and grace one would find in a cheapo $100 Windlass. His statement that the sabatons are big because they were made to fit over riding boots seems odd because riding boots during that time period were simply glorified turn-shoes like anyone else would wear (you might be unhorsed, at which point you'd certainly want to be able to move and fight effectively, something hard to do in cowboy boots with huge heels). This is in addition to the fact that the sabatons, like the rest of the leg armour, largely lack the aforementioned subtlety and grace of the originals and most of the armour in general looks brand new. Little of it looks like it has seen the gentle mercies of time.

Please do not feel I am trying to insult your teacher. I simply feel he may have fallen into the trap of thinking because the museum displayed it it must be historical, despite the fact that he does identify some pieces as obviously being a joke. As I said before, I may be wrong. As a general rule museums like to display the "good" stuff, and maybe this museum just didn't have the capital to do such a thing and had to go with whatever they could get their hands on. It just looks like a lot of it is reproduction to me.



To move on to another subject, anybody else think the "neat armour with a hilarious mistake" helmet looks like an image from Fiore?

Tried to find the image I have in my head, but a quick Google image search under Fiore got me lots of improbably large chested women, and I simply couldn't find the right one among the folio pages with better search terms. I suspect I may have mentally mixed a couple of pictures featuring the chin/lower face protection with some featuring crowns, and what I'm looking for doesn't actually exist.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, those are all reproductions - pretty lame ones, too, in my opinion. The painted shield makes me laugh - it looks like a velvet painting that would be in the house of a 1970s pimp.


Pastime With Good Company
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Repro or not, I do like the Bohemian harness (although from the angle, it looks like the wing of the cop would keep your arm from bending a fair amount... reproduction?)
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,454

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
I'm the only one that thinks that these are all reproductions?


Nope, you are not the only one! Eek!

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2011 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I saw the photos of the swords, my first thought was that they were fakes. And while Colt may be forgiving to Pierre's teacher, I'm inclined not be. The fact that pretty much none of the swords, as far as I can tell, have any patination is an extremely obvious tip-off that the trainer/smith should have noticed, unless he doesn't spend time looking at surviving medieval arms and armour pieces. Another immensely suspicious thing is how short all of these swords appear to be: medieval swords are not consistently this small. One of the “Viking swords” appears to have no fuller whatsoever; another, which has a blade profile unlike any I've seen on a genuine Viking blade, has a fuller that looks far too thin to be plausible. The ring loop pommel on the TypeXIIIb blade does not add credibility either.

The other major tip-off that these are reproductions is the helmets section. Once again, the fact that there's no patination nor pitting on any of these helmets screams “reproduction”. Moreover, quite a few of the helmets depicted are rare types, as far as historical specimens go. There are way too many spangenhelms for a single collection, and the same holds true for nasal helmets. The presence of the flat topped great helm is also immensely suspicious, given the scarcity of surviving examples of these helms. If these helmets were original, Prague Castle would be hailed as having the greatest single collection of medieval helmets in all of Europe. Since that's not the case, I think we know just how authentic these pieces are.

I too was in Prague, not in 2006, but in early 2007. Are you sure, Pierre, that you didn't just take these photos at the Prague Castle shop selling lower-end reproduction swords and armour to test if anyone would notice? ;-) As for Pierre's trainer, evidently, the trainer has very little experience seeing and handling medieval arms and armour.
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Ben van Koert




Location: Veenendaal, the Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All this armour is locally made and sold by k+k art.
They're all very bad reproductions and interpretations..
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I never visited this particular castle, but it's not so uncommon in Europe that castles have rather obvious fakes on display.

Sometimes even the captions describe them as being authentic to this-and-that century...

I can easily imagine someone who may have more experience with theatrical or reenactment weapons than with surviving antiques being led astray.
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello

First, I do agree - and after looking at full resolution image - that the state of many of these armour pieces is surprisingly good. I'll also note that I never claimed this was a museum. When I did a search for "Prague castle weapon collection" - this very thread is the number one hit, which is a bit telling...

Craig Peters wrote:
When I saw the photos of the swords, my first thought was that they were fakes. And while Colt may be forgiving to Pierre's teacher, I'm inclined not be. The fact that pretty much none of the swords, as far as I can tell, have any patination is an extremely obvious tip-off that the trainer/smith should have noticed, unless he doesn't spend time looking at surviving medieval arms and armour pieces. Another immensely suspicious thing is how short all of these swords appear to be: medieval swords are not consistently this small. One of the “Viking swords” appears to have no fuller whatsoever; another, which has a blade profile unlike any I've seen on a genuine Viking blade, has a fuller that looks far too thin to be plausible. The ring loop pommel on the TypeXIIIb blade does not add credibility either.


For some reason, my trainer only commented on one photo - that was the "short sword" rack. There were other longer blades, which he never posted. I will be happy to post the full size images so we can better judge the state.

Quote:
I too was in Prague, not in 2006, but in early 2007. Are you sure, Pierre, that you didn't just take these photos at the Prague Castle shop selling lower-end reproduction swords and armour to test if anyone would notice? ;-)


No - I actually have photos of the gift shops, should you want to see them Wink But seriously, did you go to the Castle and see this gallery? What were your impressions? Did you take photos?

Quote:
As for Pierre's trainer, evidently, the trainer has very little experience seeing and handling medieval arms and armour.


Hmmm... it's not a good thing to jump too quickly to judgment.

Here he is in Malta taking measurements of shoulder pieces at the Palace Armouries.
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...wings.html

Here he is at the Leeds Armoury doing research
http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...moury.html

Basically, he travelled several times to Europe to visit museums and gained hands on access to several pieces. He makes armour for a living. It's a bit... odd really that he didn't comment on the, ah, pristine nature of several of these pieces. But as far as "very little experience"...

While looking at his blog, I found another post from a visit to Prague castle (not by him). I invite you to read what he says about the helmets:

http://southtowerarmouringguild.blogspot.com/...rmour.html

cheers,
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Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No offense, but it doesn't matter if your trainer has measured every single piece in Leeds or can recite the measurements of several original suits he has in his living room. The fact is that he apparently thought these pieces were historical, while I for example, a relatively ignorant nobody, took one look and raised an eyebrow.

To comment on his work, I have been to his website many times (when I first started to get interested in this stuff I found his site), and although he shows great skill with some pieces, he makes his living off ahistorical SCA armour, not historical pieces. Some of his work shows he is quite capable of doing historical work (his arms and legs strike me as much better than his helmets, shoulders, breast and backplates), but he does not seem to realize how off some of his simpler stuff is.

As before, I do not wish to cause offense, but these are the facts as I see them. I also would note that we are straying somewhat from the main topic, that of the reproductions shown.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The swords are definitely reproductions. You can buy them here:
http://www.armouronline.com/weapons_arms/swor...rs/49.html

Don't know about quality... but they sure are ugly (I know, they're "patinated". Patina can be an okay thing. These guys kinda went overboard with the concept, I think....).

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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,454

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pierre T. wrote:
For some reason, my trainer only commented on one photo - that was the "short sword" rack. There were other longer blades, which he never posted. I will be happy to post the full size images so we can better judge the state.


Sometimes people are just trying to be polite. Cool

Sometimes things like this just don't matter all that much. Big Grin

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy
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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Wilson wrote:
The swords are definitely reproductions. You can buy them here:
http://www.armouronline.com/weapons_arms/swor...rs/49.html

Don't know about quality... but they sure are ugly (I know, they're "patinated". Patina can be an okay thing. These guys kinda went overboard with the concept, I think....).


One could say that this company is reproducing the historical models but... yeah, that really supports the notion that most of the artifacts on display aren't authentic.

... so, at this point... is there any value at all in me posting the rest? There are long swords, pole arms, rapiers and "combo" weapons (sword/pistols etc), but since at best there is doubt about the authenticity of some of the pieces (and at worse there is doubt if *any* are authentic), I don't know if I should bother or not.

cheers,
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2011 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pierre T. wrote:


One could say that this company is reproducing the historical models but... yeah, that really supports the notion that most of

... so, at this point... is there any value at all in me posting the rest? There are long swords, pole arms, rapiers and "combo" weapons (sword/pistols etc), but since at best there is doubt about the authenticity of some of the pieces (and at worse there is doubt if *any* are authentic), I don't know if I should bother or not.

cheers,


Go on, worst thing that can happen is that they will be repros/completely silly as well. Big Grin

I've seen some weapon shelves with 'swords' like that in few castles, it's unfortunately not that uncommon proceeder.

But there usually is at least few authentic pieces somewhere, usually beyond glass.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 6:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was just at the Prague castle earlier this year, and I didn't see this display at all.

What is really worthwhile at the castle, though, is the mail and helmet of St. Wenceslas, which are from the 10th century. Sadly, while I was there, the mail was not on display for research purposes, but there were large pictures in its place. The helmet was gorgeous.

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Pierre T.




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 14 Dec 2007

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
.
What is really worthwhile at the castle, though, is the mail and helmet of St. Wenceslas, which are from the 10th century. Sadly, while I was there, the mail was not on display for research purposes, but there were large pictures in its place. The helmet was gorgeous.


Now that is something I would have liked seeing! No such luck for me either.

Anyway, on with the show.

I've added first an image of the longer blades, with and without flash. It should give a good idea of the surface condition of the metal. (edit: unfortunately I am not able to load the full sized image to the forum)

After that, various pole-arms. I cropped the bottom of the images to help deal with image size.

I'll post more tomorrow (rapiers and combo weapons)



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pole arms 1

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pole arms 2

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pole arms 3

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long blades [ Download ]
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 16 Nov, 2011 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The swords are definitely reproductions, and get the feeling that the polearms too, judging from the appearance of the rust on them.
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