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Chip F.





Joined: 05 Jan 2015

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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 7:50 am    Post subject: Type XIV Longsword?         Reply with quote

I'm interested in having a custom longsword made with an Oakeshott Type XIV blade and a longer handle. I'm curious, is there any historical precedent for this type of sword? I imagine this would be an effective combination.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no actual two-handed type XIV; it's strictly a single handed type.

Now mind you, a type XVIIIc with a fuller would basically be what you describe, or perhaps a long type XXI. A XVIa may fill the bill as well.

And of course it's quite possible to have a smith make whatever you want. It's just that, for the period, a large two-handed sword in this style would be highly unusual, and after the period, a wide fuller like the XIV would be unusual as narrow fullers became customary.
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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know any example of what you're looking for... and I guess it would be a very good cutting weapon, but I'm not sure of its efficiency for thrusting. Looking at some historical examples, the type XIV is adapted for thrusting, with this profile taper, but originally is a cutting blade, with the wide, thin blade of lenticular cross-section. Often these blades are quite short. A strong two-handed thrust with this would rather flex the blade (more than on a more thrust-oriented blade type), wouldn't it?

That said, there are several type XV-like blades with a long handle, with a very wide blade at guard but an acute profile taper and a close general "silhouette".

The question is interesting anyway. Hope someone will give some more consistant speech... because I'm afraid not to be very useful on this topic!
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've considered a very similar project. I really wish there had been a type XIVa, but alas, it appears not to be the case. That said, like Jeffrey points out, some kind of Alexandria-style XVIIIc might be pretty close to what you're thinking of while being extremely accurate.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were some XIVs that were really short XVIs, but I think there's good reasons that there wasn't an XIVa. The balance would be odd, you don't need two hands to wield a short blade, and if you use two hands you might as well take advantage of that extra manual power with a longer blade that has a lot of chopping power and/or (as stated above) thrusting power. In other words, a longsword.

On the other hand, in a previous custom project we once accidentially transformed an original sword of XIV/XVI dimensions into a small XVIa because we got the wrong dimensions from the museum. This worked out as a functional sword because we kept the overall proportions correct. The result was this (in the middle): http://myArmoury.com/talk/files/dscf8069s_895.jpg

I had that up for sale recently but took it off to contemplate converting it back into a shorter XVI. Maybe will put it back for sale.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Oct, 2016 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if you could have an *exact* XIVa longsword, given the issues with using it in the thrust. However it could be a wider and slightly more tapered variation of the XII and XIII longswords, which did exist at the time.

If you thickened the point a bit by giving it a diamond cross section, you basically have a XVI/XVIII type cross section, which with a wide fuller would be... historically peculiar, to say the least. Wide fullers tend to accompany cutting blades, not thrusting blades, with lenticular or lozenge cross sections. You could possibly fudge it a bit by starting with a hexagonal cross section and then blending the edges into a lenticular section, but I would be concerned about bending the tip in a stiff thrust. No more so than with a XII or XIIIa, though.
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Chip F.





Joined: 05 Jan 2015

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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I appreciate the insight. I think what I initially envisioned is something similar to Boromir's sword from the Lord of the Rings series (image attached)

Really, this looks to me like a single handed XIV with a longer handle and a scent-stopper pommel. This creates the issue that J.D. Crawford mentioned: you don't need two hands to wield a blade of this size. Personally, I do appreciate the ability to be flexible when using single handed arming swords.



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Boromirs_sword.jpg

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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always liked that design. Not terribly historic with the handle length and the fittings, but it's a nice look.

That said, I think it would work perfectly fine at that width if you simply extended the blade length a bit to more bastard-sword type dimensions. Just don't try to represent it as a historic type and you would be good Happy
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Guillaume Vauthier




Location: France
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A sort of "bastard type XIV", in other words?
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Chip F.





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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
I've always liked that design. Not terribly historic with the handle length and the fittings, but it's a nice look.

That said, I think it would work perfectly fine at that width if you simply extended the blade length a bit to more bastard-sword type dimensions. Just don't try to represent it as a historic type and you would be good Happy


That was my thought - to simply add a few inches to the blade to match the longer handle. Certainly a handsome design, I wonder how it would handle.

Hmm, to be historically accurate or not to be historically accurate?
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chip F. wrote:
Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
I've always liked that design. Not terribly historic with the handle length and the fittings, but it's a nice look.

That said, I think it would work perfectly fine at that width if you simply extended the blade length a bit to more bastard-sword type dimensions. Just don't try to represent it as a historic type and you would be good Happy


That was my thought - to simply add a few inches to the blade to match the longer handle. Certainly a handsome design, I wonder how it would handle.

Hmm, to be historically accurate or not to be historically accurate?


That's a decision only you and your smith can make, really. To be frank, I think you should do what you want and detractors be damned Happy Just be clear with yourself about what exactly you want, and then if your smith delivers, all is well. If historic accuracy is your aim, then a 'bastard XIV' isn't going to fly. If it's not, then knock yourself out.

Time for a pro/con chart perhaps? Razz
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Chip F.





Joined: 05 Jan 2015

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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jan, 2017 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
Time for a pro/con chart perhaps? Razz


Indeed - and as I'm considering commissioning the piece from Rob Miller over at Castle Keep, I'm sure I'll be in good hands.

I've also got to wait for a certain paycheck, hopefully coming next month, before making moves. In the meantime, I'll busy myself by drawing up some sketches.

Thank you all for your insights!
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 17 Apr, 2017 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We don't know of any two-handed XIVs, but you should check out other broad-bladed types like the XVIIIc (Albion Alexandria and the likes) or XXII.
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