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Tim Jones




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 05 Nov 2013

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: 14th century Messer         Reply with quote

Hello all,

Any information about the Messer (the sword that is) states that the design was popular in the 14th to 16th centuries. I've had a look, and can't find any images of specifically 14th century examples. Does anyone have images or a description of a 14th century messer, or am I just being stupid and are they identical to the 15th century styles I'm familiar with?

Thanks
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 325

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been collecting all the pics of pre-16th c. messers I can, it seems not that many have survived. I also just spent an hour going through 14th c. images on Manuscript Miniatures and didn't find anything that was clearly a messer, what was there were falchions or curved double edged swords. Quickly checking 3227.a I didn't see any mention of the nagel so perhaps at that time they didn't distinguish between the messer and the falchion?

I have to dispute the 16th c. cut off date for messers though, the weapon endured right up to our time it's just that the style of decoration changed and the nagel was turned toward the point. What is true is that by the late 15th/early 16th c. the messer gave rise to a few variations on the theme that became prominent in their own right.
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Tim Jones




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 05 Nov 2013

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2015 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe that one of the determining features of a Messer is a scale-tang construction, so it may well be that some Falchions made in this way qualify for the group. I suppose they also fit the ideology; cheap, common man's sword, although I've heard it said that the Messer developed so as to fit through a loophole in laws where traditional swords were banned in some instances, but I tend to take statements like that with a pinch of salt.

I've also never seen anything with a Nagel in the 14th century, so I was slightly skeptical about that date, and I'm also a believer in the evolution of weapons, so there cannot really be a fixed date for most things.
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 325

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was just looking through 3227.a and I didn't notice any mention of the nagel, curious. Perhaps at that early date they didn't differentiate between the messer and the falchion? I'm gad you brought this subject up, I'll definitely be digging more deeply over the next few days.
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