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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 5:56 am    Post subject: Two "Panzerstecher" from Sjørring Sø, Thy, Denmark         Reply with quote

These two swords are attributed to the early part of the 1400's from a Lake, that is now drained and non-existent.

The first (one on the right) was found in the Sjørring Lake in 1868 during fishing.
Its 120 cm long, inclusive the grip of 24 cm length. Pear-shaped pommel.
The cross-guard has a rectangular shape and is 8,25 cm long (it's currently lose)

The second sword (one on the left) was found in 1877 during the digging of a ditch.
It has a mark on the blade - a running wold, a cross and a crosier - from either Passau or Solingen in Germany.
It has lost its pommel.
It's 100 cm, inclusive the grip of 22 cm length.
Slightly down-curved cross-guards of 12,5 cm length.

So looking at the blades the sword on the right still has a visible fuller yet also a rather pronounced profile taper as it ends in a long narrow point.
The sword on the left have a diamond cross-section (thrusting orientated) and also ends in a narrow point (unclear from the picture if something of the tip is missing?).

Experts: So is the sword with the diamond section younger than the fullered sword (being even more specialized against plate armour) AND are the early 1400's a correct estimate for these?




 Attachment: 810.56 KB
Source: The Danish National Museem. http://samlinger.natmus.dk/DMR/168295 [ Download ]

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Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Thu 24 Sep, 2015 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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J. Nicolaysen




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Niels, thank you for the interesting weapons.

Panzertecher, the Polish Koncerz and Estoc are all very interesting and specialized weapons. I'd like to learn more about them and see examples. These are nice blades you show. But I thought early 1400s are too early for this type of sword, more like 1480 to 1600. I'm not an expert though.

It's true there are some XVs like the Shrewsbury and Black Prince swords that almost have this kind of distal taper and hexagonal blade that are from the 1400s, but I associate Panzertecher and Estoc and Koncerz with a little later date myself.
http://myArmoury.com/feature_spotxv.html
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
Hello Niels, thank you for the interesting weapons.

Panzertecher, the Polish Koncerz and Estoc are all very interesting and specialized weapons. I'd like to learn more about them and see examples. These are nice blades you show. But I thought early 1400s are too early for this type of sword, more like 1480 to 1600. I'm not an expert though.

It's true there are some XVs like the Shrewsbury and Black Prince swords that almost have this kind of distal taper and hexagonal blade that are from the 1400s, but I associate Panzertecher and Estoc and Koncerz with a little later date myself.
http://myArmoury.com/feature_spotxv.html


You're welcome Big Grin
I was thinking that maybe the fullered version might be the oldest and then the sword with the diamond section even more specialized for thrusting and thus later (1500's?).
Do you know when in the 1400's these english swords are from?

Tobias Capwell stated in the scholagladiatoria-youtube-videos. that the English were one of the first European nations to have really superheavy "tank armour" around the time of the Agincourt battle, so early 1400 might fit England, but in a Scandinavian context, its probably somewhat later?!
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J. Nicolaysen




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Sep, 2015 2:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From Nathan's article which I linked above:

Quote:
XV.6 "Shrewsbury Sword", found in the Wallace Collection (A.645)
Sword of possible English origin, circa 1400. The pommel is faceted and fig-shaped with recesses for small shields of arms. The quillons are flat and straight, with pierced cross cut-outs. The blade is a diamond section with a central fuller and traces of an inscription. Looking at the proportions of this photo may make this sword appear as a XVa, but Oakeshott classifies it as a Type XV.


The Black prince sword is earlier, probably 1330-1360. His most famous battles were Crecy, etc. It's a XVa. I don't know the length of the Shrewsbury sword, but A&A's repro of the Black Prince sword is about 43 in or 109 cm, so a little shorter than the Panzertecher you have. The Koncerz were pretty long as well, but not necessarily two-handed as I think of many Panzertecher.

All I mean to say is that perhaps the XV and XVa are early in the development of the Tuck/Estoc, and so it is a good place to look for examples of the blade. However there are many examples of XV that do not have the severe distal taper. But as the development of plate mail came in the 14th and 15th century the swords were also in a transitional, developmental period.

Do you consider all panzertecher to be two-handed? These English swords are hand-half. Koncerz can be almost like a saber grip. I think there are many different types of Koncerz, I don't know much about them.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Nicolaysen wrote:
From Nathan's article which I linked above:

Quote:
XV.6 "Shrewsbury Sword", found in the Wallace Collection (A.645)
Sword of possible English origin, circa 1400. The pommel is faceted and fig-shaped with recesses for small shields of arms. The quillons are flat and straight, with pierced cross cut-outs. The blade is a diamond section with a central fuller and traces of an inscription. Looking at the proportions of this photo may make this sword appear as a XVa, but Oakeshott classifies it as a Type XV.


The Black prince sword is earlier, probably 1330-1360. His most famous battles were Crecy, etc. It's a XVa. I don't know the length of the Shrewsbury sword, but A&A's repro of the Black Prince sword is about 43 in or 109 cm, so a little shorter than the Panzertecher you have. The Koncerz were pretty long as well, but not necessarily two-handed as I think of many Panzertecher.

All I mean to say is that perhaps the XV and XVa are early in the development of the Tuck/Estoc, and so it is a good place to look for examples of the blade. However there are many examples of XV that do not have the severe distal taper. But as the development of plate mail came in the 14th and 15th century the swords were also in a transitional, developmental period.

Do you consider all panzertecher to be two-handed? These English swords are hand-half. Koncerz can be almost like a saber grip. I think there are many different types of Koncerz, I don't know much about them.


So English examples are already from mid 1300's !
The Danish sword on the right has a fuller, so maybe a transitional type, whereas the one on the left looks way more specialized (probably with no cutting ability at all).
Whether these Danish examples should be regarded as "two-handed" is an interesting question.
If their purpose is to pierce weaknesses in the armour, then I would reckon that half-swording would be more efficient.
Two-handed use might be applied defensively, but offensively your point control would surely be lacking, compared to using it the half-swording way?
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Oct, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword on the right looks like a pretty archetypal example of Oakeshott's Type XVII, and 1400 doesn't seem too early for it.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct, 2015 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Third quarter of 14th century to first quarter of 15th century seems to be a pretty safe bet for the dating of these two swords.

From the blade shape alone (fuller vs. no fuller) you cannot say which one is older than the other. It may well be that the type XVII with the fish tail pommel is older than the toe XVa that lacks a pommel. -Difficult to say.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Lafayette C Curtis & Peter Johnsson for your inputs.

As the dating of swords in Danish Museums sometimes is a bit iffy, it's nice to see they nailed it correctly at around 1400 this time!

As for having fuller or not cannot determine the age between them, is it safe to say that the type XVa (left sword without the fuller) is more thrusting specialized than the type XVII (sword on the right with the fuller) or is it about the same in efficiency??

Is it two equally timed development towards thrust orientated swords? So two different solutions on swordmaking to the same problem of piercing increasingly heavy plate armour......with the type XVa lasting longer (until 1550?) than the type XVII (popular until 1425?).
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Niels,

It *seems* like the type XVa has a thicker blade and that *might* make it more dedicated for the thrust, but this is not always so clear cut forgive the pun).

Both swords would seem to be made to favor the thrust over the cut, but a narrow pointy silhouette might be misleading, hiding pretty decent cutting performance.

Tp really know you would have to know the cross section and dynamic properties of the sword. The shape of the cross section will have great impact on the cutting performance. So will also the character of the balance.



Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Thanks Lafayette C Curtis & Peter Johnsson for your inputs.

As the dating of swords in Danish Museums sometimes is a bit iffy, it's nice to see they nailed it correctly at around 1400 this time!

As for having fuller or not cannot determine the age between them, is it safe to say that the type XVa (left sword without the fuller) is more thrusting specialized than the type XVII (sword on the right with the fuller) or is it about the same in efficiency??

Is it two equally timed development towards thrust orientated swords? So two different solutions on swordmaking to the same problem of piercing increasingly heavy plate armour......with the type XVa lasting longer (until 1550?) than the type XVII (popular until 1425?).
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2015 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Niels,

It *seems* like the type XVa has a thicker blade and that *might* make it more dedicated for the thrust, but this is not always so clear cut forgive the pun).

Both swords would seem to be made to favor the thrust over the cut, but a narrow pointy silhouette might be misleading, hiding pretty decent cutting performance.

Tp really know you would have to know the cross section and dynamic properties of the sword. The shape of the cross section will have great impact on the cutting performance. So will also the character of the balance.


Thanks!
So while some swords were ultra-dedicated thrust weapons having basically no cutting edge to speak off (what we call "estoc", "tuck" or "panzerstecher"); you really can't presume anything generally, but have to look into the cross section and point of balance of each individual sword.
In the terminology its likely the thrusting ability in itself and not whether it cut well or not, that would classify it as an estoc, tuck or panzerstecher?!

About the "fullered" Type XVII - the National Museum in Copenhagen should have a sword from 1360-1390 with quiet weird properties.
Source: http://myArmoury.com/feature_spotxvii.html (example 2)
Weighing almost 4 pounds and having a centered point of balance on a 86,5 cm long blade, which Oakeshott called clumsy and heavy.
It seems to me that such a centered balance shows it to be a dedicated half-swording weapon - or could it have other explanations (cavalry sword perhaps, but in that case why not make it longer - at least 10 cm).
It seems to have good cutting edges, besides an acute point (though seemingly less pronounced than later swords).


Last edited by Niels Just Rasmussen on Sun 11 Oct, 2015 8:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So while some swords were ultra-dedicated thrust weapons having basically no cutting edge to speak off (what we call "estoc", "tuck" or "panzerstecher"); you really can't presume anything generally, but have to look into the cross section and point of balance of each individual sword.
In the terminology its likely the thrusting ability in itself and not whether it cut well or not, that would classify it as an estoc, tuck or panzerstecher?!

-Correct!
We all know catalogues and publications where swords are designated as thrusting swords based on their pointy profile. The "Brescia Spadona" is one such sword that is presented as a "Stocco" by established scholars in the field. A carefully made replica of the same sword shows this to be an oversimplification, to put it kindly: it is in fact a really good cutting sword with above average all around cutting and thrusting capability.

The well known long sword in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich is another sword that is deemed to be a sword mostly favouring the thrust. You may have good basis for this assumption based on balance and cross section and it seems further reinforced when tested against popular targets like mats and water filled plastic bottles. When the same sword is used against the head of a pig, it reveals another side of its personality, easily splitting the solid skull.

Broad thin blades with spatulate points are as a rule said to be intended for slashing blows on the expense of thrusting.
Again, practical tests reveal that such swords will be devastating in the trust against less protected targets.

That is why I try not to be too quick or too absolute in defining swords as either thrusting or cutting swords. We need to understand that there is more involved in the design of swords than their outline. We must also be mindful about the fact that our preconceptions may play us for fools even when we submit swords to testing to learn about their function. There is much to study and learn here.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:

-Correct!
We all know catalogues and publications where swords are designated as thrusting swords based on their pointy profile. The "Brescia Spadona" is one such sword that is presented as a "Stocco" by established scholars in the field. A carefully made replica of the same sword shows this to be an oversimplification, to put it kindly: it is in fact a really good cutting sword with above average all around cutting and thrusting capability.

The well known long sword in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich is another sword that is deemed to be a sword mostly favouring the thrust. You may have good basis for this assumption based on balance and cross section and it seems further reinforced when tested against popular targets like mats and water filled plastic bottles. When the same sword is used against the head of a pig, it reveals another side of its personality, easily splitting the solid skull.

Broad thin blades with spatulate points are as a rule said to be intended for slashing blows on the expense of thrusting.
Again, practical tests reveal that such swords will be devastating in the trust against less protected targets.

That is why I try not to be too quick or too absolute in defining swords as either thrusting or cutting swords. We need to understand that there is more involved in the design of swords than their outline. We must also be mindful about the fact that our preconceptions may play us for fools even when we submit swords to testing to learn about their function. There is much to study and learn here.


Thanks for enlightening me!
I think our modern scientific-classification-thinking might obscure us to the fact that seemingly look-alikes can behave very differently in the hand, based on small decisions made by the weapon smith, which will alter the sword characteristic in sometimes drastic ways! We can be mislead that a Type "whatever" should behave in a general way, since it is type-determined by us. We make a circular thinking. Back then it was often just "a sword" and the smith and buyer likely agreed on some characteristics.

People in real life would likely meet opponents with varying degree of armour, so having an overspecialized sword would probably not be very practical as the sword is primarily a side-arm (back-up weapon) for most warriors in battle (excluding duels, where you could have other considerations). Choice a having a multi-functional sword as your backup makes perfect sense - it can have some primary focus, but that will not necessarily exclude other uses.
So when we make catagories of "cutting-swords" or "thrusting swords", they would likely be both in most instances.
Just a variation of the primary preference for each sword.
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