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Sarah B.




Location: Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jul, 2016 7:18 pm    Post subject: Trying to identify an exotic medieval sword         Reply with quote

I'm looking for the name of a medieval weapon, a strange blocky sword with curved notches in it that I was shown once. The smith told me it was for pulling apart and penetrating scale armor. Sorry about not having a picture of it, but without the name of it I haven't been able to find a picture! ^^; I hope someone here knows what I'm talking about.
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
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JG Elmslie
Industry Professional



Location: Scotland
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jul, 2016 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

strange, blocky with curved notches....

Not thinking of the Maciejowski bible proto-messer type blades, by any chance?



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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2016 1:31 am    Post subject: Re: Trying to identify an exotic medieval sword         Reply with quote

Sarah B. wrote:
I'm looking for the name of a medieval weapon, a strange blocky sword with curved notches in it that I was shown once. The smith told me it was for pulling apart and penetrating scale armor. Sorry about not having a picture of it, but without the name of it I haven't been able to find a picture! ^^; I hope someone here knows what I'm talking about.


Scale armour is quite rare in the Middle Ages, so I wonder if the smith really knew what he was talking about. Most people wore mail armour or gambesons (cloth armour) if they could not afford mail; in the 14th century, they started to wear coats-of-plates, and then eventually full plate. Scale seems to have been almost non-existent for much of the High Middle Ages, at least in Western Europe, and is still comparatively rare in the early/late Middle Ages.
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Jean Lamora





Joined: 12 Jul 2016

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jul, 2016 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I Think it's a Falchon (Fauchon in French)

http://www.revesdacier.com/boutique/product_i...cts_id=710

Best regards
Jean
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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
Joined: 16 Jun 2016

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jul, 2016 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny how people use to call the Maciejowski "chopper" a falchion or sword. To me it is more like a tool, hybrid of machete and billhook, that could have been used in battle because of its great cutting power.

Actually the shape (except the top of the blade) looks quite like what we call in France an "italian" billhook, and if you cut the curved top you get even closer to it, as you can see here and here. You just need to have a longer blade and some back spikes, and you can easily go prune wood!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 13 Jul, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guillaume,

I think the key for evaluating the Maciejowski chopper is to look at the situations and contexts it is shown being used in. If it's really just a modified tool, we should expect to see illustrations of it being used as a tool. To my knowledge, however, the chopper is only seen in military contexts suggesting that it is indeed a sword.

Of course, a genuine surviving artifact from the Middle Ages that looks similar to the chopper and is found in a context that might suggest tool usage could be evidence as well. Yet I am not aware of any such artifact surviving.

Therefore, I think it's safest to say the chopper is a sword, even if it looks like it could be used as a tool. Later grosse messers, particularly those from the late 14th century and into the 15th century also look like they could be tools, too, but there is little evidence to suggest they are.
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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
Joined: 16 Jun 2016

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 13 Jul, 2016 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Craig,

I guess you're right. Hope that one day we'll have the final word on it!
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2016 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's possible to find a number of weapons listed in descriptions of medieval battles or inventories. Unfortunately, many of those are in Latin, and a foot soldier armed with a cutellus (or French couteau) tells us nothing of the appearance of said knife or dagger, e.g. whether it's double or single-edged, or what the hilt looks like. Generally, I agree with Mr. Elmslie's modern descriptor of "proto-messer", as the blade shape of these follows the form of the table knives seen in the Maciejowski Bible and other 13th century sources.
http://www.themorgan.org/collection/crusader-bible/62



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ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Alan E




Location: UK
Joined: 21 Jan 2016

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So it's a Big Fishknife!?!
Member of Exiles Medieval Martial Arts.
Currently teaching Fiore's art in Ceredigion
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