Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Siderings - earliest evidence? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,303

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2020 10:13 am    Post subject: Siderings - earliest evidence?         Reply with quote

Hello people! In various books and catalogues I often see swords (I'm primarily interested in longswords) with siderings dated as early as 1480 or 1490. Is there any hard evidence for that? Illustrations, written evidence?

Picture as example of a sword with siderings dated to late 15th century in Swiss landesmuseum..



 Attachment: 90.28 KB
[ Download ]

 Attachment: 59.36 KB
[ Download ]
View user's profile Send private message
Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2020 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Luka

There's always an element of trust (or mistrust) in the dating given by any book, by a museum for an artifact, etc. If it's only a single example that seems to contradict a known trend, one should rightly be suspicious. If many published works and museums claim that these swords were around in the 1490s, I'd be inclined to believe them, barring strong evidence to the contrary.

I would guess that complex hilts on longswords (side-rings, etc) borrowed ideas from either arming-swords or messers, which I believe had such hilt features from slightly earlier (though I'm happy to be corrected). Alternatively, it could have been inspired by the leather "rainguards" which some swords featured around this time - I seem to recall that someone practising HEMA /WMA found them to have some defensive properties.

A quick google turns up lots of antique messers attributed to the 1490s which have large nagels. A significant subset of those have the nagel in the form of a side-ring. Of course, "a quick google" is not an academically rigorous proof of anything, but it is somewhat suggestive...

The Berlin Sketchbook of Albrecht Durer seems to show side-rings on longswords - that dates to 1512; a little later than your period of interest, but not by much. But again, the date on a sketchbook or painting can just as easily be suspect as a date given for an actual weapon...

Regards

Andrew
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Lewis





Joined: 19 Apr 2014

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 376

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2020 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That particular style of hilt is classified as type 10 in Norman's The Rapier & Small-Sword: 1460-1820, and he dates its earliest appearance to "possibly about 1510". The book puts forward the most broad and detailed arguments for dating, with reference to specific artworks, that I have seen. The earliest example he cites is this engraving of Kunz von der Rosen:



Very similar is the painting of "Knight Christoph". Both are from about 1515, both coincidentally(?!) depict court jesters, and specifically show the side ring on a messer, suggestive of Andrew's theory.



A possible example on a longsword that I have found is dated to the same decade by the Munich Pinakothek. The resolution is not good; possibly a rainguard is shown, but I think the texture/detail of the blade is visible through the "ring".

https://www.sammlung.pinakothek.de/en/artist/joerg-breu-d-ae/die-hl-lucia


It seems very difficult to find any example of the sidering in art before 1510, but they certainly existed shortly thereafter. Other types of complex hilt features can definitely be found in the 15th century however.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,303

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2020 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
That particular style of hilt is classified as type 10 in Norman's The Rapier & Small-Sword: 1460-1820, and he dates its earliest appearance to "possibly about 1510". The book puts forward the most broad and detailed arguments for dating, with reference to specific artworks, that I have seen. The earliest example he cites is this engraving of Kunz von der Rosen:



Very similar is the painting of "Knight Christoph". Both are from about 1515, both coincidentally(?!) depict court jesters, and specifically show the side ring on a messer, suggestive of Andrew's theory.



A possible example on a longsword that I have found is dated to the same decade by the Munich Pinakothek. The resolution is not good; possibly a rainguard is shown, but I think the texture/detail of the blade is visible through the "ring".

https://www.sammlung.pinakothek.de/en/artist/joerg-breu-d-ae/die-hl-lucia


It seems very difficult to find any example of the sidering in art before 1510, but they certainly existed shortly thereafter. Other types of complex hilt features can definitely be found in the 15th century however.


Thank you very much. So it's pretty much as I suspected, no proof before circa 1510 - 1515.
View user's profile Send private message
Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 201

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2020 4:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Luka,
There are 2 two-handed swords in British collections, dated 1529 (Royal Armouries) and 1534 (Glasgow) which both have well proportioned/developed pairs of side rings, suggesting they were not the first on the scene. The famous Pavia tapestry in Naples shows at least one two-hander with clear side ring(s), dated c1528-30. Several longswords with side rings in the Zurich Landesmuseum are dated 1490-1530 by Schneider. But otherwise it looks as if you may be right.
Neil

N Melville
View user's profile Send private message
Neil Melville




Location: Scotland
Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 201

PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2020 4:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh dear, I've just noticed that you have already noted the Zurich swords. Mea culpa.
N Melville
View user's profile Send private message
Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,621

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2020 4:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote
Quote:
but I think the texture/detail of the blade is visible through the "ring".


Eating set pommels I would say

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
www.todcutler.com
www.instagram.com/todsworkshop
www.facebook.com/TodTodeschini
www.youtube.com/user/todsstuff1
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,303

PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2020 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Mark Lewis wrote
Quote:
but I think the texture/detail of the blade is visible through the "ring".


Eating set pommels I would say

Tod


He is talking about picture below it, Saint Lucia.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Siderings - earliest evidence?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum