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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Apr, 2012 9:41 am    Post subject: "Ultimate" dueling sword idea?         Reply with quote

Hello Everyone:

I like visiting this site. I am much more generally familiar with medieval/ren. weapons, famous persons like Fiore de Liberi, and associated history.

Many of you are fortunate enough to know how to make a sword or can afford to order a custom sword. Given our interest in historical swords, their use, and the fechtbuche the masters wrote, I am surprised there are no custom or replica dueling swords out there on the market. I am referring to swords like you see in Talhoffer's work. These are longswords with straight pointed quillons and spiked pommels - often with three spikes. It occurred to me I have not seen any museum examples either.

My idea is this: I think a Danish type XVIIIe style blade (with a ricasso) that is shortened to longsword length with pointed quillons and a spiked pommel would be a vicious weapon. Perhaps this would have been the "ultimate" dueling sword? Maybe something like this was made but did not survive the centuries.

Oh well ... I still think a German sword shown on this site that has a handle in the middle of the blade is cool too. I would not be surprised to learn that the reason no Talhoffer replica swords exist is because such a sword would also be too dangerous to the owner! :-)

Anyway ... to those of you who have been able to practice historical swordplay, please give me your opinion of my sword idea. I wish I could commission someone to make it. Perhaps such a sword would not be practical for actual use, but it sure would look cool! That's what really matters. Right? After all, if your weapon looks cool that means it will work well too! :-)

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Thu 05 Apr, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pointed crossguard sounds good to me, but pommel with spikes does not. You probably can't grab a handle with such a pommel with the left hand without these spikes trying to dig into your hands (which are of course protected by gauntlets but still have a lot of unprotected areas) so wielding a sword in a normal way would be pretty much impossible. Maybe a spike on the "bottom" of a pommel, where a tang is normally riveted, but not on the sides. I consider "normal" way of holding a sword still useful when fighting in armor, after all gauntlets usually didn't protect fingers well enough and a good cut could easily break a few bones there. A good way to win against an opponent who advances in a "halfsword mode".

But his is my personal opinion. Somebody might say that spikes on pommel will make hooking much easier, especially if your opponent does not have maille behind his knees. Just imagine this spike going into your flesh in that area! Very unpleasant.

In any case, if you commission such a sword, please post pictures here. I think everyone will be eager to see such a weapon.
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Thu 05 Apr, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I saw a history channel show a while back that showed a sword of the type you described made by Owen Bush. The show was called "Medieval Fight Book." It had John Clements and Mike Loades in it. Supposedly the sword was intended to be used by Clements for his demos, but it was too poor in handling to use. They do show Owen forging and heat treating the sword, and he cuts some tatami with it. I am sure that I have seen a couple of other replicas of this type, but I can not remember where or who made them right now. John Clements wrote an article about doing the show, if you want to google it.
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Eric G.




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Apr, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: "Ultimate" dueling sword idea?         Reply with quote

Dustin Faulkner wrote:

Oh well ... I still think a German sword shown on this site that has a handle in the middle of the blade is cool too. I would not be surprised to learn that the reason no Talhoffer replica swords exist is because such a sword would also be too dangerous to the owner! :-)

Anyway ... to those of you who have been able to practice historical swordplay, please give me your opinion of my sword idea. I wish I could commission someone to make it. Perhaps such a sword would not be practical for actual use, but it sure would look cool! That's what really matters. Right? After all, if your weapon looks cool that means it will work well too! :-)


I have been studying rapier for almost a year and Fiore longsword for about 6 months. Let me just say that I love it. I have actually changed (or perhaps expanded?) my tastes because of what I'm learning.

First, I think that (at least for someone using Fiore's style) a spiked pommel would indeed be dangerous to the owner.

Second, I would recommend that you look around for people in your area that will teach you straight out of the old manuals (with translations to English of course) to the best of their ability. Remember that the Italian and German masters REALLY knew their stuff. Every lesson I am convinced of this more and more. Also, as I learn more, I appreciate it more also. I have grown in my appreciation for the art of a finely tuned sword and and beauty of the martial system thereof. In my area I have met a good group of guys that give me lessons for free. They are just good guys that love what they study and study what they love. If you take the time to learn the martial art associated with your weapon(s) of choice you will be happier with your choice of custom sword, I think. Not only is it nice to realize that you actually know how to use the weapon you have made, but you will gain an understanding of some other subtle details as well.

Third, I would not say for you make your custom idea yet, not only because of what I already said, but because there are no surviving examples of this type. Sometimes I hate that ever-growing part of me that is a purest, but it's there, and I think that it's right. Use existing examples for the basis of all your purchases, and at the very least you'll have a psudo-museum collection some day.

I hope that helps. =)

Eric Gregersen
www.EricGregersen.com
Knowledge applied is power.
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Dustin,
Here you go...Craig Johnson just posted this pic on a different thread.I thought that it may interest you.He may know more about it.Also,if I remember correctly there are old threads which actually show the spiked pommels,etc in sketches from some of the old manuals.I will try and find them..

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can see the use of such examples in "Codex Wallerstein" ,Plates 161 - 169 and pics of the swords being worn at the hip in a number of other plates throughout the book.Here are some scans of the book from the ARMA website.Scroll down to the armoured combat pages.


http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/CodexW.htm

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Benjamin Floyd II





Joined: 13 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was actually me which posted the pic, but yeah... I was about to post it here too. lol

I think the context of that weapon would be limited. I think it would likely be for fighting in armor only. There's no reason to have those spikes otherwise. Even a spike on the bottom limits your technique.

Krieg School of Historical Swordsmanship
A HEMA Alliance Affliate
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for the mix up Benjamin.And yes,the codex shows them in use by armoured opponents.

http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/CodexW.htm

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Federico Tyrawskyj





Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: "Ultimate" dueling sword idea?         Reply with quote

Dustin Faulkner wrote:
Hello Everyone:

I like visiting this site. I am much more generally familiar with medieval/ren. weapons, famous persons like Fiore de Liberi, and associated history.

Many of you are fortunate enough to know how to make a sword or can afford to order a custom sword. Given our interest in historical swords, their use, and the fechtbuche the masters wrote, I am surprised there are no custom or replica dueling swords out there on the market. I am referring to swords like you see in Talhoffer's work. These are longswords with straight pointed quillons and spiked pommels - often with three spikes. It occurred to me I have not seen any museum examples either.

My idea is this: I think a Danish type XVIIIe style blade (with a ricasso) that is shortened to longsword length with pointed quillons and a spiked pommel would be a vicious weapon. Perhaps this would have been the "ultimate" dueling sword? Maybe something like this was made but did not survive the centuries.

Oh well ... I still think a German sword shown on this site that has a handle in the middle of the blade is cool too. I would not be surprised to learn that the reason no Talhoffer replica swords exist is because such a sword would also be too dangerous to the owner! :-)

Anyway ... to those of you who have been able to practice historical swordplay, please give me your opinion of my sword idea. I wish I could commission someone to make it. Perhaps such a sword would not be practical for actual use, but it sure would look cool! That's what really matters. Right? After all, if your weapon looks cool that means it will work well too! :-)


Hi Dustin,

I regularly practiced Meyer's longsword system for a year and Fiore's system for almost a year. I'm by no means an expert, but I can share some insights.

The spiked pommel is dangerous for its wielder and serves no useful purpose. Not only it can dig into your hands during use, but in most of the guards, the pommel of the sword is held close to your body. Such a sword makes it too easy for an opponent to just push your own sword against you and injure you. It's a liability. Furthermore, if like me you enjoy using your left hand on your pommel to increase control and maneouverability, these spikes just make it awkward for you. The only purpose I see for such a pommel would be to increase the lethality of the pommel while in armor (to use it in a "murder strike" or pommeling your opponent), since without an helmet a pommel strike is already plenty lethal. Your armor would protect you from stabbing yourself.

On the pointed quillons, similar remarks can be made. You can end up stabbing yourself with your own weapon, but it's a bit less dangerous than the spiked pommel.

Finally, concerning adding a XViiie type ricasso. I don't ever remember needing to "quarter staff' my weapon by grabbing that area of the blade. I think that such a possibility would once again be useful in armor, as it allows you to make more powerful thrusts to defeat protections. We do half sword by grabbing the middle of the blade with our left hand, but never at the base. Also, we sometimes use the forte to push on our opponent's wrist while in a close bind (by quickly disengaging the bind and putting the forte there, it's sneaky). Having a part of the forte being blunt might make that manoeuver slightly less effective. However, if you look at the Albion's Meyer, it does have a blunt ricasso (a schilt rather), but the flares on the top are useful to protect your hands. A blunt ricasso is not really a problem, but it doesn't bring much (unless you have a complex guard which enables you to put your finger over the quillons).

Dustin, I think there's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to dueling weapons, as they were already optimized during their useful era. These guys would live and die by these weapons, and I think we're entitled to rely on their designs. I think that your "prototype" does make more sense if you're talking about an armored duel though, but not really otherwise.

Federico
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Apr, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that the spiky-hilted swords in Talhoffer and the Codex Wallerstein were more of a gimmick than anything. Talhoffers manuscripts show all kinds of strange weapons that were probably not ever in wide use or even particularly effective. Having something strange and interesting in a manual is good for advertising and creating interest. You see it in the manual and think "what the %$@%", and it makes you want to take the class. Too bad that all we have to go on is the advertising and the teacher is 500 years dead.
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: "Ultimate" dueling sword idea?         Reply with quote

Federico Tyrawskyj wrote:
I regularly practiced Meyer's longsword system for a year and Fiore's system for almost a year. I'm by no means an expert, but I can share some insights.

The spiked pommel is dangerous for its wielder and serves no useful purpose.


Sure it does. If you're primarily half-swording, it doesn't create the same problems and improves the effectiveness of the strikes!

Quote:
Not only it can dig into your hands during use, but in most of the guards, the pommel of the sword is held close to your body. Such a sword makes it too easy for an opponent to just push your own sword against you and injure you. It's a liability. Furthermore, if like me you enjoy using your left hand on your pommel to increase control and maneouverability, these spikes just make it awkward for you.


Only if you're not half-swording....

Quote:
The only purpose I see for such a pommel would be to increase the lethality of the pommel while in armor (to use it in a "murder strike" or pommeling your opponent), since without an helmet a pommel strike is already plenty lethal. Your armor would protect you from stabbing yourself.


Now we're getting somewhere!

Quote:
On the pointed quillons, similar remarks can be made. You can end up stabbing yourself with your own weapon, but it's a bit less dangerous than the spiked pommel.


It's very hard to hit a gap in your armor with the spike.... see what I did there? lol

Quote:
Finally, concerning adding a XViiie type ricasso. I don't ever remember needing to "quarter staff' my weapon by grabbing that area of the blade. I think that such a possibility would once again be useful in armor, as it allows you to make more powerful thrusts to defeat protections. We do half sword by grabbing the middle of the blade with our left hand, but never at the base. Also, we sometimes use the forte to push on our opponent's wrist while in a close bind (by quickly disengaging the bind and putting the forte there, it's sneaky). Having a part of the forte being blunt might make that manoeuver slightly less effective. However, if you look at the Albion's Meyer, it does have a blunt ricasso (a schilt rather), but the flares on the top are useful to protect your hands. A blunt ricasso is not really a problem, but it doesn't bring much (unless you have a complex guard which enables you to put your finger over the quillons).


http://www.higginssword.org/guild/study/manua...word_m.jpg

There's two examples of grabbing the schilt in Meyer, which you mentioned. Happy I think the ratio of normally half-swording vs. grabbing the schilt is probably like 10 to 1, but never say never! Also, notice he grabs the schilt with the right hand!

Quote:
Dustin, I think there's no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to dueling weapons, as they were already optimized during their useful era. These guys would live and die by these weapons, and I think we're entitled to rely on their designs. I think that your "prototype" does make more sense if you're talking about an armored duel though, but not really otherwise.


No argument from me on this! I'm not trying to bust your chops too much with the above! It's all in good humor! Big Grin Razz

Krieg School of Historical Swordsmanship
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Federico Tyrawskyj





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PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@ Benjamin Floyd II : You make some very valid points. My comments were mostly directed at unarmored duelling though, where you don't half sword very much. I didn't practice armored duelling much, but I would definitely agree with you that you're half swording most of the time.

Federico
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a reason spiked weapons are rare.
And it certainly is not that nobody thought of it.

There is also a reason there are many styles of sword, often coexisting in the same pertiod and location, namely that none of them are markedly superior to the other.
If such was the case, the other styles would be quickly be abandoned.

Elling's First Law of Exotic weaponry:
"If an exotic piece of weaponry was efficient, it would not be exotic."

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Apr, 2012 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:

Elling's First Law of Exotic weaponry:
"If an exotic piece of weaponry was efficient, it would not be exotic."


Or the weapon might be extremely efficient but the skills needed to use it properly where hard to acquire and few people would have the needed aptitude,time or special " talent " to use it. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Also, some weapons are incredibly more dangerous to the person using it unless that person has mastered it: A weapon that only a double jointed " Cirque du Soleil " contortionist could use it or even attempt to learn to use it. Blush Cool

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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 09 Apr, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Elling Polden wrote:

Elling's First Law of Exotic weaponry:
"If an exotic piece of weaponry was efficient, it would not be exotic."


Or the weapon might be extremely efficient but the skills needed to use it properly where hard to acquire and few people would have the needed aptitude,time or special " talent " to use it. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Also, some weapons are incredibly more dangerous to the person using it unless that person has mastered it: A weapon that only a double jointed " Cirque du Soleil " contortionist could use it or even attempt to learn to use it. Blush Cool


The helmet flail comes to mind. The SCA has a tourney called the pandybat tourney where the idea is to make a weapon that is more dangerous to the wielder then the opponent...the helmet flail is a classic of that tourney series, and a perfect example of a weapon only a cirque du soleil controtionist can make useful hehe.
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Dustin Faulkner




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Apr, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Thanks guys for your comments! :-)         Reply with quote

Thank you gentlemen for your comments. The sword shown with a spiked pommel and pointed quillons is what I was talking about. I am glad to know one exists somewhere.

I have only historical book knowledge of such things. I have not been able to actually learn any swordplay yet. However, I can see how a spiked pommel can be dangerous to the user too. Perhaps only very highly skilled experts used such a weapon. I do think pointed quillons would allow more striking options.

All in all .... swords like the one in the photo above sure do look cool and at the least would be excellent conversation pieces! So here's another idea: a German zweihander with pointed quillons and a spiked pommel!

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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Graham Shearlaw





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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Second Law of Exotic weaponry:
"If an exotic piece of weaponry is efficient, it will be too expensive."

"Always keep in mind that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder"
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Tom King




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something tells me a blunt ricasso historically has more to do with blocking in the strong than with half swording. Anyone who practices longsword fairly regularly probably gets the occasional nick or burr from an imperfect edge to flat blow or going around in the bind. A thick edge at the ricasso would help in this regard.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Apr, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone know if the spiked sword is actually entirely genuine? I have my doubts.
Happy

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