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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:42 am    Post subject: Suspensions for Oakeshott Type XII Swords         Reply with quote

Suspensions for Oakeshott Type XII Swords

What are the historically-correct methods for suspending Oakeshott Type XII swords? I decided to do some detailed research on this subject. Feel free to add more information and corrections.

Previous Threads

Suspensions for Oakeshott Type X-XI Swords:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=30408

Outline

A. Sword Belts
-Wide Thong Belts
-Medium-Width Buckle Belts
-Narrow Sword Belts
-Belt Buckles
-Belt Decorations

B. Scabbards

C. Overview: Sword Suspension Methods
-Vertical Suspension
-Two Strap Suspension
-Offset Sword Belt

D. Summary

Methodology

First, I searched for examples of Type XII swords in medieval books, effigies, illuminated manuscripts, paintings, extant swords, scabbards and modern research articles. Then I compiled a catalog of the various Type XII sword belts and scabbards. Finally, I reviewed the catalog for time and location trends.

Introduction

Oakeshott Type XII swords and scabbards are well-represented in medieval effigies, art and illuminated manuscripts. There are also numerous extant Type XII swords with their scabbards that are well documented. After the introduction of Type XIV swords (AD 1275) and Type XV swords (AD 1290), depictions of Type XII swords in illuminated manuscripts become increasingly rare.

The predecessor of the Oakeshott Type XII sword, Types X and XI swords of the 12th Century, had a rather standardized sword suspension system, i.e., a wide sword belt fastened with a knotted thong, and vertically-suspended scabbard.

The wide thong belt suspension method continued to be utilized with Oakeshott Type XII swords throughout the entire 13th Century. However, there were also significant advances in sword suspension systems in the 13th Century, such as the offset belt, that allowed the swords to be carried more comfortably and efficiently. The English seemed to have been the most progressive in terms of developing new and improved sword belts and scabbard suspensions.


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Mon 23 Jun, 2014 6:43 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Overview: Sword Belts

Sword belts for Oakeshott Type XII swords show great variation and diversification during the 13th Century. In general, the plain, white, wide thong belt tradition from the 12th Century continued with Type XII swords across mainland Europe. In fact, in the German Empire, wide thong belts were used almost exclusively until the beginning of the 14th Century. In other parts of Europe, wide thong belts gradually fell into disuse during of the first half of the 13th Century, and were replaced with narrower belts that were fastened with buckles. In England this transition to buckle belts occurred much earlier and much more abruptly around AD 1200.

Wide Thong Belts

Thong belts (Figure A) are fastened with a knotted thong and not a belt buckle. The belt has a female end (the thong) and a forked male end. The forked ends of the belt are fed through slots in the thong and then are knotted in front (Figure B).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4688/12045/
Figure A: Detail of an image from Germany (c. AD 1204-1219) that shows a wide sword belt with a thong fastener. Notice how the belt is threaded through the scabbard, between risers. If one assumes that sword would be worn on the left side (he is holding the sword on his left), then the belt is threaded through the back side of the scabbard. Morgan M.739 Book of Hours, Folio 149r, AD 1204-1219, Bamberg, Germany. Morgan Library.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4065/7844/
Figure B: An image from Germany (c. AD 1240) showing how a thong is knotted. Left and right thongs are both depicted in this image. The soldier on the right (in the red and green particolor surcoat) has the more typical threading. Notice that the wide thong belts are white in this otherwise full-color image. All three soldiers are also wearing a narrow belt high on their waist, fastend with a buckle, to contain their surcoat, and all three are carrying a Type XII sword. Image from the Massacre of the Innocents, Germany, c. 1250, British Library, London, Shelfmark Add. 17687 B
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Banded_mail_German_.jpg

Wide thong belts generally measure about 2 to 3 inches wide but in some extreme cases are as wide as 4 to 5 inches. Wide thong belts seem to be made from a thin or soft leather (Figure C). In some cases the belts have the appearance of being made from cloth (Figure D). Oakeshott states the belt fittings shown in Figure C are made from buckskin.


Figure C. The Infante Fernando de la Cerda sword, found in a tomb in Italy and dated to a time before third quarter of the 13th Century. The wide belt was attached to the wide section of leather on the scabbard, but for some reason the belt cut off at the time the sword was placed in the tomb. Oakeshott calls this leather "buckskin" (Oakeshott, Ewart. Records of the Medieval Sword, p. 70). Infante Fernando de la Cerda sword (before AD 1270) http://www.saber.es/web/biblioteca/libros/cor...os/f22.htm


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10664/
Figure D. These wide thong belts have the appearance of being made from cloth. France (c. AD 1225-1250). Image from folio 16 recto from the Bible Moralisée, France, c. AD 1225-1249 http://aleph.onb.ac.at/F/?func=find-b&fin...adjacent=N

Wide thong belts are often depicted in the illuminated manuscripts as being white in color. There is great debate about the actual color of these belts, the type of leather used and the significance of the color. The belts may be true white (alum tanned leather) or natural undyed leather (as seen in Figure C). There is some speculation that white belts are worn only by knights. There is one image from France (c. AD 1225-1250) that shows a red-colored wide thong belt (Figure E).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4748/10693/
Figure E: An image from France (AD 1225-1250) that shows not only a red-colored wide thong belt (lower right) but also a medium-width buckle belt (left center) in the same image. Image from folio 61 recto Bible Moralisee, France (AD 1225-1250)
http://aleph.onb.ac.at/F/?func=find-b&fin...adjacent=N

Wide thong belts were especially popular in and around the German Empire, where wide thong belts were used almost exclusively into the 14th Century (Figures F and G).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4830/10233/
Figure F. Wide thong belts in Germany from the middle of the 13th Century (c. AD 1250-1260). Note the two-handed sword on the far left, which is probably a Type XIIIa war sword. Image from folio 55 from Der Welsche Gast, Germany, AD 1250-1260
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg389/0121


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4844/7653/
Figure G. Wide thong belts in Switzerland from the middle of the 13th Century (c. AD 1250-1260). Image from folio 107 verso from Rudolf von Ems, World Chronicle The Knitter, Charlemagne, Switzerland (AD 1300)
http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/description/vad/0302

Outside of the German Empire (e.g., France and probably in Spain, too), wide thong belts were extremely common throughout the first half of the 13th Century (Figure H). Interestingly, there are no depictions of wide thong belts in the beautifully-illuminated Maciejowski Bible (France, c. AD 1250) but later, in other French manuscripts, there are wide thong belts. After about AD 1265, wide thong belts seem to disappear entirely from French illuminated manuscripts, and are replaced with narrow and medium-width belts.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4725/12389/
Figure H. Wide thong belts in France from the third quarter of the 13th Century (AD 1265). After this date, wide thong belts seem to disappear altogether in the French illuminated manuscripts. Image from folio 14 verso from Morgan M.97 Psalter-Hours, France (AD 1265)
http://corsair.morganlibrary.org/icaimages/9/m97.014v.jpg


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Mon 23 Jun, 2014 6:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Medium-Width Buckle Belts

Medium-width belts are approximately 1½ to 2½ inches wide (compared to the narrow belts that are about ¾-inch wide). All of the medium-width belts are fastened with a buckle, and almost all medium-width buckle belts have a metal strap end. All extant sword belts from the 13th Century are leather, so presumably all of the medium-width belts shown on statues and effigies, and in the illuminated manuscripts, are also of leather.

The English discontinued the wide thong belt tradition rather abruptly sometime around AD 1200, and switched medium-width buckle belts. Throughout its lifespan in England, the Type XII sword was almost always carried on a medium-width buckle belt (Figure I). These buckle belts were initially quite plain, but by the second quarter of the 13th century the belts were decorated with mounts and leather tooling. Medium-width buckle belts of the 14th Century England were often colorful and beautifully decorated (Figures K and P).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4970/15404/
Figure I: Detail from an image from England (AD 1250) showing a Type XII sword and a plain buckle belt that is about 2 inches wide. Note that belt tip has a metal strap end. The sword belt is carried on the outside of the scabbard and is bound to the scabbard by small straps or thongs. Detail from folio 28 recto of the Trinity Apocalypse, England (AD 1250)


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4974/15435/
Figure J: Detail from an image from England (AD 1250) showing what is likely to be a Type XII sword, and a buckle belt that is about 2 inches wide. The belt has numerous, closely-spaced vertical bar mounts. Note that belt tip has a metal strap end. The sword belt is carried on the outside of the scabbard and is bound to the scabbard by small straps or thongs. Image from folio 25 recto from Cambridge MS O.9.34 Romance of Alexander, England (AD 1250)


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4070/17276/
Figure K: Detail from an image from England (AD 1320-1340), showing a Type XII sword, and a colorful, 2-inch wide buckle belt. Note that belt tip has a metal strap end. Image from folio 91 recto
Luttrell Psalter, England (AD 1320-1340)
http://www.bl.uk/collections/treasures/luttre...adband.htm

In France, the trends for sword belt usage are not as clear as it is for England. It is possible to see depictions, in French manuscripts dating to the middle of the 13th Century, of wide thong belts, narrow thong belts, narrow buckle belts, and medium-width buckle belts. Sometimes multiple belt types are depicted in the same image (Figure E). However, by the end of the 13th Century, narrow and medium-width buckle belts are the only belts being depicted in French illuminated manuscripts (Figure L). The narrower belts were are used all the way into the 14th Century.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5001/15576/
Figure L: An image from France (AD 1300) that shows buckle belts that are about 2 inches wide. Note that belt tips have metal strap ends. Image from folio 2 verso from Cloisters Apocalypse, France (AD1300)
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/cl/original/DP225757.jpg
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Narrow Sword Belts

Narrow sword belts are obvious when seen on effigies and in illuminated manuscripts (Figure M) because they are obviously quite narrow (approximately ¾-inch wide). All extant sword belts from the 13th Century are leather, so presumably all of the narrow belts shown on statues and effigies, and in the illuminated manuscripts, are also of leather.

Despite being so very thin, there are numerous images in the illuminated manuscripts that show narrow white sword belts fastened by a knotted thong. The beautifully-illuminated Maciejowski Bible (France, c. AD 1250) is particularly rich with images of narrow white thong belts.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4673/7958/
Figure M: An image from Maciejowski Bible (France, c. AD 1250) showing Type XII swords carried on narrow white thong belts. Detail from leaf 11 of the Maciejowski Bible, France, circa AD 1250)

However, most narrow sword belts are shown with a buckle fastener. It appears that all countries in Europe (except for the German Empire) used narrow sword belts throughout the 13th Century (Figure N). On the continent, narrow sword belts are almost as common as medium-width sword belts. In England, there are fewer narrow belts.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4673/7988/
Figure N: An image from Maciejowski Bible (France, c. AD 1250) showing a Type XII sword carried on narrow white buckle belt. Detail from leaf 28 of the Maciejowski Bible, France, circa AD 1250)

Belt Buckles

Surprisingly, there was very little variation in belt buckles associated with Type XII swords. There seemed to be two basic types of buckles: D or circular shaped, and trapezoidal. These two types of buckles roughly correspond to:

-High Middle Ages TYPE IF buckles http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/ceejays_site/pages/bucklepage10.htm
-Late Medieval TYPE IIA buckles http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/ceejays_site/pages/bucklepage12.htm

(Marshall, Chris. Buckles Through the Ages. 2002 http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/ceejays_site/pages/buckletitlepage.htm.)

Belt Decorations

Belts can be decorated in a variety of ways, such as tooling or stamping designs into the leather, riveting mounts on the belt, punched decorative holes and/or dying the leather with brighter colors. Belt mounts take a variety of forms and are riveted to the belt. Common forms include vertical bars and circular emblems. Some belts have holes for the buckle prong punched along the entire length of the belt, obviously for decorative purposes. Finally, belts can be dyed colors other than brown and black.


http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/roger_de_trumpington/
Figure O: The brass of Sir Roger de Trumpington (and a drawing of the brass), England (AD 1289), showing a Type XII sword, and a 2-inch wide buckle belt with tooling on the belt and scabbard. Note that belt tip has a metal strap end. Also notice that the offset sword belt.


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4395/8754/
Figure P: An image from England (AD 1310), showing a Type XII sword, and a 2-inch wide buckle belt that is colorful and richly decorated with mounts. Note that belt tip has a metal strap end. Also notice that the offset sword belt. Image from folio 38 recto from Bodley Douce 366 Ormesby Psalter, England (AD 1310)
http://bodley30.bodley.ox.ac.uk:8180/luna/ser...e%20366%22


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Mon 23 Jun, 2014 6:40 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scabbards

We presume that the scabbards depicted on effigies and in illuminated manuscripts had wood cores and were covered with either leather or velvet. The Sword of Cangrande della Scala had a wood core and was covered in red velvet. The Infante Fernando de la Cerda sword (Figure C) also had a wood core but was covered with leather.

Knife sheaths of the time show that beautiful leather tooling was a practiced art, but sword scabbard covers do not seem to have tooled as elaborately, and were relatively plain. There are some simpler designs, however, that may represent tooling.

A few scabbards from England and France (c. AD 1300) have one or more decorative metal bands around the scabbard (Figure Q). Transverse risers are also fairly common on scabbards for Type XII swords.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4937/14863/
Figure Q. An image from England (AD 1300-1325) showing a sword belt with buckle prong holes extending all the way around the belt, metal transverse scabbard bands, and a metal chape. Image from folio 25 verso from Petersburg Psalter, England (AD 1300-1325)
http://belgica.kbr.be/fr/coll/ms/ms9961_62_fr.html

Rain guards are very common with Type XII sword scabbards (although very few rain guards were seen in images from Austrian illuminated manuscripts). If a rain guard is present, it is almost universally triangular-shaped and an integral part of the scabbard's throat (See Figure O).

There are a couple of exceptions to the integral triangular rain guard rule. The effigy of Sir Edmund Mauley (England AD 1336) (Figure R) shows a shield-shaped rain guard that is attached to the sword's grip, not integral with the scabbard's throat.


http://effigiesandbrasses.com/937/1169/
Figure R: A drawing of an effigy from England (AD 1336) showing a shield-shaped rain guard on the sword's grip and covering the crossguard. A drawing of the effigy of Sir Edmund Mauley, St Andrew's Church, Bainton, East Yorkshire, England (AD 1336) by William M. I'Anson, 1927. Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

Chapes were commonly used on the scabbards of Type XII swords. The chapes shown in the illuminated manuscripts are all fairly simple geometric designs.


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Mon 23 Jun, 2014 6:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Overview: Sword Suspension Methods

At the dawn of the 13th Century, scabbards of Oakeshott Type XII swords were still being suspended vertically from the sword belt. In fact, the vertical suspension was used throughout the 13th Century. However, sometime during the first two decades of the 13th Century the offset sword belt was developed (Figure O), which, by the 14th Century, became the standard method for carrying arming swords.

Vertical Sword Suspension

Oakeshott Type XII swords were carried vertically in manners similar to the way Oakeshott Type X and XI swords were carried. Examples of the various methods of vertical suspensions for Oakeshott Type XII swords can be seen in Figures A, B, G, H, I, J, L and M.

Two-Strap Suspension

The 13th Century also saw the use of a 2-strap suspension that, in addition to the primary sword belt, used a small accessory strap to hold the scabbard at a slight oblique angle. This small accessory strap connected the mid part of the scabbard to the sword belt. The fact that this small strap is seen only on one side the scabbard suggests is it purpose was to pull the scabbard into a more oblique angle so that it did not dangle vertically (Figure S).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4673/7977/
Figure S: Image from the Maciejowski Bible (France, circa AD 1250), showing the 2-stap suspension. Leaf 23 of the Maciejowski Bible, France, circa AD 1250)

There is historical precedent for the 2-strap suspension method, dating back to the 7th Century AD. Some of the Viking scabbards used a "distributor ring" 3-strap suspension system in which a suspension strap was mounted on the scabbard approximately 6 to 8 inches below the belt, to which an accessory strap connected this mount to the sword belt through a distribution ring.

The Offset Sword Belt

Sometime around AD 1200-1220, the offset sword belt suspension was developed. In his 1891 article The Sword Belts of the Middle Ages (Hartshorne, Albert. 1891. The Sword Belts of the Middle Ages. Journal of Archeology 47:327-328), Albert Hartshorne noted the development of the offset sword belt. He wrote:

"Sir David de Esseby, from Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire, 1268, in polished Purbeck, gives us a new and important arrangement... The new system of fastening the entire end of the buckle strap to the scabbard, and the other, or long strap, a few inches down the scabbard, had many advantages. It brought the grip of the sword more within the compass of the right hand..."


The offset belt suspension of which Albert Hartshorne wrote back in 1891 is shown in Figure T.


http://effigiesandbrasses.com/1249/2965/
Figure T: The effigy of David de Esseby, England (AD 1265), showing a medium-width sword belt. Note that the sword belt straps are offset in their attachment to the scabbard. A drawing of the effigy of David de Esseby, Church of St Mary Magdalene, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire, England (AD 1265) by the Royal Archaeological Institute. 1878. The Archaeological Journal. Royal Archaeological Institute

Although Albert Hartshorne's 1891 article suggest that the offset sword belt was developed in the mid-13th Century, there are many other effigies and illuminated manuscripts that show the offset sword came into use right around AD 1200-1220 (Figure U).


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4572/11745/
Figure U: This illustration shows one of the extremely rare examples of a German wide thong belt with an offset belt type of suspension. Circa AD 1200. Folio 139v from the manuscript Elisabethpsalter, Germany, circa AD 1200
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabethpsalter


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Mon 23 Jun, 2014 6:36 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Jun, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Summary

In summary, the general characteristics of Oakeshott Type XII sword suspensions vary by time and region:

In England, wide thong belts fell out of favor right around AD 1200 and were replaced with medium-width buckle belts with strap ends. The belts were rather plain until the second quarter of the 13th Century, and then they were decorated with tooling and mounts. Medium-width buckle belts of the 14th Century were often very colorful and richly decorated. Narrow buckle belts were not very common in England during the 13th and 14th Centuries. Scabbards were wood and covered with leather. Transverse rivers and transverse metal bands on scabbards were common. Integrated triangular rain guard were very common. Rain guards attached to the sword grip (instead of integrated with the scabbard) appear around AD 1325. Chapes of a simple geometric form were commonly used on scabbards. Tooling of the scabbard became quite rich by the middle of the 13th Century. The vertical scabbard suspension was in use at the start of the 13th Century, but sometime between AD 1200-1220 the offset sword belt was developed. The offset sword belt became the standard method suspension in the 14th Century.

In France, wide thong belts were used extensively throughout most of the 13th Century, along with narrow thong belts, narrow buckle belts, and medium-width buckle belts. However, by the end of the 13th Century narrow and medium-width buckle belts become dominant. Strap ends were almost always used for buckle belts. During the 14th Century, narrow buckle belts dominated. Scabbards were wood and covered with leather. Transverse rivers and transverse metal bands on scabbards were common. Integrated triangular rain guard were very common. Chapes of a simple geometric form were commonly used on scabbards. The vertical scabbard suspension was in use at the start of the 13th Century. The 2-strap suspension was also common around the middle of the 13th Century. Sometime during the first half of the 13th Century the offset sword belt came into use in France. The offset sword belt became the standard method suspension in the 14th Century.

In Germany, white wide thong belts were used almost exclusively throughout the 13th century and into the 14th Century. Scabbards were wood and covered with leather. Transverse rivers on scabbards were common. Integrated triangular rain guard were very common. Chapes of a simple geometric form were commonly used on scabbards. The vertical scabbard suspension was in use at the start of the 13th Century, but sometime between AD 1200-1220 the offset sword belt was developed. The wide thong belt with an offset sword belt can also be seen during this early period. The offset sword belt became the standard method suspension in the 14th Century.

In Italy, strap ends were almost always used for buckle belts. Scabbards were wood and covered with leather or, more rarely, red velvet. Integrated triangular rain guard were very common. Rain guards attached to the sword grip (instead of integrated with the scabbard) appear around AD 1325. Chapes of a simple geometric form were commonly used on scabbards. The vertical scabbard suspension was in use at the start of the 13th Century, but sometime between AD 1200-1220 the offset sword belt was developed. The offset sword belt became the standard method suspension in the 14th Century.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2014 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Next:

Suspensions for Oakeshott Type XIIa and XIIIa War Swords
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=30428
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This image shows a Type XII sword suspended vertically from a wide thong belt in the Czech Republic from the early 14th Century (c. AD 1300-1350). Note the interesting double wrap around the top of the scabbard, the integrated triangular rain guard, the plain brown scabbard, and the absence of a chape.

The wide thong belt was used almost exclusively in and around the German empire until the 14th Century, both with the vertical suspensions and the offset belt suspension.

Image from folio 177 verso of the Velislavova Bible, Czech (AD 1325-1350)
http://ces.mkcr.cz/en/psb.php?idpsb=2463


http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4465/10722/
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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can I ask why you're attempting to classify sword suspension type based on blade type? I would think that suspension is more a function of the time period, not the Oakeshott classification.

They may have favored certain blade types at certain periods of time, but the blade type itself did not drive the type of suspension used. The implication of this thread is that certain suspensions go with certain blades, and that doesn't make sense to me. A lot of the images you're using are swords in scabbards. How do you know they're Type XII blades? If you're making the assumption that they are based on the time period you've found them in, the again I suggest the driving factor is the period of examination, not the geometry of the blade.

In the late 14th century, type XVIa, XV, and XVII all coexisted, but the suspensions for each were a factor of it being the late 14th century and using a plaque belt. Not the fact that the blade was classified as a XVIa or XVII...

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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sat 28 Jun, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
Can I ask why you're attempting to classify sword suspension type based on blade type? I would think that suspension is more a function of the time period, not the Oakeshott classification.


Excellent question, Ian. When attempting to classify anything, one always struggles with such issues.

The most obvious problem with this catalog of sword suspensions as organized by Oakeshott type is its organization by Oakeshott type. This organizational scheme requires identifying a sword type as depicted on the effigy or in the illuminated manuscript. This is not always possible, and sometimes requires a bit of speculation or presumption (but not too much).

You are correct in that sometimes I have identified swords by the date of the manuscript, sometimes with more supportive data such as the pommel and cross types, too. However, I used illuminations or effigies only when confidence was very high that I had identified the sword properly. Thus, I did not use lot of images and effigies for my data, and that could introduce errors into my conclusions as well.

I would be interested to see if there would be any significant differences in conclusions if someone else did similar research using the time period as the primary sorting criteria, instead of Oakeshott type.

This catalog could have been organized by century instead, but this would have been very complex and not practically useful. During any given century there were often multiple sword lineages in use at the same time, not all of which utilized the same scabbard and suspension designs.

For instance, at the end of the 14th Century there were thirteen different Oakeshott sword types in use (XIIa, XV, XVa, VXII, XVIII, XVIIIa, XVIIIb, XVIIIc, XVIIId, XVIIIe, XIX, XX and XXa). A short, wide, one-handed Type XV sword had a completely different suspension than a long, slender, two-handed Type XVIIIb sword. Thus, each century would have had to be subdivided by Oakeshott sword typology anyway. So instead of doubling my work, I stuck with Oakeshott typology as the primary sorting criteria.

Additionally, I found myself asking, "I have an Oakeshott Type XI sword - what type of scabbard and suspension should I use?"

I did not find myself asking, "I have a 12th Century sword - what type of scabbard and suspension should I use?"

At times you are stuck using the time period as the alternate primary sorting criteria because there is not enough data for a catalog by Oakeshott type. For instance, I could not confidently identify any type XIII or XIIIb swords in the illuminated manuscripts, so my conclusion was that:

"It is likely that these swords [XIII-XIIIb] were carried in the same manner as other swords (Types XII, XIIa, XIV) during the same time period."

So there you have it.My decision to use Oakeshott typology as the primary sorting criteria was well considered, and I am satisfied with the results thus far. It has broken down with type XIII-XIIIb swords, but otherwise it seems to have been a good choice.
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