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Spenser T.




Location: West coast, Canada
Joined: 14 Apr 2010
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Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2016 3:29 pm    Post subject: Irish and Scottish sword hilts in the middle ages         Reply with quote

Hello,

I'm more specifically wondering about Irish ring pommel swords with the "S" or forked guard types. A professor at my university told us during a lecture that until Ulster was colonized by the English, that Gaelic Scotland and Ireland were essentially the same "country" (by country I mean a continuation of the same culture in which movement between the two places was common and they weren't necessarily seen as being so different, kind of like moving between provinces or states). This seems to be represented in the way the Scottish or "V" cross guard single-handed swords appear in both Scotland and Ireland. However, I haven't been able to find any "S" hilted or open pommel Irish style swords in Scotland. I'm wondering if there are any examples of the Irish type hilts making it to Scotland. I'm especially curious as to why, with many of them being found in places like Antrim, that I wasn't able to find any movement of this type going to Scotland.

As always, thank you for any input you can provide on this matter.
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

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PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2016 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Spenser. AFAIK no ring pommelled sword has been found outside of Ireland.
Éirinn go Brách
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2016 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The ring pommel does appear to be a very distinctively insular style specific to Ireland, as do the 'fork' crossguards. S-shaped crossguards aren't terribly unusual though, you can see them in many German swords of the period. Irish mercenaries fought in a good number of Continental conflicts, it's quite possible they were exposed to that particular influence over there.

The V-style cross-guards aside, the majority of sword hilts would have followed the English or Continental style, just being behind the curve of whatever was fashionable.
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