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Which Albion Squire-Line for a first sword?
Knightly Single Hand Sword (Oakeshott type XII)
53%
 53%  [ 16 ]
Great Sword (Oakeshott type XIIa)
46%
 46%  [ 14 ]
Total Votes : 30

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Jon Slayton




Location: Texas
Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: First Sword - One-hand vs Longsword         Reply with quote

Hello, I am new to the site. I discovered this incredible resource through bladeforums.com, where I have been a member for almost 10 years, and I have been relentlessly searching the articles and forums here over the past week (along with ARMA and few other websites). I have been fascinated with Medieval swordsmanship since I was a child but I have never sought to own one due to the abundance of low quality decorative pieces. Having been a knife collector for many years, I knew how worthless and unauthentic they were, and I want quality in an blade that I purchase. However, I recently saw the making of Albion swords on the Science Channel. I started researching, and low and behold I found that quality swords were being produced that were worthy of their namesake and history.

I am interested in purchasing specifically a Medieval European sword due to my interest in that period and its relation to my English heritage. After some research, I've decided to purchase an Albion Squire-Line sword and narrowed it down to the single-hand 13th Century Knightly Sword (Oakeshott type XII) and the two-hand Late 13th Century Great Sword (Oakeshott type XIIa). I decided on Albion because it seems to be one of the most respected sword manufacturers, and they put a lot of research into historic construction. The Albion Squire-Line is also just inside my budget.

The history behind their use is major factor for me, and my research indicates that the single-hand medieval swords evolved from earlier Viking swords and were mostly used in conjunction with a shield or buckler, while the two-hand longswords of the period were developed a bit later to overcome emerging armor when plate armor made shields unnecessary.

I am drawn to the single hand sword because it is so iconic of the Medieval era, but I am equally fascinated by the centrality of the longsword to Medieval combat styles. However, having never handled a real sword, I am having a very difficult time deciding which to purchase. After days of researching articles and message boards, I decided it's time for me to just ask the experts who actually have hands on experience, as I don't think reading on its own can get me much further. So here it is: would a single hand sword and buckler or longsword be a better first sword?

Honestly, while I plan to order the sharp version of whichever sword I purchase, I doubt I see myself doing much cutting (or anything else) with it, and it will likely remain next to my desk for me to handle and admire. I will however give me something tangible to handle while studying the history and use of Medieval arms.

Also, there is one other question that I was unable to find an answer to. While I understand the single hand sword and buckler were commonly carried for self defense off the battlefield, was the longsword carried in this manner as well (without the buckler obviously) or was it reserved strictly for the battlefield?

Thanks you gents very much for your insight. I've already learned so much here.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon,

Which of the two are you more drawn to, the single handed or the long sword? I have the sense from your post that it's actually the single handed sword that you find more compelling, and that your interest in the long sword stems in light of what you know from your readings online. From what you've said, though, I don't have the sense that you have the same interest in single handed swords as you do in long swords.

The thing to keep in mind is that all of the texts we have instructing on swords and other weapons come from the Late Medieval Period, which precisely coincides with longswords becoming common and popular weapons. Thus, the centrality of the longsword in what we know about Medieval and Renaissance swordsmanship is a consequence of when people first started to record the European fighting arts. If the first fechtbuch had been written in the 12th century, we would undoubtedly have seen a far greater influence of single handed sword and shield, alongside mounted lance techniques.

So I think the best thing to do is to go with the sword you are most drawn to. Since I own Albion's Knight, which is fairly similar to the Squire Line Knightly, you can be confident that you will have a really outstanding single handed sword. The thing I love about the Knight is that it beautifully pairs agility with robustness in a way that my other single handers do not.

As for your second question, longsword was certainly intended for self-defense as well, given that the blossfechten teachings are for fighting without armour.
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Jon Slayton




Location: Texas
Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Jon,

Which of the two are you more drawn to, the single handed or the long sword? I have the sense from your post that it's actually the single handed sword that you find more compelling, and that your interest in the long sword stems in light of what you know from your readings online. From what you've said, though, I don't have the sense that you have the same interest in single handed swords as you do in long swords.


You are absolutely correct. I was originally drawn to the single hand sword due its iconic representation of the Medieval era. Through researching Medieval arms after this initial draw, I came to appreciate the longsword.

Quote:
The thing to keep in mind is that all of the texts we have instructing on swords and other weapons come from the Late Medieval Period, which precisely coincides with longswords becoming common and popular weapons. Thus, the centrality of the longsword in what we know about Medieval and Renaissance swordsmanship is a consequence of when people first started to record the European fighting arts. If the first fechtbuch had been written in the 12th century, we would undoubtedly have seen a far greater influence of single handed sword and shield, alongside mounted lance techniques.


Excellent point. I hadn't thought of that.

Quote:
So I think the best thing to do is to go with the sword you are most drawn to. Since I own Albion's Knight, which is fairly similar to the Squire Line Knightly, you can be confident that you will have a really outstanding single handed sword. The thing I love about the Knight is that it beautifully pairs agility with robustness in a way that my other single handers do not.


Your experience reiterates everything I've heard about the Albion Knight.

Quote:
As for your second question, longsword was certainly intended for self-defense as well, given that the blossfechten teachings are for fighting without armour.


Thank you. I've been searching desperately for a direct answer and hadn't been able to find one.
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Brandt Giese




Location: Everett. Wa
Joined: 06 Apr 2010
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Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know were you are coming from as I had the same dilemma. I had a tough time deciding between the two and decided to get the Baron. I chose this over the Squire line as the sharpened versions of the squire line have a secondary bevel rather than the appleseed edge which I believe were more common in the 13th century. The Baron did not quite fill the void and I bought the Knight as well so in the end my right choice was both. Now that all is said and done I am glad I waited a little longer and bought up to the next Gen line. This is an exciting time for you and I know you will love your Albion which ever you chose!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: First Sword - One-hand vs Longsword         Reply with quote

Jon Slayton wrote:
Hello, I am new to the site. I discovered this incredible resource through bladeforums.com, where I have been a member for almost 10 years, and I have been relentlessly searching the articles and forums here over the past week (along with ARMA and few other websites).

I decided on Albion because it seems to be one of the most respected sword manufacturers, and they put a lot of research into historic construction. The Albion Squire-Line is also just inside my budget.

.


I edited down your post in my reply just to not repeat it all.

Firstly welcome to the site, and I too was mostly a knife collector about a decade ago, and mostly production folding knives with a few custom knives, some of my own design by a local knife maker.

10 years ago you could find A&A and Del Tin, and a few custom makers, as about the only quality swords available, around 2001 and 2002 I discovered Albion when they where mostly selling Del Tin swords and started a first Generation of custom made swords. They eventually got Peter Johssson, a high end sword maker, who had studied and handled many original Medieval swords for his own custom work, he started to design a line of swords for Albion based closely on period swords and with the Museum line as close as possible to a specific surviving original sword.

With the Squire Line one hander you have a sword equally as well researched and made as in the Next generation line but not finished as finely to keep the price down for an entry level sword: I've handled this sword because a member of my HEMA group used one for training ( Unsharpened ) in 1:33 sword and buckler and it's an excellent and good handling sword.

Eventually you may decide to also buy the Squire Line Longsword and if, finances permit, be very tempted to buy some more Albions: Most of us started with the intent to buy one or maybe two swords and then got addicted to buying different swords to experience them and because we liked the look of them.

I suggest you have a look at the offerings of " FREELANCE ACADEMY PRESS " who have many books and DVDs available about period swordsmanship: Even if you never take it up as an activity watching the DVDs will give you a better understanding of the true subtleties and incredible efficiency of Medieval longsword, sword and buckler, Messer and Poleaxe techniques. They also have other general titles worth reading. By the way they are very reliable and good to deal with with good customer service.

http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/

For purchasing swords I recommend Kult Of Athena for their reputation for AAAA+ customer service: You can buy your Albion directly from Albion or order through Kult of Athena. KoA stocks just about everything from " walhangers " to high end swords.

http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/

Anyway, look at the Reviews and articles on this site and not just the Forums as there is a great deal of content other than what is on the Forums.

Do searches and you should be able to find a great deal of interesting information and/or just randomly go to any of the enormous number of old posts pages and you should be able to find thousands of interesting discussions.

Don't feel shy to ask questions or contribute opinions and most of us enjoy helping. Big Grin Cool

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




Location: Texas
Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 10:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for the information--it has been extremely helpful. I have placed an order with Albion for the Squire-line Knightly single hand sword. I will likely get a longsword as well in the future.

I have contacted DBK Custom Swords about a scabbard, and I'm looking at ordering an Alchem buckler to pair with the sword. Are these good options, or should be looking at something else?

Thanks again.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Slayton wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information--it has been extremely helpful. I have placed an order with Albion for the Squire-line Knightly single hand sword. I will likely get a longsword as well in the future.

I have contacted DBK Custom Swords about a scabbard, and I'm looking at ordering an Alchem buckler to pair with the sword. Are these good options, or should be looking at something else?

Thanks again.


You could consider purchasing a heater shield as well, if you are interested, as this type of shield would be contemporary with a sword like the SL knightly.

I tend to think of a heater shield as more of a battlefield defense as compared to a buckler which seems to relate more to swordsmanship in a civilian context.

Just a thought.

I LOVE the Knight and so I know you will LOVE your SL Knighly. Congratulations Happy
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Jon Slayton




Location: Texas
Joined: 25 May 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Jon Slayton wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information--it has been extremely helpful. I have placed an order with Albion for the Squire-line Knightly single hand sword. I will likely get a longsword as well in the future.

I have contacted DBK Custom Swords about a scabbard, and I'm looking at ordering an Alchem buckler to pair with the sword. Are these good options, or should be looking at something else?

Thanks again.


You could consider purchasing a heater shield as well, if you are interested, as this type of shield would be contemporary with a sword like the SL knightly.

I tend to think of a heater shield as more of a battlefield defense as compared to a buckler which seems to relate more to swordsmanship in a civilian context.

Just a thought.

I LOVE the Knight and so I know you will LOVE your SL Knighly. Congratulations Happy


The heater shield is an excellent idea, but the cost of a good scabbard has already put me over-budget.

I was looking at the Alchem buckler since it is fairly inexpensive yet has received excellent reviews.

A quality period heater shield may be a good idea for a future purchase though.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Slayton wrote:
I was looking at the Alchem buckler since it is fairly inexpensive yet has received excellent reviews.
A quality period heater shield may be a good idea for a future purchase though.


Remember that shields were far more common that bucklers for most, if not all, of the Middle Ages. Although we see sword and buckler in MS I.33 and some of the later fencing manuals, the apparent prevelance of bucklers over shields is once again a product of when the fechbucher were written.
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Slayton wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Jon Slayton wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information--it has been extremely helpful. I have placed an order with Albion for the Squire-line Knightly single hand sword. I will likely get a longsword as well in the future.

I have contacted DBK Custom Swords about a scabbard, and I'm looking at ordering an Alchem buckler to pair with the sword. Are these good options, or should be looking at something else?

Thanks again.


You could consider purchasing a heater shield as well, if you are interested, as this type of shield would be contemporary with a sword like the SL knightly.

I tend to think of a heater shield as more of a battlefield defense as compared to a buckler which seems to relate more to swordsmanship in a civilian context.

Just a thought.

I LOVE the Knight and so I know you will LOVE your SL Knighly. Congratulations Happy


The heater shield is an excellent idea, but the cost of a good scabbard has already put me over-budget.

I was looking at the Alchem buckler since it is fairly inexpensive yet has received excellent reviews.

A quality period heater shield may be a good idea for a future purchase though.


Mercenary's Tailr used to make great affordable shields but, sadly, he isn't really producing things on demmand anymore.

I don't know where one would go to obtain a nice one. A&A makes a nice one- but it is steel and I would be more drawn to a wooden example but that's just me.
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J. Hargis




Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Joined: 06 Feb 2012
Likes: 22 pages

Posts: 338

PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon Slayton wrote:
Thank you everyone for the information--it has been extremely helpful. I have placed an order with Albion for the Squire-line Knightly single hand sword. I will likely get a longsword as well in the future.

I have contacted DBK Custom Swords about a scabbard, ...

Thanks again.

Hello, Jon.

The Squire line Knight sharpened, I understand it takes it well. And DBK, a fine choice there. In fact, a fine choice all around. I too have considered this sword. Give us a review when you have it in hand. I've heard only good things about it.

Jon

A poorly maintained weapon is likely to belong to an unsafe and careless fighter.
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