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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:21 pm    Post subject: Oakeshott Type XVIII subtypes         Reply with quote

While looking over the Albion Svante sword, I started to really do a bit of research into the Oakeshott Type XVIII swords and its various subtypes. Many people had called the Svante a XVIIIe, but really, this sword doesn't neatly fit into a specific type. It might perhaps be better classed as a Type XVIIIb as Peter Johnsson mentions.

So this leads me to ask you all for references on authentic swords that do fit within the XVIIIe class. I haven't been able to find any published swords for this type and I'm very curious about them!

Please share photos and stats if you have them of antique XVIIIe swords and reference where you found them if you have that info, too. I'm very curious about this type of weapon, as the long grip and ricasso is extremely interesting to me.

While we're at it, I'd like to find some references for the XVIIIc swords, too. I have not been able to find any swords that I can clearly peg into that category either. Please share with me any examples of such swords you may have as well.

If you don't have the photos available, tha'ts okay, too. Just reference where it's published and I can probably get ahold of it, as I have a big library.

Thanks in advance!

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always considered the Schloss Erbach sword (A&A and the original with its entry in Oakeshott's, Records) to be an XVIIIc.

If memory serves, Oakeshott calls it a very broad XVIIIa. I believe he made that statement before XVIII's were further subdivided beyond XVIII snd XVIIIa.


Last edited by Roger Hooper on Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Please see my reply to Peter on the other thread about the XVIIIe subtype. I'll be able to do quotes from Oakeshott tonight and I believe those will make my case, but I've been wrong before.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I've always considered the Schloss Erbach sword (A&A and the original with its entry in Oakeshott's, Records) to be an XVIIIc


Oh, cool input, Roger! But now I'm very confused.

Oakeshott classed the Schlos Erbach sword as a XVIIIa. It's shown on page 196 in Records as XVIIIa.10. Now with my recent research, I've come to find dozens upon dozens of errors in Oakeshott's writings and inconsistencies between his various books. He's done his best to correct them with the new books and the additions to his reprints, but there are still many errors.

Can you explain why the Schloss Erbach sword, to you, would be a XVIIIc and not a XVIIIa, as Oakeshott classifies it?

I'm just trying to understand all this stuff. I've never been into Typology too much, but it's certainly interesting.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan - see above - I was editing more info in as you were typing your post.

Isn't a wide blade the defining characteristic of an XVIIIc? At 2 inches wide, the Schloss Erbach may be on the border between A and C.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Please see my reply to Peter on the other thread about the XVIIIe subtype. I'll be able to do quotes from Oakeshott tonight and I believe those will make my case, but I've been wrong before.


This is what Oakeshott says in Swords in the Age of Chivalry regarding the XVIIIe:

Quote:
A long, narrow blade generally with a long (5"-6") ricasso narrow than the blade itself; occasionally with a fuller running most of the length, but more commonly of "flattened diamond" section. Pommel of pear form, and the cross is curved sharply downward


The Svante doesn't have a pear-shaped pommel or a downcurved cross-guard. Its ricasso (if that is indeed what it is) is much shorter than Oakeshott describes and is not suitable for wrapping one's hand around during use. If anything, it seems to be a ground-away area that was intended for fingering the cross.

But, having said all that, looking at these things as "rules" is somewhat futile as swords were not designed and created with a rule list.

I really think the Svante is an odd-ball. Regardless of where you'd put it (if it's important at all), it is questionable in any category you'd place it because it's not a typical example of any of the types, in my opinion. Any placement is a concession.

Regardless of the Svante, I want to find a typical example of a XVIIIe.

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a quote from the Oakeshott typology at Bjorn's website -

Sub-type XVIIIa characteristics (not shown): This type is fairly slender, having an average length of 32". The section is the same as the XVIII, but some have a narrow fuller in the upper part. One thing that sets them apart from the XVIII's is the grip, which is about an inch (or so) longer than on XVIII (5"+ as opposed to 4").


Sub-type XVIIIc characteristics (not shown): Like all swords of this type, the blade is of flattened diamond cross-section. It is broad and generally about 34" long. The grip can be used with one or both hands


The description for XVIIIc fits the Schloss Erbach pretty well.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Roger-

That's an interesting pont and one that further confuses me about Oakeshott. In Records he only goes so far as to outline the XVIII and XVIIIa swords. This book was published in '91, much later than when SAC came out in 1964 (and republished in 1981 and 1995). Despite this, the first-edition SAC had all the subtypes described even in '64, leading one to ask why he didn't do the same in Records 25 years later. So frustrating!

The reason I wouldn't call the Schloss sword a XVIIIc is that Oakeshott mentions that the 'c' variant is a "characteristically Italian style of the type corresponding to the German XVIIIb". He mentions the cross is generally ribbon-like in section (style 5) and often horizontally s-curved. The XVIIIc typically has a wheel pommel, too. I'd call it a wide XVIIIa, but once again it shows us that not all swords are typical examples of a given type so who really knows with these.

But despite all this, it's clear that the XVIII type and its variants are defined in a rather sloppy manner with even Oakeshott confusing them between his books, often correcting himself and changing his mind when classing swords.

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 3:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's odd that Oakeshott would give XVIIIc a typical pommel and guard type. Didn't he say (somewhere) that the types were based on blade shape only? After all you can see all types of guards and pommels on XV's and XVIII's
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
It's odd that Oakeshott would give XVIIIc a typical pommel and guard type. Didn't he say (somewhere) that the types were based on blade shape only? After all you can see all types of guards and pommels on XV's and XVIII's


He indicates characteristics for swords of every type in SAC, including pommels, crosses, grips, regions, cultures, and examples in art. SAC is generally where he first outlined the details of his typology. Archaeology of Weapons seems to have introduced it, but doesn't get very detailed. Records is a wonderful source to study examples of a given type, but the data it gives on the types themselves isn't very detailed.

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a XVIIIe.
A Danish two hander.
There are also Italian swords of exactly the same type.
The same size, proportions but made with talian flair. In Venezia I think.
Some are on display in the Doge palace. There is one on display in Brescia. I have photographed that one. I will see if I can find the pic, but it is of low quality...
here is a drawing of the Dane:

Somtimes the grip is shorter, like a third of the blade length, sometimes the grip is almost half the lenght of the blade, being almost a third of the total length.



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Danish2h-netversion.jpg

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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Oakeshott Type XVIII subtypes         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
While looking over the Albion Svante sword, I started to really do a bit of research into the Oakeshott Type XVIII swords and its various subtypes. Many people had called the Svante a XVIIIe, but really, this sword doesn't neatly fit into a specific type. It might perhaps be better classed as a Type XVIIIb as Peter Johnsson mentions.

So this leads me to ask you all for references on authentic swords that do fit within the XVIIIe class. I haven't been able to find any published swords for this type and I'm very curious about them!

Please share photos and stats if you have them of antique XVIIIe swords and reference where you found them if you have that info, too. I'm very curious about this type of weapon, as the long grip and ricasso is extremely interesting to me.

While we're at it, I'd like to find some references for the XVIIIc swords, too. I have not been able to find any swords that I can clearly peg into that category either. Please share with me any examples of such swords you may have as well.

If you don't have the photos available, tha'ts okay, too. Just reference where it's published and I can probably get ahold of it, as I have a big library.

Thanks in advance!


Yeah, the XVIII subtypes can get really confusing...

Let's take XVIIIa for example...

At first, Oakeshott's XVIIIa subtype was, basically, a more cavalry-oriented version of the standard type XVIII, with a slightly longer blade (33 inches or so), and a slightly longer grip (about 5 inches). I guess the sword of King Edward III would fit the "original" type XVIIIa...

Then this changed to include virtually all longswords in the XVIII category that have a noticeable taper.

XVIIIb is about the only one that seems pretty obvious-- long, with a slender blade, slight taper. Also happens to be the most ęsthetically-pleasing, at least from my perspective...

I have no idea what XVIIIc's are...

I also have no idea what XVIIId's are...

I always think "Danish two-hander" whenever I think of XVIIIe's...

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Oakeshott Type XVIII subtypes         Reply with quote

Jeremiah Swanger wrote:

I also have no idea what XVIIId's are...



I remember Peter's drawing of an XVIIId -- it looked exactly like Del Tin DT5160
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 6:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Oakeshott Type XVIII subtypes         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Jeremiah Swanger wrote:

I also have no idea what XVIIId's are...



I remember Peter's drawing of an XVIIId -- it looked exactly like Del Tin DT5160


Does the subtype consist entirely of riding swords, then? Or are there some heavier, more military-oriented stuff in there too?

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Oakeshott Type XVIII subtypes         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I remember Peter's drawing of an XVIIId -- it looked exactly like Del Tin DT5160


The sword that the DT5160 is based on is featured in plate 38 in SAC: the Espada de Ropera listed as a Type XVIIIc.

On page 243 of Records I found the same sword as "Complex Hilt #3" where Oakeshott says:
Quote:
This handsome sword has been classified as a Type XVIII in SAC, though in my Archaeology of Weapons which proceeded it, I had the sense not to classify it.


So it would appear that Oakeshott doesn't believe this to be a XVIII at all, but rather an unclassified type. I'd have to agree that it's not a 'c' variant, but maybe a 'd' variant, as it looks more like a sidesword of the late 15th century with a cut and thrust type of blade.

(more evidence of sloppy classification...)

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Nov, 2004 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dratted parallel threads... Happy

Hey Peter! I couldn't agree more that is definitely a type XVIIIe I'm just saying in my opinion so is this:

http://albion-swords.com/swords/johnsson/sword-museum-svante.htm
(Man that thing is pretty)

However to be fair I thought I'd do a side by side comparison of the two descriptions and let the chips fall where they may...

Type XVIIIe
"A long, narrow blade generally with a long 5-6 inch ricasso narrower then the blade itself; occasionally with a fuller running most of the length but more commonly of a flattened diamond section. Pommel of pear form and the cross is curved sharply downward"....

"Many of these have enormously long grips bound at intervals with metal"

The Sture has a long blade (46 inches) +1
The Sture's blade is 2 inches at the widest point tapering down to .25 inches at the tip not sure if this qualifies as narrow so will say +0
5-6 inch ricasso the sture's is around 2 inches -1
The ricasso is narrower then the blade itself +1 (to my knowledge no other type has this)
No fuller but not required for the type +0
Flattened diamond cross section (not sure what to say because of the deep hollow grind but since it is diamondish...) +1
Pommel of pear form -1
Cross is curved sharply downward -1 (Not sure why Oakeshott threw those in as he generally says the blade typology stands alone however I'm going by the letter of the law here.)
Long grip +1

Total: 1


Type XVIIIb
A long slender acutely pointed blade, generally of flattened diamond cross section often with the point reinforced. The grip is often very long often as much as 10-11 inches. The pommel is most frequently of one of the wheel forms, but second to those in popularity seem to to have been scent stopper and fruit shaped ones of types T1 and T5. Crosses are generally long and slender, more often straight then curved. Thi grip is of a very characteristic shape, with a waisted lower half which merges with the slender upper.

Again a long slender acutely pointed blade (again not sure how to qualify this as above) +0
Flattened diamond cross section (again not sure about this but will be consistent with above) +1
Long grip +1
Scent stopper pommel +1
long slender straight cross (Sture is of type 12) -1
Characteristic grip shape is waisted -1

Total: 0

So after having really taken a hard second look I've come to a couple of conclusions.

1) The sword is still more XVIIIeish then XVIIIbish

2) There's not a strong case for it being either one.

Sigh... so as is often the case a very interesting sword finds itself outside the realm of being able to be nicely nailed down by the typology. The best that can be said is that the blade is XVIIIeish but not without reservation, the pommel is a type T variant and the cross is of type 12.

I need to pick my fights better...

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Nov, 2004 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Dratted parallel threads... Happy



I need to pick my fights better...


Ha!
Big Grin Cool

We could get into a fight yet...
But I think that is unlikely Happy
I wish I had more time to write on this opic, but time is extremely pressed right now.
I will try to add some thoughts tonight.

Best
Peter
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Nov, 2004 4:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ -

I think your scoring system needs to differentiate between "enormously long" grip and "very long grip" - I would say the Sture sword is "very long" but not enormous, so that might put the scores back to even...
Or maybe I should just not get into this Happy

Gordon
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Nov, 2004 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:
Russ -

I think your scoring system needs to differentiate between "enormously long" grip and "very long grip" - I would say the Sture sword is "very long" but not enormous, so that might put the scores back to even...
Or maybe I should just not get into this Happy

Gordon


Lol yeah Gordon that was one of the problems with his descriptions he is using very subjective words. However he does mention that "very long" is 10-11 inches where the Sture sword's handle is around 13 inches so maybe that extra 2 inches pushes it into the the "enormously long" category. It could be merely "very long" though so I left it as a plus one for both...

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Nov, 2004 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Russ Ellis wrote:
Dratted parallel threads... Happy



I need to pick my fights better...


Ha!
Big Grin Cool

We could get into a fight yet...
But I think that is unlikely Happy
I wish I had more time to write on this opic, but time is extremely pressed right now.
I will try to add some thoughts tonight.

Best
Peter


Lol, I sometimes think that these little disagreements are some of the most productive things on the these forums. This one made me go back and take a hard look at the description vs the actual sword. I learned quite a lot.

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