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Sergio Henrique





Joined: 26 Oct 2018

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2018 7:25 pm    Post subject: Identify a 15th century type of sword from a painting         Reply with quote

So I just came across this incredible set of panels from Portugal, perhaps from the 1450s:



https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3a/Nuno_Gon%C3%A7alves._Paineis_de_S%C3%A3o_Vicente_de_Fora.jpg

The amount of detail in amazing. More specifically I'm looking at the swords and they all seem to be of similar design with slight changes in aesthetics.

First of all, how would you describe this sword? A sidesword? It only has finger rings, no knuckle-bow, and some wide, upwards quillons (do these have a name?)

Also, do you know of any respectable reproduction of this type of sword?
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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 172

PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ive always seen this type described as crab claw or crab hilted swords, or daggers as the case may be.

Id call the swords in the panels arming swords since 2 of 3 men with swords are wearing armour, but the period term would probably just be sword.

Im not aware of any decent reproductions, but there are several variants of wall hanger in this style.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, they would have just called them swords (or rather espadas). I might call them arming swords, given the period and context.

AIUI, "arming sword", "sidesword", "riding sword" and such are really more functions than types of swords. The first is used to arm soldiers for war, the latter are worn in civilian contexts and may have a tendency to be somewhat lighter and/or more compact. The differences are more contextual than typological.

"Crab claw hilt" usually describes a particular type of 17th century swords or parrying daggers with very sharply curved quillons, often several pairs of them branching off from the center. These here, centuries earlier, I would just call swords with finger rings.

PS. This seems to have been a popular style in the Iberian peninsula. Compare to, for example, the alleged Tizona of "El Cid", with its 15th or 16th Century hilt. (El Pas has a better photo of the sword; right click to view the image in full size.)

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
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Mart Shearer




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

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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2018 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Portuguese hilt is sometimes called a testicle guard in 16th century development.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=4369
http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/discoverieswords.htm

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2018 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lovely painting, impressed with the faces and the clothing. Some of those are faces you see today.

I would say the armor actually looks 14th Century though that may be an intentional anachronism by the artist. A painting of that quality would be a bit more unusual I think in the 14th though by no means unheard of.

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

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Oskar Gessler




Location: Germany
Joined: 29 Nov 2017

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2018 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vladimir Cervenka has such a sword on offer.
http://www.sword.cz/swords.htm
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
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Posts: 447

PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: cervenka's swords         Reply with quote

His ''spanish'' sword is lovely, though I opted for the 200017 with the longer blade and ribbon quillons. I suspect that the spaniard would be a faster weapon. as it is shorter and slightly less heavy.
Bon coeur et bon bras
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2018 5:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brigandines and jack chains are typical for late 15th century, as is the rest of the arms and armour and clothing. I don't think there is any anachronism here.
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sun 28 Oct, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Brigandines and jack chains are typical for late 15th century, as is the rest of the arms and armour and clothing. I don't think there is any anachronism here.


Sort of half undress armour, lighter. Here in the Peninsula equipmet was adapted to weather... This capacetes are nice, you are protected from the sun (and things falling on to you), and can breath and hear well.

Brigandines often were covered in very expensive silks, so they were not always cheap. But "nude" plates get too hot under the sun, so even plate armour was often covered in cloth.

Those paintings have dozens of details really interesting, I'm researching some of them. All I have looking at is well documented somewhere else, no fantasy stuff (only poshy).
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2018 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out the Pastrana Tapestries. It's this x 1000. This book is a must-have for folks interested in arms and armour of the period: https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Glory-Afonso-Pastrana-Tapestries/dp/8495241846


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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