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M. Adair Orr

Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Thu 12 Sep, 2013 2:43 pm    Post subject: Del Tin - German Hand and a half comparison         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I've had my eye on these two swords from Del Tin:

DT 6168:

DT 6167:

(I hope it is acceptable to post images harvested from the KOA website)

I'm a fan of early complex hilted longswords from the second quarter of the 16th century. Correct me if I am wrong, but both of these Del Tin models fit the bill. I would place the Side Ring sword with the spiral pommel somewhere in the teens and twenties and the more complex hilted sword closer to the middle of the century. If anyone has more to offer on the style of these hilts, I would love to hear it. Stylistically I much prefer the side ring sword with the twisted pommel.

there is a fair disparity in weight between them and they are close in length. Is it a stretch to refer to these as longswords or hand and a half or are would they really require both hands?

I would like to hear from anyone who has seen and/or handled these first hand and would care to offer their opinion. I know very little about handling swords, though it is something I would love to explore. While my interest is primarily aesthetic, I don't want to invest in anything that is not considered reasonably authentic historical reproduction. It would be good to identify historic pieces that inspired these. My library is primarily armour-centric and I have very little information on swords such as these.

These complex hilt swords pop up on the forum from time to time, so I thought I would put these Del Tin swords out there to see what I could learn about them. I wouldn't mind hearing about the pros and cons of this type of hilt design in use as well.



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DT6168_l copy.jpg

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Theo Squires

Joined: 23 Jul 2012

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say that the second one, DT6167, is a dedicated two-hander. For a start, it is quite long at 52" and heavy at 5lb 3 ounces. I'm no expert, but I'd say only a very, very large and strong man could use that effectively single-handed, so it's not really a hand-and-a-half. Note that it has a sizeable hilt for two-handed use. DT6167 is approaching the dimensions of a great sword, like the Albion Maximilian. As a longsword, it is still on the fairly large side of things, I would have thought. The other sword, DT6168, seems closer size-wise and weight-wise to 16th century longswords that I've seen.

If your interest is complex-hilted longswords, you may wish to look at the Albion Markgraf, though it hasn't been released yet and is substantially more expensive - not sure if it fits the bill for you. I have no experience with Del Tins, so I won't comment on anything specifically, though there are a few DT reviews on the site (not of these specific swords).

Hope that helps.
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Marik C.S.

Location: Germany
Joined: 16 Feb 2010

Posts: 163

PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd still call them longswords despite not being really usable one-handed and depending on your stature&physique these swords should fit you well enough for sword practice if you decide to go into that direction.

That being said you could go with the DT2160 if you want something shorter (if you ask me it is also the nicest to look at as far as complex hilted Del Tins are concerned, I really dislike the grips on the other models, the waisted grip on the 2160 has a much nicer look to it).

If you are open to custom ordering a sword, the A478 from the Wallace Collection looks amazing and depending on the maker you are going with might even cost you less than the Del Tins if you are willing to forgo some of the finer details and are only interested in the overall shape and appearance.

Europe - Where the History comes from. - Eddie Izzard
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Luka Borscak

Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both of these could be called longswords but I would say few men would be able to use them single handed effectively. Or they could maybe be put into that shadowy classification of greatswords, something between longsword and zweihänder, probably used for battles more often than true zweihänders...
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M. Adair Orr

Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I imagine I would prefer a sword less substantial than either of these. The DT 2160 is a lovely sword, but a bit later in the century. I'm more partial to the detail of the twisted forms seen in the early part of the 1500's, or the plainer, more skeletal hilts. I've seen multiple historic examples on this forum of swords that inspired the DT 2160, and the result to my eye doesn't capture any of the balance of the originals. I've attached one below (Image 1) with features that seem to be very consistent. The pommel on the DT 2160 is uninspired.

I've had my eye on the drawings of both the Hauptmann and the Markgraf from Albion. I imagine they will be beautiful swords when they are prototyped. Perhaps I'll have to be patient.

A478 is definitely close to the look I have in mind, but a bit too busy in the developed parts of the hilt. I'm surprised that the dates associated range from 1525 to 1550. I would have guessed 1550 or later.

I think Image 2 attached below has a hilt closer to my ideal were it paired with the a different blade. Straight quillons with twisted detail and a simple finger ring. The pommel is elegant but not overwrought. The grip could have more waist to it and a riser or three. This is probably from the first quarter of the 1500's. Does anyone know the location of this sword?

I could dream endlessly about the perfect sword, but I'm in the market for something already produced and available for less than $800. If I knew more about proper balance and percussion, I would make a hilt to my liking, but I need to start handling well designed swords first.

Could someone speak to the advantage of forward swept quillons? Is it to clear the wrist and forearms better when winding or does it have to do more with controlling an opponents blade? Many of the swords from this time period have either forward swept arms or recurved 'S' shaped arms.

I've added one more photo (Image 3) from the recent Fischer Auction Catalogue that really fits the bill. Perfectly simple design. Very close to my ideal aesthetic.

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Image 2

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Image 3

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Image 1 (Similar to DT 2160) [ Download ]
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Daniel Wallace

Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

at over 5 lbs, yes that sword is very heavy, possibly on the cusp of being classified as two handed. much of what you'd see as a two handed sword, would be over 10 inches in grip length + pummel, but its length would be nearly 10 more inches and a very bulky cross section. anything tighter than 10 inches makes it hard to 'leaver' the sword around. you can do long sword techniques with these, but not two handed practices, or if you attempted it, you'd probably find them pretty difficult.

when i was looking at picking up a Del Tin a while back i noticed that they have a lot of mix and matched up things that's almost what i see in the bigger 5 lb sword shown here. you'll see the same hilt on another blade design. don't get me wrong i think their designs look great, but i think they slightly miss the mark for period - although their hilt designs are my favorite out there, they're not very bulky looking and are better looking than most production companies when it comes to them.
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Jean Thibodeau

Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Sep, 2013 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The DT 6168 is one that I have and to me it's very much a Longsword with a complex grip, it might be 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. heavier than many longswords but I personally could handle it one handed if I had to for a few cuts, but two handed it shines as easy to move around.

One handed it might be " border line " for some.

I basically like this sword a lot, but if someone doesn't like the rather simple and spartan handle a handle upgrade might be possible.

Now one could instead look at the A&A bastard sword as being better quality and also being a sharp from the makers.

Well, A&A could probably use their Bastard Sword blade and make a custom hilt to your liking closer to the one of the Del Tin, but at the price the DT 6168 is a good buy .... or at least it was for me. Wink Big Grin Cool

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

Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Sat 14 Sep, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The DT6167 looks more like a two hander to me, considering the weight, the balance and the hilt construction.
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Daniel Wallace

Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun 15 Sep, 2013 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i think it also depends a lot on what you want to do with the sword. as you state you are thinking about exploring long sword more, and a 5 lb long sword - is heavy for a sword classified as long sword. and if you drill with it, you will grow stronger, but it will surprise you on how hard it is to stop 5lb from over swinging.

i really think you would be better off with the 6168. from a handling perspective.
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M. Adair Orr

Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Sun 15 Sep, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds as though the DT 6167 may just be too much sword for me. I really do love the hilt design, but I think drills are part of what I'd like out of this sword purchase. Haven't necessarily made up my mind on the DT 6168 though. Perhaps if I find a solid historical example or portrayal with that design I would be sold. I really appreciate all the feedback.

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M. Adair Orr

Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon 16 Sep, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Through the magic of the internet I found this image from a 2008 Fischer auction. Very similar hilt to the DT6168.


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Edward Hitchens

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Between these two, I'd give a slight edge (no pun intended) to the DT6168. I'd credit it with increased versatility being a full pound lighter in weight, and the fuller probably makes it less blade-heavy. It may even be better suited for use on horseback. For me, the plain unadorned grip would make it more comfortable to hold especially when wearing leather gauntlets.

I think it would be fun to own one of these and build up your upper-body when dry-handling these swords. But (I believe this was mentioned earlier), a 5-pound sword would develop a lot of torque when swung horizontally. I haven't handled either of these pieces myself, though I do own a few swords with similar characteristics in dimensions, weight, and point of balance. As an owner of a Del Tin sword (14th C Italian single-hand), they are a bit on the heavy side but are still excellent quality pieces and reasonably priced.
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