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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug, 2015 2:03 pm    Post subject: Interpretation of Maciejowski Bible Hooked Falchion         Reply with quote

This is my interpretation - one of possible variants I suppose - of the weapon illustrated in "Maciejowski Bible", created in years 12401250 - also called "Crusaders Bible" or "Morgan`s Bible".
This is unique type of hooked falchion, sometimes called also "umbrella" Happy.
Measurements:
lenght 820mm
weight 1130g
blade lenght 645mm
blade thickness from 5mm
blade width from 41mm at the base to 114mm near the top
point of balance 210mm from the hilt

Characteristics:
It can be used with one or both hands.
The blade is stiff and I can cut very precisely, very good handling.
Weapon is balanced near the center - so, it has power with cutting - similar to axes balance.
This seapon is very dangerous - I`m sure about that. You can easly use spikes on the back of the edge also.
The grip is comfortable enough, and designed to be safe and not lost easy this weapon in action - if you hit strong - the hooked end will stop the grip in your sweaty, slick hands in battle.

My reflecions:
When we see all illustrations from Morgan`s Bible, analyze them - we will see that the man who made them was very talented person and very precise - accurate in all historical details of armor, even belts, scabbards, horse equipment, etc... he certainly have seen all of this stuff with his own eyes. We not see in museums such weapon like this one, so it could be some kind of artistic exaggeration about this falchion - but when I see other details - I can`t find no other mistake or intentional invention of this weapon -he just don`t need to create something new - fantastic - in my opinion. he could use on his pictures many other "real" (mean known from museums today) weapons together with simple swords , spears and axes... he chose this - why? it is not illustrated in hands of some misbeliever or fantasy creature - but in hands of armed man in battle - few times. I think - it had to be something like this - but not very popular weapon. That why there is no finds today - exactly like this one falchion.
The spikes at the back site of edge are functional and sharp - their purpose is - IMO - puncturing helmets, chainmail and other armor parts.
Why the grip end is hooked? it is easier to make that kind of end by forging thicker end and hook it - than install separate pommel. second reason is for hand protection, similar as sabres has or some falchions - but not from the hilt. it could be also some helpfull detail while carrying - but in my opinion this is not important and not safe way of carrying, especially without ant scabbard...
this is my INTERPRETATION of Maciejowski Bible falchion - not exactly and just what I see - but I agree that I precisly took the shape of the blade, proportions from the pictures.
I have added some details according to my experience and research on medieval weapons from this period.
There is one more thing - this weapon is scary with its unique shape - and was scary enough for those people - that could be important factor in my opnion - useful in battle Happy








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J. Nicolaysen




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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug, 2015 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wonderful work Maciej, this weapon caught my interest a while ago and I was very happy you decided to make it. You did a great job.

Quote:
We not see in museums such weapon like this one, so it could be some kind of artistic exaggeration about this falchion - but when I see other details - I can`t find no other mistake or intentional invention of this weapon -he just don`t need to create something new - fantastic - in my opinion. he could use on his pictures many other "real" (mean known from museums today) weapons together with simple swords , spears and axes... he chose this - why? it is not illustrated in hands of some misbeliever or fantasy creature - but in hands of armed man in battle - few times.


I have thought the repeated images of the weapon throughout the Maciejowski Bible also make a point for being a real weapon. It keeps showing up in the background sometimes with little change and though it may be uncommon at that time, and unknown in our time, it seems like the artist was certainly dedicated to show it a certain way. Also, very good point it is shown used by a "regular" soldier.

Quote:
The spikes at the back site of edge are functional and sharp - their purpose is - IMO - puncturing helmets, chainmail and other armor parts.


Sometimes I wondered if the weapon could be sharpened on the back edge. But it doesn't seem to add any more utility to the weapon's purpose, and it would take away the strong spine which supports the chopping. It might make it more dangerous to the user also. Finally I don't know many weapons from the time that would have had a sharpened false-edge. What do you think?

Quote:
Why the grip end is hooked? it is easier to make that kind of end by forging thicker end and hook it - than install separate pommel. second reason is for hand protection, similar as sabres has or some falchions - but not from the hilt.


I said somewhere else that the weight and shape of the handle reminds me of how some axes have a certain end on the handle to support the grip. The steel pommel solution was very inspired and makes sense. Well done!

As far as the name I prefer "falchion" to "chopper" but maybe falchion isn't the best either because of the grip and lack of cross-guard. The mystery of the name will only add to the mystery of the weapon itself I guess.

Thank you for making it for us all to enjoy learning about it! Although there are other replicas of the weapon out there, I don't think they can equal your research and care for making this one, and I highly doubt the steel and balance could be ever as good.
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Aaron Hoard




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PostPosted: Sun 23 Aug, 2015 8:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool looking sword.

Kind of reminds me of something from Indonesia or the Philippines. Like maybe a Philippine Talibon.

http://www.valiantco.com/philippines.html

http://www.valiantco.com/
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Jerry Monaghan




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2015 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Maciej
Man what an brute of an sword not my style but very Impressive I would not like to come across this in an fight
Congratulations on yet another fine piece

Regards

Jerry Monaghan
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2015 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Such a brutal beauty! Definitely my kind of thing. Happy

I'd think the main purpose of the hooked grip would be the extremely secure, well, grip that it gives - as long as your fingers have any strength left at all, the weapon simply cannot slip out of your hand by accident. And of course this also makes possible little tricks like letting the sword slide forward as you strike to add just a little bit of extra reach and momentum, and lets you put more power into your blows in general (and your hand and arm don't get as tired doing it, either, since you can use a more relaxed grip).

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Michael Beeching




PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2015 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Speaking of the hooked grip, many have made the obvious observation that it would prevent one from losing hold of the sword in a swing (at least to a large extent) as well as providing a small bit of extra protection for the hand. However, after reading this fine thread:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=32368

I am made to think that the hook had a far more utilitarian purpose than others have forwarded: you cannot put this sword in a normal scabbard, and it's possible that the actual historical weapon may have been quite crude (think of Arms & Armor's Peasant Revolt weapons selection) - the owner of such a weapon may not have been able to afford a scabbard, either. Therefore, where do you keep the weapon on your person when you're not holding it? Why, you use the hook to put it through your belt or some other convenient loop of cloth or leather! I think it's probably very accurate to say that such features on weapons are not initially designed out of specific martial principal, but rather for straight-forward and logical usage. The martial principals and doctrines grow out of time and experience, and I don't know of any sources that make any references to the nuances of using hook-handled swords in close combat. Conventional swords clearly won the day as far as sidearms and short weapons go.

*EDIT

About the carry comments, I did not initially see the author's comments on transporting the weapon - I think that's a very reasonable thing to say, but at the same time, I don't know how else you might carry the weapon around. Perhaps you'd wrap the sword in loose cloth and then loop it through your belt?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Villard de Honnecourt's "self-portrait" shows the use of a lanyard.


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ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:


About the carry comments, I did not initially see the author's comments on transporting the weapon - I think that's a very reasonable thing to say, but at the same time, I don't know how else you might carry the weapon around. Perhaps you'd wrap the sword in loose cloth and then loop it through your belt?


I don't see this as a weapon you'd carry around on your belt, but rather one intended strictly for battlefield use. In that light the hook could serve several functions: keeping the grip secure (as it did all the way back to antiquity with the falcata/machiria), allowing for easy attachment of a lanyard, or hooking the sword to a saddle for convenient access.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Tue 25 Aug, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Beeching wrote:
Speaking of the hooked grip, many have made the obvious observation that it would prevent one from losing hold of the sword in a swing (at least to a large extent) as well as providing a small bit of extra protection for the hand. However, after reading this fine thread:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=32368

I am made to think that the hook had a far more utilitarian purpose than others have forwarded: you cannot put this sword in a normal scabbard, and it's possible that the actual historical weapon may have been quite crude (think of Arms & Armor's Peasant Revolt weapons selection) - the owner of such a weapon may not have been able to afford a scabbard, either. Therefore, where do you keep the weapon on your person when you're not holding it? Why, you use the hook to put it through your belt or some other convenient loop of cloth or leather! I think it's probably very accurate to say that such features on weapons are not initially designed out of specific martial principal, but rather for straight-forward and logical usage. The martial principals and doctrines grow out of time and experience, and I don't know of any sources that make any references to the nuances of using hook-handled swords in close combat. Conventional swords clearly won the day as far as sidearms and short weapons go.

*EDIT

About the carry comments, I did not initially see the author's comments on transporting the weapon - I think that's a very reasonable thing to say, but at the same time, I don't know how else you might carry the weapon around. Perhaps you'd wrap the sword in loose cloth and then loop it through your belt?

I really don't think you'd want to hang this weapon from your belt by that pommel hook - it would naturally hang at such an angle that the sharp edge and point(s) would keep poking at your thigh and knee every time you moved; or, if you went the extra mile to insert the grip inside your belt, your leg would be spared but the sword would stick out to the side and keep flopping around and hitting things around you.

Just try wearing a hook-handled umbrella like this, you'll see why I think it wasn't done. Happy

More likely, while traveling you'd just keep this sword in the supply train or on your own burden beast with all the rest of the stuff not carried on your person, and only pick it up you when you expect to need it. Of course, you could quite handily hang it from just about anything when you need a free hand for a moment, but only temporarily; you wouldn't want to walk or ride around with it flopping about unchecked like that, I don't think.

Also, sheaths and scabbards do exist for similar weapons, e.g. certain forms of South-East Asian dha. Pictorial evidence does seem to suggest they weren't used with these European choppers, but it isn't actually impossible, as such.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2015 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is my all-time favorite weapon
Love your version, looks GREAT
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2015 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for your opinions and aobservations.
I have prepared also the picture with some sources for this weapon - which shows that it was not only artist fantasy and I`m sure about that Happy
https://scontent-fra3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11902310_1624345631167667_5257101165071477741_n.jpg?oh=acff434da0da17433832956985328e72&oe=567B0C1B
I have prepared also detailed description about every important points about that - but it is around 8 pages fo document Happy
I will put it as a whole into my book with other reconstructions of medieval swords and falchions.

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2015 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another example for you:
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5492/18634/

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Aug, 2015 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow - this is great source!- I know this website but I didn`t` saw it before Happy
thank you very much Mart - this is important for my research.

Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Maciej K.
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Aug, 2015 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

also - I`ve made some tests - cutting on wood and making holes in old car plates - works deadly good. makes holes without stuck - this is because of the spikes contruction. cutting some thin wooden branches was very effective because of the curved edge. unfortunately it was already too dark outside and no video was recorded and now this falchion is on shipping. but no worries - I will made other similar weapons from Maciejowski and make video with two hands using and cutting.
Medieval Swords - www.artofswordmaking.com
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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2015 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks really good!

I have always wondered, however, if the picture in the manuscript wasn't meant to depict a broken weapon of some sort, hence the seemingly-random, jagged edges at the "business end." Could it be possible that the weapon could actually have some sort of rounded or clip point?

Eh, just wondering aloud! Either way, it is a truly unique weapon, and I'd love to see more stuff like this out there!

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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