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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jan, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Four more unusual "reiver era" swords.         Reply with quote

Thought you might like a look..... I've just posted decent photo's of four more "reiver era" swords. More to come over the next few weeks ..... but I'll be doing a bit more on armour first, and then I must get back to the novels.
All the Best,
Brian Moffatt.
http://fallingangelslosthighways.blogspot.co.uk/
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Fri 17 Jan, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject: Four more unusual "Reiver era" swords         Reply with quote

Brian,
So you use novels as a reference for Reiver-era swords and armour, right?

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Fri 17 Jan, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the latest updates with the swords. You answered some questions I had about rapiers on the border before I could ask. Love the blog check for updates reqularly.


Sharil- I think you have that backwards, he uses the antiques and the reseach to guide the novels.
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri 17 Jan, 2014 11:54 am    Post subject: "Falling Angels, Lost Highways"         Reply with quote

This is the first of four novels on the Borders, and the Border Reivers. It is set in 2003, but links back to the 16th century.
The second novel "The Watchers of Enoch, my current project covers the era roughly 1570 to 1624. It ought to have been completed by now, and I apologise to my readership for the delay, but family circumstances. ( Extremely aged parents) brought the writing to a halt in September 2013, and I've been using the blog as a little light relief. I'm 92,000 words into the novel, and it ought to be out sometime late this year. The third novel will be set around 2008, and the fourth will go back to the aftermath of Flodden, and follow through until around 1570. The entire outlines are written, and when complete, the series will be known as the "March Quartet."
Many of the weapons which were once in the "Museum of Border Arms and Armour" will feature in the books, and the experience I gained whilst running the museum is an invaluable source of inspiration. Also, I write out on site. i.e. I take my laptop out in the car to the locations I am writing about. As with "Falling Angels" the later novels will contain photographs to back up the text. Some of our history cannot be conclusively proven, and thus the vehicle of historical fiction, is an ideal medium to draw attention to what will otherwise never be written.
For those interested, and who have read the blog. the "F.J.A.G." photo attribution stands for "The Friends of the Johnnie Armstrong Gallery," the group of interested private collectors ( and certain others) who were responsible for the "Museum of Border Arms and Armour." sadly now long closed. But the photo's still exist, as do the objects, although dispersed, and so do some of us who were associated with the Museum!
I'll try and keep up the blogging, because there is still a very long way to go if I am to cover armour, habitation, folklore, and mythology of this area. But I'm 70 this year, and still working full time on the business, and so things might slow up a little when I hit my pace with the novel again.
If you've read the book you know the old Gilknockie toast.
Here's tae us,
Whae's like us,
Gae few,
And they're all deid!
And no..... Rabbie Burns didn't originate that
All the Best.
Brian Moffatt
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,205

PostPosted: Fri 17 Jan, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That German saber looks like it's seen it's share of action. If only all the swords in museums could talk, oh the stories they could tell. Eek! .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 20 Jan, 2014 11:19 am    Post subject: The "Appin Helmet."         Reply with quote

I've just updated my blog posting of the 17th January, on the "Appin Helmet." (courtesy of "Geordie wi' the Lang Lens"). This one really is getting interesting. And those photo's are first rate, you can see the actual tool marks!
It appears that raiding across the Border into Carlisle has not quite gone out of fashion!
I for one have never heard of a high class armourer at work in the Highlands in the late 16th century. But that helmet adaptation is up there with the best.
All the Best,
Brian Moffatt.
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jan, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject: The "Green Man" as a resurrection emblem on sords         Reply with quote

I've just posted on the subject of the Green Man on the blog.
As some of you will be aware, I've lectured on the subject, and published on it too. (Death, Resurrection, and the Sword)
But my blog posting adds to that, and pretty much clinches what the emblem is all about.
I've been out on the road again, and my next four postings will be on the basic types of "Steel Bonnets." Now't fancy as we say in "Geordieland." Just basic fighting helmets with weights and dimensions. and all in original and untouched condition,
I've still got to format the photo's but they should be ready in the next few days, so keep a lookout.
All the Best,
Brian Moffatt.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 600

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Definitely looking forward to that!

BTW are there any photos in the Friends' collection of the early fifteenth C longsword you had in the Gallery in 1993? IRRC you mentioned a provenance to a prince of Luxembourg or Lichtenstein? It really stuck out in my mind like the shamrock finial early Irish basket hilt also there at the time.

Respects,
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jan, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Lichtenstien Sword, and Irish Hilt.         Reply with quote

Sorry Kel,
The Lichtenstien Sword we displayed was second half of the16th, you may be thinking of another? and the "Irish Hilt", I think, , ended up in the Royal Armouries sometime in the early 90's....... And they've never published it!
I've photo's of neither. I had photo's of the Irish hilt, but I think I sent them to David Baxter many, many, moons ago. Maybe they'll be in his book. That was one hell of a good sword! A formative half basket. The Armouries must have enough of those now to display the development of the full series..... I don't know why they never have.
All the Best,
Brian.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 600

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Brian. My memory was somewhat blunted by the delight of handling that sword. I have one poor photo of the shamrock finial basket hilt. Glad to learn where it landed, there is always hope I'll get back to the RA and request a visit with it.

I know this must be a very silly request but are there any more of the Johnnie Armstrong mugs left? I am still kicking myself that I didn't get one.

Regards,
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jan, 2014 1:45 am    Post subject: Johnnie Armstrong mugs         Reply with quote

Sorry Kel,
Those mugs went long ago! We'll no doubt eventually get around to doing something similar again, but not in the near future.
That sword in the Armouries is not easy to find. The last time I saw it, it was hidden away amongst of all things, "street weapons." in the "politically correct" end of the Armouries. Near the "Princess Diana" anti mine displays.
I wrote to the then Master of the Armouries, and had a grumble, but nothing happened. He subsequently left, and I have no idea just what they are up to now, with regard to the"British basket hilt."
I'd do it all myself, if I could get access, but once these things go into captivity, then the ugly problem of "copyright" arises.
I look forward with interest to David Baxter's book, in the hope that he's had a bit more success on that front.
Oh, for the old days of the Tower of London Armouries, when things were more civilised.
All the Best,
Brian.
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 474

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan, 2014 5:15 pm    Post subject: Keep It Up!!         Reply with quote

Brian, I know you have other interest and time's a premium, but PLEASE keep up the postings on the reiver era. There are many of us who love it and your information is terrific. BTW, my family is from Peebles. A little north of the border but still in the general area!!
Glenn

"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jan, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Falling Angels, Lost Highways, blog.         Reply with quote

Thanks Glenn,
Pleased to hear folk like it!
I'll do my best to keep it all rolling, but inevitably things will slow down once I start writing again. I'd like to do a bit on accommodation at the lower end of reiving. When I lived down in Liddesdale, I located some of the old sites, but you can only see them when the grass is down, and they've never been properly recorded.
Those "towers" marked on the Timothy Pont series of maps often weren't towers at all, but quite small houses, almost what were known as "shielings," the temporary dwellings of shepherds in the summer months.
You learn to spot them. They are usually on a high spur of dry land out on the hill, and near water. We are losing them fast.
The problem is that there are plans for wind turbines down in Liddesdale, and no-one wants the likes of me finding historic sites which could get in the way of that.
I try to keep the blog non-political, but sometimes it's not easy.
All the Best,
Brian.
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Brian Moffatt




Location: Scotland
Joined: 03 Nov 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Mortuary swords.         Reply with quote

Just a quick note..... I've just posted a bit more information on the "Mortuary hilt," which may be of interest. One with a possible "Lowland Scots" connection.
All the Best,
Brian M.
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