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Gordon Alexander




Location: Eagan, MN & Dubois, WY
Joined: 24 Dec 2012

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: 17th century, lenticular blades, erosion         Reply with quote

From perusing images of Mortuary and Walloon swords and the like I get the impression the the lenticular cross section may have become somewhat more common in the 17th century. Is this so, or is it that I am seeing hexagonal and diamond shaped blades that have eroded enough to remove the definition. If it is so, why (did they become more common)?
In particular, the attached a photo that sticks out at me. Is the blade lenticular? Also, since I have found only one view I can't tell how thick it is. Is it likely thick enough to take a stab at a harquebusier or is it just for bling and or picking on the less well armored? I guess that I don't even know if if the fellows in cuirasses and buff coats stabbed or slashed at one another in the charge. They seem like a difficult nut to crack with either.

I have not attached a photo in a post on this forum before so I apologize in the photo doesn't make it on the first attempt.



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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,239

PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't handled any originals, but I guess that since the Walloon and Mortuary blades are relatively narrow, they can be thick enough to have enough stiffness for thrusting. Wider ones don't look like they can be very stiff and are probably meant for cutting lightly armoured opponents and stabbing the naked areas like face.
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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Posts: 358

PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I did not have many opportunities to handle originals either, but from what Ive observed from museum collections and hi-res pictures on some online auctions (HH being my preferred source), its difficult to give a general statement. Especially as the swords from the beginning of the century differ from those at its close. Maybe, if we:
- take only thrusting, double-edged swords (which leaves out swords like this one: http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm68...68_aw.txt)
- concentrate only on the second half of the century (in the first half, Id say that most rapiers had hexagonal or diamond cross-section, with/without fullers, or their combinations)
- and disregard the whole family of Spanish cup-hilts, which were different animals altogether,

then we could say that lenticular cross-section do appear more often:) Like this "luxury" piece http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm68...t68_aw.txt or this campaign sword which seems to combine lenticular blade with short fuller http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm68...t68_aw.txt
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov, 2014 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't find it very surprising since the difference between a lenticular and a flat hexagonal cross section isn't that dramatic, and flat hexagonals were all over the place in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. And there's still a significant difference in that the late lenticular cross-section of 16th and 17th century swords seem to be narrower and thicker on average than those of Viking/Carolingian or Norman-era blades.
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