Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 17c. rapiers with very simple hilts Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: 17c. rapiers with very simple hilts         Reply with quote

When browsing through items in one of the last HH auctions, I have stumbled upon one interesting German rapier. It has an extremely simple hilt - just a knuckle-bow with a guard plate, which is something one would rather expect on a dagger, not rapier.
Of course, there are cavalry swords and "side-swords" from that period, with similarly simple designs, but I believe this one is none of them (blade is rather for thrusting, not cutting). So far I have only heard of and seen two other similar simple forms - cross-hilted swords popular in England around that period (http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_engswords.html) and some crab-hilted swords from Italy, which had only a side-ring, just like on a parrying dagger. (plus "pillow swords" which came somewhat later).
Of course, this particular rapier could be a composite piece put together from different parts much later by "conservators" (but its not indicated in the description, even though the weapon has been modified at some later stage - re. shortened blade), or just an odd, unique piece. What do you think? Have you seen similar rapiers elsewhere? Im interested in weapons intended mainly for thrusting, from 1590s-1610s, with very simple hilt designs. Thanks in advance for any further info.



 Attachment: 209.77 KB
nemecky-rapier-1600.png

View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm no expert but something doesn't look right there, proportions are very out. I think you are right about a dagger guard on a sword blade. The guard is just too light for anyone to pick it up and say 'ooh yes, this is what I want as my primary defense' imho.

But you never know what parallels will turn up...

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having said that, the knuckle bow is big for a dagger, its a very interesting conundrum.
Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
View user's profile Send private message
Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you are right, only rarely oned see daggers with such knuckle-bow. Also, the "decoration" on the guard plate and the pommel looks very rude, compared to chiseled terminals on crossguard, the spiral handle with wire grip & turkheads, and the blade with pierced fullers... hm. Im more and more inclined to believe that it is a kind of modified / composite piece...
View user's profile Send private message
Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 615

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm also leaning towards composite. The comparative quality level of the various bits is too extreme to ignore, and the pommel looks suspiciously like it was taken from the standard issue weapon of the Munich town guard, of which there are many originals in circulation.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." Thucydides
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A Victorian 'Frankenstein' if ever I saw one......

Julian
View user's profile Send private message
Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if it's composite or not, but there is an interesting detail: it seems to me that the guard and handle were meant to be part of a case of rapiers like this one. Look how the quillons and handle are flattened on one side...

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Don Stanko




Location: ohio
Joined: 27 Apr 2004
Reading list: 478 books

Posts: 227

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have seen sword hilts like that one and many of them were Victorian. The decorations to the shell guard and pommel are quite simple and crude. Notice that the inside of the guard is flat and undecorated? This was typical for display swords, it would allow them to neatly hang upon a wall or plaque. The blade, probably real, is definitely much nicer than the rest of the sword.
View user's profile Send private message
Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
Joined: 06 Sep 2011

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it's a composite meant for a wall. The crude decorations on the Turk's Head are only on the plate side and I wouldn't find it likely that would show up on only one side. Particularly as they are very crude marks to begin with and would be simple to make it match the other side.
View user's profile Send private message
Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some similar swords in the albums, but unfortunately not much information to go by. Compare:

http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....amp;pos=99
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....mp;pos=100
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....mp;pos=199
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....mp;pos=198

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,886

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good examples here: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_engswords.html


 Attachment: 39.25 KB
pic_engswords02.jpg


-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you all for your inputs.
Sean: yes I know that feature article, I think Ive linked it in the first post. English rapiers / back-swords (terminology is, as usually, somewhat confusing here and there are probably no clear boundaries - at least as far as I know) are indeed very interesting. Cross-hilted swords which enjoyed their brief popularity at the beginning of the 17th c. have extremely simple hilt design.
Anders: thank you also. The first sword you have linked to looks to me as something which is sometimesreferred to as Steierisches Schwert / Styrian sword. The other one is similar to some "riding swords" - but I dont see whether it has a thumb-ring on the obverse side. In both cases the difference to the one I posted is, I think, the blade. They have quite wide, cutting blades.
Vincent - an interesting possibility. I was also thinking about it, but it seems that both pommel and the handle have rather a "flat lenticular" cross-section, not a half-ellipse Id expect in a "case of rapiers".
So most probably itd be a composite creation from some older parts, botched together to hang on a wall... Huh, not a very nice verdict Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Likes: 10 pages
Reading list: 13 books

Spotlight topics: 7
Posts: 5,886

PostPosted: Thu 06 Mar, 2014 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for the re-link! I missed that part of your original post. FWIW, I also believe that HH sword to be a composite due to the mismatched quality of blade and hilt, and the condition of the grip.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 358

PostPosted: Wed 01 Apr, 2015 11:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My interest in 17c swords/rapiers with very simple hilts has been again saturated in the last HH auction:) This, again, is an interesting combination of a typical ring-hilt seen usually on daggers, and a shortish wider blade youd expect on cut-and-thrust swords: http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm70...at70_a.txt

Nothing in the description indicates that itd be a composite piece, but then, you never know...



 Attachment: 15.69 KB
short-sword-germany-1600.jpg

View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 17c. rapiers with very simple hilts
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum