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Michel Pérusse

Location: Montreal
Joined: 12 Mar 2007

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Commission: Type XV-XVa customization         Reply with quote


I would very much appreciate help, ideas and opinions about a commission for customization on a reproduction sword.

A little while ago, I acquired a Generation 2 Dordogne sword on the second-hand market.

Picture courtesy of Kult of Athena
Stats, according to KoA:
Overall Length: 44 1/4'' Blade:36''
Weight: 3 lb 5 oz
Edge: Sharp
P.O.B.: 4 9/16''
Thickness: 6.2 mm - 3.9 mm
Width: 51.3 mm
Grip Length: 3 5/8''

The hilt didn't interest me, I don't think it is well rendered on this reproduction and, even was it very similar to the original (or originals) from which it is inspired, I'm not too fond of that hilt design. Only the blade interests me, being somewhat close to a Type XV (XVa), a type I am interested in, not too common on the reproduction market, and that could fit with my late XIVth/ early XV harness (in progress).

So, I had it sent to Ernest at Yeshua's Sword ( for customization.

My first thought and wish was to have the Gen 2 sword modified into a sword inspired by the ones in Group A on the famous picture of some of the swords from the Castillon find.
First picture on this thread:
And by Oakeshott's Record of the Medieval Sword's Type XV.5/XV.8
A Type XV sword with Type K pommel and Style 8 guard is what I am after.

But the Generation 2 sword is long (44 1/4in) and has a long blade (36in), it is of course closer to swords from Group B and/or Oakeshott's Type XVa.4 from RotMS...when the swords in Group A of the Castillon find sport much shorter and stockier blades (also, as examples, according to Oakeshott's Record of the Medieval Sword Type XV.5 and XV.8: respectively 32in & 30 1/4in)...

So far, given these points, my options seem to be the following:

-the blade could be shortened at the shoulders to be of 34in, blade would appear much slender in profile still than ones in Group A, with a shorter grip and aforementioned K pommel and style 8 guard type. The Oakeshott Type XV.3 in RotMS sports such a long blade but with different fittings. Would one with Type K pommel, Style 8 guard and such a long blade be historically correct/plausible? Apart from Type XV.3, I haven't found any examples of Type XV with such long blades...

-Keep the Gen 2 blade as is and go for a Type XVa of hand-&-half proportions, the Lake Lucerne specimen (Oakeshott's Type XVa.1) or the Black Prince comes to mind but they are common on the market, plus the guards are too wide for my taste and, on the Gen 2, would there be enough tang for the long grip? It would have to be of true hand and a half proportions: where the second hand grips only part of the grip and pommel.
So I've come up with an idea and had a friend draw it:

Could a sword like this be historically plausible? What about the waisted grip? Something about the grip tells me it would be of a later period?

I originally wanted a Type XV and not XVa, ideally a reproduction of a sword from the late XIVth century to early XVth, but with the blade at hand...

I would very much appreciate any input, opinions, ideas, references and -of course- other suggestions about what to do with this blade before Ernie gets to begin on the project.

Thank you in advance for the help.

Michel Pérusse
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J. Hargis

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

Posts: 350

PostPosted: Sun 05 Aug, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


I have a G2 Dordogne and made some simple changes See what J. E. Sarge and myself went for here



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

Location: Bolton, UK
Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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Reading list: 39 books

Posts: 230

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2012 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Michel,

My take on this would be that a Gen 2 sword might be okay for a little DIY tinkering, but I'm not sure I'd send it to a swordsmith for work. If I was minded to send a blade to be hilted, personally, I think I'd go for one of the Albion bare blades or a factory '2nd' from their moat sale (if you can get hold of one). Another option might be one of the naked Hanwei/Tinker blades. Are you sure that having a Gen 2 sword customised in this manner is going to be ultimately worth it? How much is this work going to cost?

I've a feeling that a 100% custom piece might not be a great deal more expensive than the alterations you envisage for this sword. Might it be better to simply go 100% custom and have the sword you really want rather than compromising your vision?

'Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all'

'To teach superstitions as truth is a most terrible thing'

Hypatia of Alexandria, c400AD
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Michel Pérusse

Location: Montreal
Joined: 12 Mar 2007

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon 06 Aug, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies.

Hi Jon: thank you, yes, I saw what you had Jonathan Sarge do with yours, it is a great improvement over the off-the-shelf sword really and I'm glad you have posted the pictures which were a good reference as to the aspect and proportion of the sword and its potential, but I'm not really into the Style 11 guard and this sort of V pommel variation myself.

Hi David: thanks for the advice, I've thought about the Albion bare blades and the one that would fit my first idea (Castillon find, Group A) would be their single-hand Type XVIII...but I was held back by the fact that it is a bit short for my taste (overall length of 34in and blade of 28in)...but maybe eventually. The customization shouldn't be too expensive on the Gen2, the blade might well be worth it (I didn't read anything about any problem with the temper on this model, nor about the balance, etc.) and its profile is interesting. You are right that one should aim and go for what one really wants and not settle for compromises...But, in any case, it is already at Yeshua's Sword: might as well have something interesting done with it! The blade could be shortened to 34in, of single-hander proportions, mounted with K pommel and 8 guard and I would be satisfied: it is one option.

Brainstorming about what to have done with this sword for a while now, I've considered many other extant swords to serve as inspiration, according to my interests and tastes (but, most would fall outside of the late XIVth-Early XVth c. period):

-Oakeshott's Type XV.3 in RotMS.

-the Type XV.10, also from RotMS (of course much longer, the blade lacking the central ridge).

-the Type XVa.3, from RotMS again.

But then again, while going through Records of the Medieval Sword, I noticed that Unclassified 1-3, the #2 unclassified Type XV seems to sport quite a long blade for a single-hander, of course Oakeshott doesn't mention its length but going from the other sword beside it (if they are close to scale)...this specimen gives me a good idea what the Gen2 Dordogne could look like converted into a one-hander with K pommel & replacing the style 11 cross by a style 8...
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Luka Borscak

Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,307

PostPosted: Tue 07 Aug, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't shorten the blade! I handled that model and it's nicely balanced even for one handed use. And long reach is desirable for a battlefield sword which could be used both one and two handed if your pommel shape will allow two handed grip...
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