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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Sep, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject: Battlesword of Danish King Christian the 4'th.         Reply with quote

This is my first post and I'm fairly new to specifics of swords, but I'll give me best guesses based on reading this forum for a while Big Grin

I accidentally fell over this you tube clip from the “Tøjhusmuseet“ in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Museum Inspector Jakob Seerup shows the double-edged “slagsværd“ (likely a loanword from german “schlachtschwert“) of King Christian the 4th from the House of Oldenburg (King of Denmark & Norway 1588-1648 and also Duke of Slesvig-Holsten).

It had only 190 views, so maybe a viewer storm could make them post more clips from the museum, since they stopped 1 year ago from putting new stuff up. They could show a lot more swords......
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jlUA3BafjQ

My quick translation from Danish to English:
“This is a “slagsværd“ from the 1600's, but it's not just any sword. It is the personal sword of the warrior-king Christian the 4th. There is a portrait of the King from the same period, where he carries exactly this sword. On the battlefields of the 1600's the double-edged sword was an efficient weapon. We can see that King Christian has used it. It has traces of use. It's a fine weapon and excellent craftsmanship and one of the special objects you have to see when our new exhibition open in february 2013“.

What is extraordinary is that a painting made by Karel van Mander III in 1642-43 actually shows Christian the 4th mounted with this sword in his hand.

Source: https://media.snl.no/system/images/2450/standard_christian4_tilhest.jpg

To me it looks quite peculiar. It has a S-curved quillon/crossguard (Oakeshott type 12) and two closed - yet see-through - ring guards. The pommel looks like an Oakeshott pommel type T4 (though it's hard to see on the clip - best view 6-8 secs).
I haven't found any modern replicas that looks like this sword.
The sword seems fairly broad and long which fit its usefulness as a cutting sword from horseback?! So based on the painting the sword has an end date of production in 1642-43. The question is: Could he already have carried this sword at the battle of Lutter am Barenberge in 1626, where he suffered a colossal defeat to Count Tilly in the Thirty Years' War? King Christian had apparently 4 horses shot out from under him, so he was in the thick of battle.

[The Danish council - Rigsrådet - had vetoed going to war, so he actually fought as Duke of Slesvig-Holsten, but it didn't prevent the catholics from occupying Jutland]

So maybe some sword-makers could have an interest reproducing this one? Cool


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sat 06 Sep, 2014 9:53 am; edited 3 times in total
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 03 Sep, 2014 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me a lot of this sword except for the quillons:

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=500792



Windlass "German Bastard Sword". Both pieces appear to have a fairly similar lineage from the looks of them. Christian's sword is a more 'modern' version with the closed guards and oval pommel, but apart from that it's a nice bastard sword. I'm a little surprised to hear he may have used that piece on horseback though, as other swords were perhaps more suitable for cavalry use. But it's pretty cool to think that a sword in that style may still have been used as late as the 1600's!
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

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Posts: 822

PostPosted: Wed 03 Sep, 2014 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Reminds me a lot of this sword except for the quillons:

http://kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=500792



Windlass "German Bastard Sword". Both pieces appear to have a fairly similar lineage from the looks of them. Christian's sword is a more 'modern' version with the closed guards and oval pommel, but apart from that it's a nice bastard sword. I'm a little surprised to hear he may have used that piece on horseback though, as other swords were perhaps more suitable for cavalry use. But it's pretty cool to think that a sword in that style may still have been used as late as the 1600's!


Apparently the Windlass sword is inspired by the this german sword in the Wallace Collection. (A477)
http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMus...detailView

So its from around 1580 (hilt), but with a 14'th century blade [95,5 cm long, 5,4 cm width, 2,05 kg]. You are quite right that King Christians version is more modern than the Windlass/Wallace example. A shame we don't have the measurement of the kings sword to compare.
He was a big bulky man, so he probably had the power to use a bastard sword in one hand. Can't imagine the King ever going into battle on foot. The only walk he would take was the direct route from one dead horse to the next live one offered by his men.
Has anyone seen this kind of closed yet see-through ring guards on another sword?


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Thu 04 Sep, 2014 11:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 03 Sep, 2014 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the pierced sheets in the ring-guards are a fashion of the time, as the style of hilt called a "Pappenheimer" often exhibits a similar touch.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_pmc_papp.html

'Walloon' swords also have a similar look to them.


It is, as far as I know, not a uncommon touch to be used if one desired a little more protection for their hands without adding undue bars or rings to their hilt. The Pappenheimer hilt is a bit of a later style than Christian's sword, but it's the same idea.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Sep, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anybody has some pictures of the Christian IV's sword? I watched the video and I like the sword very much and I would love to see some pictures...
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 822

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2014 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
I think the pierced sheets in the ring-guards are a fashion of the time, as the style of hilt called a "Pappenheimer" often exhibits a similar touch.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_pmc_papp.html

'Walloon' swords also have a similar look to them.


It is, as far as I know, not a uncommon touch to be used if one desired a little more protection for their hands without adding undue bars or rings to their hilt. The Pappenheimer hilt is a bit of a later style than Christian's sword, but it's the same idea.


Very interesting since the Pappenheimer guard style I can find on the net are all for rapiers and not for a bastard sword. Most seem to curve downwards towards the hand to protect it, but some are quite parallel to the quillon/crossguard like on King Christian sword.
Also all the Walloon swords I can find on the net have a knuckle guard, which King Christians sword doesn't have.
So Christians sword might be a innovative sword style, that was later partly used on pappenheimer rapiers or walloon swords?

Since King Christian was King for 59 years (1588-1648) does anyone date a guess to when this sword was made?
The painting from 1642-1643 with him on horseback is the latest date, but he could have had the sword from late 1500's (being 18 in 1595).

Luka Borscak wrote:
Does anybody has some pictures of the Christian IV's sword? I watched the video and I like the sword very much and I would love to see some pictures...

I have tried to find a picture, but has not been successful.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 822

PostPosted: Thu 04 Sep, 2014 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found a picture from 1659 by Wolfgang Heimbach of Denmarks next King - Frederik the 3'th (1648-1670).


Source: http://www.historiefaget.dk/personer/d-e-f/frederik-3/quiz/

It is similar to Christian the 4th's sword with solid ring-guards, but doesn't have S-curved crossguards; have a round pommel and a knuckle guard. So this looks like a more “classic“ walloon sword.
So the sword of Christian the 4'th could be an “ancestor“ to the Walloon Swordtype?

The picture depicts the Battle of Nyborg in November 1659, where a Swedish army was soundly beaten on the Danish Island of Fyn (Funen) by a combined Danish-Austrian army commanded by Dane Hans Schack and Austrian Ernst Albrecht von Eberstein [Frederik the 3rd was not present, but took the credit in the painting].

Frederik the 3'th also shown with a sword (forward angle) - this looks perhaps like an early clam guard (but parallel to the crossguard and not enclosing the hand). [This is also a Wolfgang Heimbach painting]

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons..._den_3.jpg
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 822

PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Does anybody has some pictures of the Christian IV's sword? I watched the video and I like the sword very much and I would love to see some pictures...


After a lot of looking I discovered that Tøjhusmuseet had used this picture as the cover picture on their facebook site.
It has no text, but it looks a lot like the sword of Christian 4.
Very low quality sadly.



 Attachment: 5.25 KB
Christian 4_sværd.jpg
Source: https://www.facebook.com/Toejhusmuseet?sk=photos_stream
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2014 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Luka Borscak wrote:
Does anybody has some pictures of the Christian IV's sword? I watched the video and I like the sword very much and I would love to see some pictures...


After a lot of looking I discovered that Tøjhusmuseet had used this picture as the cover picture on their facebook site.
It has no text, but it looks a lot like the sword of Christian 4.
Very low quality sadly.


Thank you very much!
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2014 10:58 am    Post subject: Battlesword of Danish King Christian IV         Reply with quote


The sad thing is we will never know how does King Christian IV's sword really looks like.
Only replicas remain, I guess.

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

- Marcus Aurelius
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: Nykøbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 822

PostPosted: Wed 10 Sep, 2014 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Battlesword of Danish King Christian IV         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:

The sad thing is we will never know how does King Christian IV's sword really looks like.
Only replicas remain, I guess.


Oh we do - go to the top of this thread and see the you tube video (Tøjhusmuseet has his real sword), they just didn't post any subtext to this small picture so we can't be 100% sure it's his sword on the small picture (only 99% sure) - it's just that I can't find any good photo of it!
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