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F. Portman




Location: USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2012

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 8:50 am    Post subject: which Albion single hand?         Reply with quote

It has been asked before and will be asked again, I know, but here goes:

I have decided to take the plunge and purchase my first Albion sword. Well, to start contemplating and planning the plunge at any rate. I'm interested in a single-handed medieval sword, of which the Knight design seems paradigmatic. If it were simply a matter of the look/aesthetic of it, I suppose that would be the choice, though they all look great obviously, and the idea of something a little more unique and less "standard" also has an appeal. In fact, there are so many choices that it's a bit bewildering. This is most likely the only Albion I will be able to afford for quite some time, if ever again, so I want to make the purchase count.

My main criteria are historical accuracy and aesthetics, but I also want it to handle well and to "feel right." I know such a thing is subjective in the extreme but I was wondering if anyone who has handled several of these swords could help narrow the field a little on that basis. I don't plan on doing much cutting, per se, but I want something that feels "alive" when wielded. It seems like the consensus is that ATrim blades are the winner in that regard, and I don't doubt it: I suppose one way to frame my question is, which Albion single hand sword comes closest to that standard?

Anyway, advice would be appreciated!
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a Reeve, Norman, Templar, Solingen, Vigil, and I have handled the Knight.

So, you can see my tastes lean towards the High Middle Ages and the era of mail. These swords will tend to handle differently overall than more thrust oriented swords. I really can't give any helpful information about the models which would be dated post 1300, but I can see how these may be "faster" in handling in a sense.

Now, MY favorite handling of my Albions is the Norman, but this is due to my historical interests and just something about this sword's essence. Certainly, the Norman does have a bit more authority or "point forward" balance. It certainly is "alive" in the hand but I think you are getting at something more neutral in handling, like a sword that "floats" in the hand and is fast to stop once in motion and easy to move from form to form, thus, I would not reccommend the Norman for you.

Using this criterion, I would say that the Knight, Solingen, and Vigil excel in this department. Of these three IMO, and that's all it is, the Knight seems the sweetest handling. Now, if you want a copy of an original sword, the Solingen would be the best choice as it handles somewhat similarly to the knight but that doesn't sound like a priority to you if I am reading your post correctly.

So you take the great handling coupled with such a classic design and I believe that the Knight would be a great choice. If I didn't own a Solingen I would buy one. Happy


Last edited by Jeremy V. Krause on Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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F. Portman




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks so much. That is really helpful. If money were no object I would jump on the Solingen in an instant, but as things currently stand the Knight is the more realistic option for me. Cheers!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: which Albion single hand?         Reply with quote

F. Portman wrote:

My main criteria are historical accuracy and aesthetics, but I also want it to handle well and to "feel right." I know such a thing is subjective in the extreme but I was wondering if anyone who has handled several of these swords could help narrow the field a little on that basis. I don't plan on doing much cutting, per se, but I want something that feels "alive" when wielded.


All the choices mentioned above are very good choices but the " GOOD HANDLING " question is very much more complicated as one can have wildly different handling swords and they could all be very good handling swords but wrong for some purposes or wrong for different fighting styles.

I bring up the Albion Tritonia for example as it has a great deal of presence and optimized for use with a shield by someone with strong wrists but one can't say that it's a bad handling sword but it doesn't fit the idea that a sword has to have a P.O.B. of 3" to 4" from the guard. Wink

In fighting I could use either a Tritonia or lets say a Sovereign but I would be fighting differently and have to adapt my tactics to the speed and agility differences of each sword plus the Tritonia would be much less effective in the thrust than the Sovereign as well as much less useful with a buckler. The Tritonia would be better used with a full sized shield for example and also be able to give a lot more blunt trauma on maille.

The Sovereign would fit into the fast handling agile swords and I only mentioned the other more ponderous types that are also one handers for contrast. Wink Big Grin Cool

Handling is very subjective as long as we are comparing only good swords to each other for the purposes of this discussing all Albions can be called good handling but many are very different handling.

Obviously there are bad handling sharpened crowbar swords that feel awkward and dead in the hand because of bad design or execution. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

F. Portman wrote:
Thanks so much. That is really helpful. If money were no object I would jump on the Solingen in an instant, but as things currently stand the Knight is the more realistic option for me. Cheers!


Well certainly a good choice with some of the qualities of the earlier cutting swords with more profile taper and the agility of some of the later " pointier " swords.

The aesthetics are very appealing. Big Grin Cool

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




Location: Central CA
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a beginner to sword collecting, and have no skills when it comes to wielding one. From that perspective, I was very impressed with the Knight I got to swing around. I thought it handled (and looked) better than some other single handers I tried such as the Sheriff and Squire.

What you may still want to consider are the hollow ground blades (think Kingmaker). Although I didn't get a chance to handle a Kingmaker, I did get to swing a two-handed hollow ground blade, the Earl. Compared to other two-handers of similar size, the Earl was the most "alive", and neutral of them all. I was blown away by the handling. If the Kingmaker retains the Earl's excellent handling in a 1 hander form, it would absolutely give the Knight a run for the money.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Kenton Spaulding




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In terms of a lively single handed sword, I'd give a big thumbs up to the Albion Thegn. Maybe you don't want to go that early, but the Thegn is a quick little devil, and not bad to look at, either. Might be worth a look.
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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the Albion Sovereign is my favorite one handed sword. The beautiful double fuller blade is extra wide at the hilt and tapers to a severe point giving it a unique but deadly appearance. At 34.25 inches in length it is one of the shortest swords Albion makes, but also one of the liveliest. Good for swinging indoors and home defense Cool Paired with the below Christian Fletcher scabbard and integral belt, it is the perfect sword for me. Razz





"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Mike Harris




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like you've settled on the Knight. It's a good choice, especially for a first Albion. And I say "first Albion" intentionally. I bet it won't be your last. Things like this can become addictive. Surprised

If you are still undecided, may I suggest that you approach the choice by first settling on a blade type. I suggest you certainly consider all the Type XIIs. I have them all (two Knights) and they share many characteristics, but each still has unique attributes in handling.

Other blades to consider are the 3 Type XIVs, especially if you like shorter blades that maneuver quickly. I only have a Yeoman from this bunch, and I like it well. I hear the other two each exhibit enough subtle differences in handling to make them each distinct, apart from their appearance.

Don't leave out the Type Xs, unless you are settled on a later period sword. They are light and lively, but owing to a farther POB, they have authority in the cut and you know it when you swing them about.

Lastly, I would consider both Type XVIs. I have a Prince and badly want a Squire. The Prince is probably the best Albion single-hand fighting sword for me...so far. It has sufficient power and blade presence to cut better than you'd think it could, just from dry handling. And the point control is superb. I love it for sword&buckler. It moves quickly and almost effortlessly through the I.33 exercises.

Sorry if I've confused the issue a bit. But these are some thoughts I thought I'd share, for whatever they may be worth.

The good news is, whatever you choose, you really can't lose.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't own as many Albions as the guys above do, but of those I do own, I would use my Caithness for a fencing match (its basically the knight with a Scottish style hilt). But for my build and taste, it feels somewhat insubstantial. I would not take it into a set-piece battle against well armoured opponents (not that either scenario will ever happen in real life).

Like Jean, I love the feel of the Tritonia -its about the most weight one can manage with one hand, thanks to its excellence mass distribution. This one would knock people flat on their butts even if they were covered in plate armour. Pretty expensive though.

You might want to consider Arms & Armour as well.
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F. Portman




Location: USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2012

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all. I really appreciate the input. Of course I realize there's no single answer, or even any specific meaning, to the question of what handles best, but you've got to start somewhere. The suggestion to organize my thoughts around blade type is a good one. Even though the shorter swords are gorgeous, I'm still leaning towards the Knight or similar configurations with with the type XII blade at this point, though I'm also tempted by the Xs. And now, the XVIs as well. Tough decision, but as you all say, one where it doesn't seem possible to go too far wrong. Many thanks again.
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James King





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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own or have owned the Norman, Senlec, thegn, huscarl,hersir,gotland,clontarf, vinland,gadjahlt,knud,templar, and the knight, all exept the knight are X's or Xa's but all handle a bit differently (all perform as intended) If you want a long slashing sword, hands down the gadjahlt or the norman/senlec, if you want a quicker more nimble sword choose the thegn or the knight.
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Josh S





Joined: 15 Oct 2011

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As someone who has yet to buy an Albion, but is still saving up for several, my humble suggestion would be to go ahead and wait until you can pay off the sword in full, if you haven't already decided to go that route. That is to say, don't bother with the payment plan option. This is an excellent service for someone who already knows exactly what they want. You don't. As such, you might as well take as much time as you comfortably can in choosing which ONE sword you want, as you state that you won't be able to afford another for some time. And the only insight I can offer is that, as time goes on, you may find some models falling out of your favor rather unexpectedly. As an example, when I first saw the Dane, I was smitten - but after a couple of months, my interest wore off for various reasons; I still love the type, and I have no doubts about the superiority of Albion's interpretation of it, but there are just a few design elements that don't speak to me, and as such it's more in my personal interest to commission a custom XVIIIe later on.
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The upcoming XVIIIc looks like it could be my favorite 1 hander... The Principe looks awesome proportionally. I guess we will have to wait to see... As noted in an earlier post, the ETA of the Principe is this summer according to Albion Europe.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You say you want sword that feel alive in your hands and that to me screams the three XIVs of the line up...followed by the two XVIs. And there is finally the museum line soligen.

I'm gonna give you a bit of a project tho that can help you narrow down what kind of swords feel good in hand for you. Get a thick wooden rod, about 40 inches in length. Mark off 2 inches for "pommel" space and 5 inches for the handle and hold the handle part and swing it around. Cut an inch off the "blade" end and swing some more until you find the length you like. Then start to add weight with taped on weight (go 3 to 1 ratio of crossguard to pommel) and find the balance you like and measure the point of balance. This will give you a general idea of what type of swords you will favor.
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris Artman wrote:
The upcoming XVIIIc looks like it could be my favorite 1 hander... The Principe looks awesome proportionally. I guess we will have to wait to see... As noted in an earlier post, the ETA of the Principe is this summer according to Albion Europe.


I thought that the 2 XVIIIc's that Albion is doing are going to be a part of their longsword section, right under the Earl and Regent?

F. Portman,

You seem to have a distinct lean towards that Knight. Just out of curiosity, what appeals to you about the Knight? There are quite a few of the Albion single handers that I would like to own some day (Sovereign, Squire, Reeve, Kingmaker, and Oakeshott to mention a few) but the Knight has never really caught my eye.

No matter what you do I'm sure you'll love it. Albion is acclaimed for a reason... =)

Eric Gregersen
www.EricGregersen.com
Knowledge applied is power.
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to give my nod to the Sovereign. However, if that is a little more than you wish to spend, I would also recommend both the Sheriff and the Yeoman. You'll find that they are all excellent handling swords and everyone should buy a Type XIV first! Big Grin

Here's my review of the Sheriff to further wet your whistle for a Type XIV: http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_sherriff.html

My Sovereign furniture is custom blued and I had coins added to the pommel recesses. Additionally, I had the grip rewrapped with cord (to widen the diameter slightly), then rewrapped with oxblood leather with the original riser scheme. I got my whole scabbard/suspension rig from Custom Sword Shoppe, which does great custom work for the money. This package with this sword is my favorite Albion of all time, and I have owned many of them.

I really love all the Albion Type XIVs. I can't see how you could go wrong with any one of these, they handle phenominally. Big Grin


J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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D. S. Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:
F. Portman,

You seem to have a distinct lean towards that Knight. Just out of curiosity, what appeals to you about the Knight? There are quite a few of the Albion single handers that I would like to own some day (Sovereign, Squire, Reeve, Kingmaker, and Oakeshott to mention a few) but the Knight has never really caught my eye.

No matter what you do I'm sure you'll love it. Albion is acclaimed for a reason... =)


The OP will have his own answer to this, but I'll tell you what speaks to ME about the knight... Laughing Out Loud In my mind it is the classic example of a medieval single hander. When I think of a knight swinging his sword from horseback, with a shield in the off-hand, the sword I picture is a Knight, and always has been (before I'd even heard of Albion). Secondly, it has little things that are appealing. For instance the octagonal cross section of the cross guard is very appealing to me compared to the Squire (for example) which is simply square. I love the looks of the type XVI blades like the squire, but only in a hand and a half length (like my Crecy). The single handed XVI's did not "speak" to me. I've got to go with the OP on this one. If the Kingmaker wasn't so high on my single-hander list, the Knight would be a no-brainer for the top pick.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
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Posts: 221

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
Here's my review of the Sheriff to further wet your whistle for a Type XIV: http://www.myArmoury.com/review_alb_sherriff.html



I've read your review of the Sheriff before Jonathan. Great review. I'm also glad you decided to use the correct spelling (unlike Albion), since it is my occupation and the misspelling has always been a pet peeve of mine. Laughing Out Loud

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
I have to give my nod to the Sovereign. However, if that is a little more than you wish to spend, I would also recommend both the Sheriff and the Yeoman. You'll find that they are all excellent handling swords and everyone should buy a Type XIV first! Big Grin


That's a horrible idea. Then you'll get spoiled and you can kiss being happy with any other type of sword in your hands goodbye. Seriously tho...never met a XIV I didn't like...well at least in handling (generally hate how they look).
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