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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Question about street fighting sword- mid 17th century         Reply with quote

I've got a question relating to a book I'm considering starting, based in a world with mid-Seventeenth Century technology.

For a street fighter with money to spend- what would be the most preferred weapon? Armour would be exceedingly rare, other than buff coats and the odd breast plate, and guns would be equivalent to what they were historically.

My first thought would be a rapier, though they might be unwieldy in tight confines. Some sort of basket-hilted sword could be good, but also cumbersome. Then there is the small sword or the cutlass, which would be better, but perhaps limited against longer swords?

For the record I lean towards Mortuary/Walloon/Schiavona type swords for versatility and ruggedness.

I'm most eager for input- what would you chose, if you were a rogue living on the streets in a fictional mid-600's, with any sort of sword at your disposal?

Thanks in advance!
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There would be a number of hangers on 17th century streets. Originally designed as hunting swords, they were also used in civilian and military applilcations. They often had a D guard hilt with a usually single edged blade between 20 to 30 inches long - much like a short sabre.

Look at This Thread to see a lot of 17th century swords, mostly Walloons. There were a lot of 32-inch-bladed Walloons used as town guard swords in Amsterdam around 1650.

In a cramped alley I would go with a hanger. Otherwise, I would carry a Walloon - they have great hand protection and are very versatile. One of my favorite sword types.



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hanger 1635.jpg
Hanger from around 1635

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English Hanger from around 1700 - Hermann Historica

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German hanger from around 1650 - Hermann Historica

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hanger_german_1650.jpg
German hanger from around 1650 - Hermann Historica
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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! I reckon Walloon swords are pretty awesome as well.
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My thoughts also tend towards the hunting sword, or preferabely, a Sinclaire saber - they have varied length of blades, too.
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks- I'll have a look.
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P. Frank




Location: Germany
Joined: 03 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll second what Rogers said about the hanger. They came in many flavours and are rather handy when it comes confined situations. The shorter reach is only a problem if the adversary can actually use the full potential of his longer weapon, which can be quite a problem in a narrow alley.

If it is a more roomy scenario you are looking at, I would personally go for a Walloon as well, though any basket hilt would do.
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Essentially just echoing others, but I see the advantage being that the style of sword the are suggesting also goes by the name (unless I have my terminology confused) "cuttoe", which is a wonderfully evocative name for a sword used by a "streetfighter", something just a little bit brutal about it.
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Tom King




Location: florida
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

while less dashing, a long bladed thrusting dagger would also be a common, if not the most common of weapons carried by all classes of society. sumtry laws, town ordinances, etc. may limit a persons ability to carry a sword or long bladed weapon.

Besides hangers, there would probably be a large number of reitschwerts floating around from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. such as below
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A military smallsword might also be a good choice. A fast, light blade of the same length as a medevial sword, this is what a military officer or nobleman might carry. Not only because they where fancy, but because their light weight and length would make them feel wonderfull in hand and handle like a dream.

Something like this;
https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/timeline/_AD_blankvaben_view.php?editid1=227

More examples on the bottom of this page; unfortunately it is in danish.
https://www.arma-dania.dk/public/timeline/_ad_blankvaben_list.php

"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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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Transitional rapiers/military smallswords with blades arround 30-38 inches are pretty handy as well...
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From around 1610 - the Munich Town Guard sword - a shortish cut and thrust blade with a rapier style swept hilt. Arms and Armor makes a Good Reproduction of it. Windlass also has a version of it.
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Graham Shearlaw





Joined: 24 Oct 2011

Posts: 81

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

at the smallist a dagger of 6 to 8 inchs, double edged blade,needle point, cross draw holster from the forarm.
for any real fight id get hold of a bigger weapon like one of the f 32-inch-bladed Walloons.
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