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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Custom A&A Swiss dagger/early baselard         Reply with quote

Hey friends,
I posted some pics in the Show us your baselards thread, but thought I'd share some more pics now that I have it in hand.

Craig and crew made a great dagger based on features found on baselards/Swiss daggers of the late 13th and early 14th centuries, all housed in the Swiss Landesmuseum. Note that most English-language sources just call these baselards or early baselards. Other sources, like German-language sources, often call these Swiss daggers to separate them from fully developed typical baselards.

Many of these are fragmentary: blades survive, but the grips are gone; if the grip survives, there often is no scabbard. So I simply chose features I liked and had them combined into a plausible dagger. The grip is walnut mounted in steel with brass pins. The double-fullered, double-edged blade is triangular in cross-section--the fullered face has a mid-rib, while the back of the blade is flat. This cross-section is found on several blades in that museum. There aren't a ton of repros of these daggers and most have perfectly accurate diamond cross-sections. I chose something different for mine.

The scabbard is two layers of leather with a steel frame. Several steel framed scabbards survive for these daggers and one of them gets reproduced a lot. So I chose a different one for this project. Happy

I'm really happy with it. They did a great job.



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Happy

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Last edited by Chad Arnow on Tue 11 Sep, 2012 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well that is really cool Chad!

The blade cross-section is, of course, fascinating and coupled with the early dating makes this an all around great example in my book.

Congratulations on a very unique piece!
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice! I really like baselards but I didn't realize they go that far back in time. Some good choices made and another fine piece from the boys at A&A.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good one Chad! I've always had a soft spot in my heart for baselards. I really like the unusual blade profile. It makes this piece unique! Congrats!
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work A and A and well done Chad.

Very clean lines and a wicked blade profile, coupled with a beautifully done scabbard and a nice fat and short blade that is so typical of these pieces,make that a really good piece in my book.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy, J.D., and Tim,
Thanks! It means a lot. A&A did a great job.

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Nice work A and A and well done Chad.

Very clean lines and a wicked blade profile, coupled with a beautifully done scabbard and a nice fat and short blade that is so typical of these pieces,make that a really good piece in my book.

Tod .


Tod,
Thanks so much. Happy My hope was that the dagger wouldn't end up long, thin, and elegant. Happy I like the short, wide, nasty aspects of these and Craig and the boys really came through (as they always do).

Happy

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Nice! I really like baselards but I didn't realize they go that far back in time. Some good choices made and another fine piece from the boys at A&A.


Here's a manuscript depiction from Cambridge's Ee.3.59 fo.32v from circa 1250-1260.



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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More great work from A&A. They are definitely the place to go for custom designs.
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Here's a manuscript depiction from Cambridge's Ee.3.59 fo.32v from circa 1250-1260.


Thanks again...I've been attracted to these for some time but didn't think they fell within 'my era'. Now I know better.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
Mart Shearer wrote:
Here's a manuscript depiction from Cambridge's Ee.3.59 fo.32v from circa 1250-1260.


Thanks again...I've been attracted to these for some time but didn't think they fell within 'my era'. Now I know better.


Well, there isn't much detail to work with in that illumination. That hilt could almost be any shape. There are other illuminations showing the "antenna" hilt types in the 13th. c. but the hilt shown here just doesn't give an idea of it's true shape- at least to me it doesn't.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Below is a composite image of the inspirations for this dagger and the results. I wasn't looking for a slavish copy of any one thing, but an original piece with these parts as inspirations.

The leftmost dagger is the inspiration for the grip. The second dagger is the rough inspiration for the blade (double-fullered triangular section); I like the shorter, narrower fullers the repro ended up with. The middle most image is the scabbard frame. The over-exposure of the image makes the details a little hard to make out, but you can see the construction and filework Craig reproduced.



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Happy

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's great Chad,

I love how the design choices forum different sources came together the way they did.

What about the bronze pins at the base of the blade on your reproduction? Am I just not seeing those in the pics. of the originals, or is that a design choice taken by the guys at A&A?

I agree regarding the shape of the fullers on the repro- very nice.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Sep, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:

What about the bronze pins at the base of the blade on your reproduction? Am I just not seeing those in the pics. of the originals, or is that a design choice taken by the guys at A&A?


Many of the hilts of swiss daggers from that era seem to have the metal bands and grips pinned together, sometimes with decorated pins. Sometimes it's just on the "pommel" end, pinning it to the grip. Some have pins pinning the "guard" to the grip.

A&A used the same kind of pins/tacks/nails to pin the guard as they did to pin the pommel. Pins in the guard tend to be seen more often on examples with either a narrower blade or wider guard area, both of which leave more space for decorative things like that.

Happy

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's another early manuscript example, from the Austrian Natiional Library's Cod. 2554, a French Bible Moralisee from 1226-1250. Look in the hand of the king wearing the red gambeson or jazerant.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/bible-moralis...2554/3829/

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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Chad's Dagger         Reply with quote

Hi All

I have been meaning to comment on this dagger since Chad posted but have been really under the gun with family and fair stuff on top of normal work stuff of late.

I really like this dagger. The first thing is to compliment Chad on two things. One is the great taste he showed in picking the elements he wanted to see in the dagger and the great patience he showed in me working it into the dagger.

The way this piece feels in the hand is my favorite part. It feels even better than it looks. The size and heft are such that it has purpose in the hand that is often not the way replica daggers feel. The thickness of the blade is key here where it positions the mass in a way that the substantial hilt is still behind the mass when it is in the hand. This gives the weapon a solid feel and one that would need to have a distinct amount of pressure applied to deflect a thrust.

The edge is also a nice combination of mass and finesse. There is really no bevel but rather the two planes just arriving at the edge. The upper surface probably have a slight convex surface but this is just the result of the hand work and finishing by eye as opposed to a distinct shaping. The result is an edge sharp enough to cut my hand (twice) but very substantial and would have certainly been useful in a fight.

All in all this was a great dagger to work on. I learned a lot about several aspects of what I was doing and how the piece challenged my work process. Hopefully it will allow me to be a better craftsman in the future.

Mart, that is a great picture excellent example of the dagger type but also has some unique swords pictured.

Best
Craig
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep, 2012 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ONB 2554 does seem to have an artist's quirk, in that sheathed swords have the guard curved toward the tip as expected, but unsheathed swords seem to have the guard on backwards. The apparent globe-pommel, as opposed to the more commonly shown wheel, is also seen in folio 37r's 8th roundel. Folio 61r has some sort of curved blade, possibly an attempt to show eastern scimitars.

There are plenty of daggers shown, and a good example of a knife in sheath, but it's often difficult to be certain about their form.

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PostPosted: Mon 17 Sep, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Chad's Dagger         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:

The edge is also a nice combination of mass and finesse. There is really no bevel but rather the two planes just arriving at the edge. The upper surface probably have a slight convex surface but this is just the result of the hand work and finishing by eye as opposed to a distinct shaping. The result is an edge sharp enough to cut my hand (twice) but very substantial and would have certainly been useful in a fight.



The edge reminds me of chisel edged modern tantos and gives a very sharp but also robust edge.

I really like the shape of this dagger and the very robust functionality.

Congratulations to Craig and the A&A team and to Chad for his good taste in sharp objects. Big Grin Cool

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Chad's Dagger         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
I really like this dagger. The first thing is to compliment Chad on two things. One is the great taste he showed in picking the elements he wanted to see in the dagger and the great patience he showed in me working it into the dagger.

The way this piece feels in the hand is my favorite part. It feels even better than it looks. The size and heft are such that it has purpose in the hand that is often not the way replica daggers feel. The thickness of the blade is key here where it positions the mass in a way that the substantial hilt is still behind the mass when it is in the hand. This gives the weapon a solid feel and one that would need to have a distinct amount of pressure applied to deflect a thrust.


Craig,
Thanks! This was a fun project. I agree about the in-hand feel. The blade is just under a 1/4 inch thick at the base. It's also around an inch and 3/4 wide. That puts a lot of meat in the right place to make it feel authoritative, yet handy. What is also striking to me is how the grip shape tells you what to do with it. Holding it point-up feels fine. Holding it point-down (the "ice-pick" grip), though, feels incredibly natural. The hand really locks in there and everything seems primed deadly downward strokes.

What a cool piece. Happy

Happy

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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, in period, would the sheath simply be pushed through the belt and held by friction?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2012 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
So, in period, would the sheath simply be pushed through the belt and held by friction?


Some might. Hanging from a thong seems to have been common, too. This sheath has a small ring on the back that a thong can be run through.

Happy

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