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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2020 2:10 pm    Post subject: Urs Graf Reisläufer         Reply with quote

I've been looking at the Urs Graf's depictions of Landsknechts and Swiss Reisläufer and I noticed Landsknechts wear single handed and two handed swords with typical katzbalger guards recurved so they make almost perfect circle and Swiss wear single handed swords and longswords with guards also recurved but in a more "flattened circle", more of an elipse... Does any body knows more about this style? Is it specifically Swiss? How long was it popular? Are there any surviving longswords with such guards?


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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2020 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anybody knows anything about these guards? I know only that they appear on Urs Graf's illustrations and that Lutel used to make longswords with such guards... Happy
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found another picture of a Swiss with this kind of guard on sword...


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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2020 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka,
You're outside my main period of interest, but here is a longsword from Berlin's Deutsches Historisches Museum.



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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2020 12:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Luka,
You're outside my main period of interest, but here is a longsword from Berlin's Deutsches Historisches Museum.


Thanks Chad! I'm a bit newer to this period also... The ones you posted are typically german, landsknecht style. Below you can see Lutel reproduction of german and possible swiss style side by side and two more pictures of reproductions of possible swiss style I found in original depictions in my original post...



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M. Nordlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2020 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reminds me of some Venetian one handed square pommeled swords I have seen in a museum
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
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PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2020 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Nordlund wrote:
Reminds me of some Venetian one handed square pommeled swords I have seen in a museum


A schiavonesca?

Anthony Clipsom
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M. Nordlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2020 4:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
A schiavonesca?


Ah, exactly what I was thinking of though I did not know what they were called.
Some have S-shapes, some loops, some the loop in line with the quillon and some have the loops offset though the loop is generally more circular than the Swiss examples I belive.

I think I have also seen a longsword with small but similar (to the venetian swords that is) guard but I cannot from the top of my head remember where.

also this thing
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/14956/lot/62/
I think that might also be related to the "Pretzel" guard swords that pop up around Scandinavia It was mentioned in a thread about them I believe
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Radovan Geist




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PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2020 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, they have been discussed here: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=320...p;start=22
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2020 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Urs Graf Reisläufer         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
I've been looking at the Urs Graf's depictions of Landsknechts and Swiss Reisläufer and I noticed Landsknechts wear single handed and two handed swords with typical katzbalger guards recurved so they make almost perfect circle and Swiss wear single handed swords and longswords with guards also recurved but in a more "flattened circle", more of an elipse... Does any body knows more about this style? Is it specifically Swiss? How long was it popular? Are there any surviving longswords with such guards?

Hi Luka,
I think there are many parallel trends in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and even Eastern Europe in this time period that make it difficult to truly isolate particular national characteristics. When Swiss and German soldiers start to become a popular artistic subject around 1490-1510, we can see a growing proliferation of S- and 8-shaped guards in the artwork, on short, proto-katzbalger weapons, but also on longer swords with typical pommels. Here are some of the latter as depicted by the German artist, Daniel Hopfer, circa 1510, carried by landsknechts and not Reisläufer (judging from the diagonal Imperial cross on one's halberd).



The Weisskunig woodcuts (c. 1515) show some of this variety of styles; the one below happens to show the figure-8 guard with a katzbalger hilt carried by a landsknecht (right) and with a fig-shaped pommel carried by a Swiss (left), but across the series I don't really see any consistent pattern to distinguish the weaponry of the two sides.



What does seem pretty consistent so far is that the hilts are curved fairly gently, so that the long axis of the S or 8 is more or less parallel with the face of the blade. The "classic" katzbalger, with the guard curved so strongly as to turn the axis perpendicular to the blade (as in DHM examples above) appeared by 1510 (painted by Carpaccio). However, it seems to me that it is not until towards 1520 (and especially afterwards) that this becomes the archetypical visual designation of the German landsknecht. If the Swiss are distinguished by their weaponry in the art of Urs Graf and others, perhaps it is not so much showing that they had a uniquely "Swiss" style sword, but rather that they simply didn't adopt the newer style of katzbalger.

Something similar to the modern reproductions you have shared is shown in depictions of St. Florian by Hans Schäufelein (German, c. 1516).



Bonhams in fact sold another sword with a proper figure-8 guard, which they compare to the mentioned Scandinavian "pretzel-hilt" sword — wrongly in my opinion, as a near perfect analogue can be found instead in the Hungarian Museum. Some styles of curved guards seem to have appeared in Hungary and neighbouring countries already in the 15th century, which must contribute to how the similar swords best known from Venice came to be called Schiavonesca.

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21637/lot/197/

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