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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: Books About Medieval Swordsmiths and the Sword Industry         Reply with quote

Is there a book focusing on the social and economic history of late medieval swordsmiths and on the swordmaking/selling industry like Matthias Pfaffenbichler's Armourers? All I have is like one chapter in Toby Capwell's book on The Noble Art of the Sword, and that only covers 1525 onwards in one city (Milan).
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2018 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Books About Medieval Swordsmiths and the Sword Industry         Reply with quote

William Knight wrote:
Is there a book focusing on the social and economic history of late medieval swordsmiths and on the swordmaking/selling industry like Matthias Pfaffenbichler's Armourers? All I have is like one chapter in Toby Capwell's book on The Noble Art of the Sword, and that only covers 1525 onwards in one city (Milan).


Hmm not from that perspective that I am aware of. Most of the work is focused on the objects and materials. The subject is probably a difficult one as even though armourers where relatively diversified in production (ie very few shops would make an armor start to finish top to bottom) swords where far more so. From material extraction to steel processing to blank making to blade processing to selling would have had many crafts involved. This would be just for the blade a cutler would have collected the elements of blade and hilt to assemble to make a sword as a finished object and that again would be a small collection of craftsmen and merchants in that process. Does this mean that one smith did not make a sword start to finish from a piece of metal, no, but it was probably far rarer than is thought and very different than todays sword maker who is possibly combining many crafts in one shop today.

Best
Craig
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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018

Posts: 42

PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2018 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sounds like someone's PhD dissertation is in there....
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 426

PostPosted: Thu 26 Jul, 2018 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Books About Medieval Swordsmiths and the Sword Industry         Reply with quote

William Knight wrote:
Is there a book focusing on the social and economic history of late medieval swordsmiths and on the swordmaking/selling industry like Matthias Pfaffenbichler's Armourers? All I have is like one chapter in Toby Capwell's book on The Noble Art of the Sword, and that only covers 1525 onwards in one city (Milan).

The Museum of London volume on Knives and Scabbards might be helpful, since the knife industry and sword industry were related. My impression is that making the blades, fitting them with hilts, and making the scabbards were usually three separate trades and could be located thousands of kilometers apart (a smith in Cologne makes a barrel-load of blades, they are exported to Egypt and hilted, one is carried to India and after a few years the owner has a new scabbard made ...)
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