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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2005 9:21 pm    Post subject: Accurate type of scabbard for hand and a half?         Reply with quote

I would like to know if anyone really knows what was commonly used (historically) as a campaign scabbard for long longswords and hand and half swords.

I have ordered my first collection item, a Crecy Grete. It will be 45" long. I experimented with placing an arm behind my neck while trying to lift a stick. I can not believe that a back scabbard is really all that comfortable in terms of drawing the sword (especially if wearing pauldrons). I had a suspicion that the real story may have been that there was some sort of quick release bracket utilized to hold the scabbard, such that a solder could remove the entire sword and scabbard and comfortably unsheath on of these monsterous things in front of his body.

Let me know if you have tried several things and found one that both protects the sword, but permits reasonably comfortable removal.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2005 10:40 pm    Post subject: Back Scabbards         Reply with quote

Hello Jared

Back scabbards where not really seen much in the european context. There are a few illustrations that show someone carrying a sword on the back but this well may be showing a military type on the march and not something that was done as a place to draw the sword from. At 45" the sword would be to long to draw from the back as you have deduced. It is most common to see swords of length carried over the shoulder like a rifle often with the pommel resting in the hand.

Best
Craig
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David R. Glier





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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared, you're partly right, at least.

To the best of my knowledge, no such quick-release devices were made or used -I'm fairly confident of that at least through the end of the 15th century. You're thinking too hard. However, you *would* have drawn the sword from its "travel-scabbard" in front of yourself.

A weapon like a greatsword was a weapon of war. One didn't just go around casualy carrying the medieval equivalent of an M-60! Any time it saw use -especialy a sword like the Crecy- it would be in a battle: which usualy occured in a field, with both armies arrayed carefully on either side, with quite a bit of time for organizing and getting one's self ready. That means there was pleanty of time to draw that monster and get rid of the clunky scabbard somewhere in the back with all the baggage.

Such a sword might be carried across the saddlebow (although recently I believe this has been questioned!); or at the hip like any other sword (there's good evidence for this in funerary brasses).
IIRC, in later periods (16th/17th centuries), greatswords might be worn in a scabbard on a baldric, which might be slung across the back, then removed for drawing. But your sword is very much 14th century, so it wouldn't be very appropriate to do so with yours.
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R. Laine




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David R. Glier wrote:

A weapon like a greatsword was a weapon of war. One didn't just go around casualy carrying the medieval equivalent of an M-60!


While I mostly agree, there is some evidence of Crecy-sized swords being carried in a civilian context. Fiore dei Liberi's longsword defences against dagger-armed foes is one example, and, unless I'm mistaken (Medieval and Renaissance Italy not really being my main period of interest), there are also deciptions of people carrying scabbarded swords in their hands - not hanging from the belt or back, but rather like a walking cane.

Rabbe
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rabbe Jan-Olof Laine wrote:
David R. Glier wrote:

A weapon like a greatsword was a weapon of war. One didn't just go around casualy carrying the medieval equivalent of an M-60!


While I mostly agree, there is some evidence of Crecy-sized swords being carried in a civilian context. Fiore dei Liberi's longsword defences against dagger-armed foes is one example, and, unless I'm mistaken (Medieval and Renaissance Italy not really being my main period of interest), there are also deciptions of people carrying scabbarded swords in their hands - not hanging from the belt or back, but rather like a walking cane.

Rabbe


David's statement is true for the earlier times (before say mid 15c). Great war swords , the typical XIIa and XIIIa, seemed to have lost popularity around 1350. David's statement refers to these 13-14c swords. But later, during 15c they came back in favor and were often carried around as civilian weapons. I think that these 15-16c XIIa, XIIIa's were often much slimmer in overall size (not necessarily length) so they were not as much of a hassle to carry around the waist.

Alexi
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R. Laine




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fiore dei Liberi likely lived most of his life during the fourteenth century. The unarmoured scabbarded sword vs. dagger plays are, IMHO, quite clear proof that longswords similar in size to Albion's Crecy were (at least occasionally) carried as self-defence weapons at the time.

Rabbe
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rabbe Jan-Olof Laine wrote:
Fiore dei Liberi likely lived most of his life during the fourteenth century. The unarmoured scabbarded sword vs. dagger plays are, IMHO, quite clear proof that longswords similar in size to Albion's Crecy were (at least occasionally) carried as self-defence weapons at the time.

Rabbe


I agree. There are some illustrations in Oakeshotts books that show a guy with a XIIIa sword in his hands and a scabbard on his waist. The illustration was mid 13c if memory serves me right. So at least some times these swords were worn on the waist.

Here is a link to that ilustration at the top of the page.

Alexi
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I agree. There are some illustrations in Oakeshotts books that show a guy with a XIIIa sword in his hands and a scabbard on his waist. The illustration was mid 13c if memory serves me right. So at least some times these swords were worn on the waist.

Here is a link to that ilustration at the top of the page.

Alexi


Did knights practice like that or what? Handling the sword while balancing on a stick.

The Albion Baron scabbard is a nice example of this type of scabbard.


Last edited by Kenneth Enroth on Fri 11 Feb, 2005 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thankyou all for the insight.

You have helped heal my bruised ego (trying to draw the pole from behind my neck actually strained my shoulder badly enough that I was momentarily concerned that I may have significantly injured or strained my shoulder muscles!)

I think I will not concern myself with quick draw sword techniques and large swords. I may settle for a scabbard with a shoulder sling and simply taking the whole affair off if I want to withdraw it.

Jared Smith
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's the larger twohanders of the 15th and 16th century that were carried over the shoulder. But those swords were between 5-6 feet long.
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kenneth Enroth wrote:


Did knights practice like that or what? Handling the sword while balancing on a stick.


Not only that but they had to balance a hot coking pot on their helm and spend at lest half the time on one foot while delivering full strength blows of the master strikes. ........I think you get the idea Big Grin It was not easy being a training knight in those days Wink

Alexi
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Kenneth Enroth




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexi Goranov wrote:
Kenneth Enroth wrote:


Did knights practice like that or what? Handling the sword while balancing on a stick.


Not only that but they had to balance a hot coking pot on their helm and spend at lest half the time on one foot while delivering full strength blows of the master strikes. ........I think you get the idea Big Grin It was not easy being a training knight in those days Wink

Alexi


No wonder they were eager to fight.
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