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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sun 24 May, 2020 7:55 am    Post subject: Landsknecht Emporium: Gottfried Sharp, w/ Pommel + Scabbard         Reply with quote

So, it's time for another Review of a Landsknecht Emporium Messer.

About a year ago I acquired a Blunt Gottfried, the initial impressions ( http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?p=335487#335487 ) have all solidified. The guard is still loose, but the Nagel will keep the cross in place for a long time, so at the price point of 320€ + shipping, I don't mind this (historically correct) shortcoming.

Shortly after receiving the blunt I also ordered a sharp, which arrived exactly at the expected time, three months after placing the order. In terms of timely fulfillment, LKE have a good track record for me. The Gottfried blunt took 3 months and 3 days, the sharp exactly 3 months, and the Kriegsmesser (actual non-standard piece) took 6 months and 2 weeks due to Corona-induced delays.

I specified yew handle scales as well as another short hilt with a steel CC1 pommel. I like that aesthetic.
The base Messer is 255€, Yew was 20€ extra, the pommel 40€ and the sharpening another 40€, so the total came to a total of 355€.

I also ordered a scabbard (130€) with a baldric (+40€) inspired by Breughel's "peasant dance" and Tod's interpretation of it, as well a simple Neo-Gothic embossing (+80€). That came to 250€ for the scabbard, but right before payment we noticed that they'd forgotten the embossing. Since that didn't terribly bother me, we went ahead and reduced the price by the 80€ for the embossing to a total of 170€, rather than waiting for a new scabbard to be made.

Communication was overall good. Clearing up the confusion about the missing embossing towards the end took a little longer as LKE were preparing for the Autumn Messer Meeting, so response times increased. Payment was handled via PayPal.

Now, on to the items I got:



Messer: "Gottfried", Elmslie typology M3C with CC1 pommel.

A somewhat liberal interpretation of observed shapes, this exact shape is not something we find in a lot of artwork or extant originals. The Gottfried is a nice middle-ground, between the wide Gόnther and the slender Karl, and while it doesn't match any extant originals, it just looks and feels right.

It has a similar level of finish as the blunt Gottfried had. A bit rough around the edges, not perfectly cleaned up. Most of the toolmarks fall within the realm of "as we would see on an original of similar quality" and are thus completely acceptable given the price range.
The metal and wood parts on the hilt meet up well, if not perfectly. The yew has a very nice colour and pattern to it. The hollow brass rivets are perfectly flush with the grip scales and don't bite. There are a few rough spots and edges around the Nagel, but those are fine. The Nagel's peen seems to have been cleaned up with the help of an angle grinder, and apparently whoever did it slipped into the cross once or twice. Personally I would not have recognized them as angle grinder marks initially, but a friend of mine, who's a very proficient metalworker, insists that those absolutely are angle grinder marks.
The Nagel itself is evenly shaped, pleasantly curved and spatulated. Its faces and sides have also been polished to the same finish as the rest of the hilt. Upon close inspection, you can see some faint traces of where it was clamped down on to bend it on the backside of the Nagel, while most other traces have been cleaned up.



The smooth pommel is pretty well centered on the tang and has no sharp corners or edges. It is peened in place, the peen is visible but clean, with no sharp edges protuding anywhere.




There are also some flaws in the blade's surface, probably traces from straightening after heat treat. Nothing too bothersome and nothing that seems to significantly impact the functionality or durability of the piece, plus it feels a bit like a unique fingerprint to me and can also fall under "imperfections we see in originals".



Aside from those spots, the polish and grind are pretty even and good-looking. The reinforced point is a nice touch as well, although it is a bit lopsided.



Stats:

Overall length: 84cm
Blade length: 67.6cm

Weight: 780g

Center of Gravity: 11.5cm from the cross

Blade width (base): 4cm
Blade width (narrowest): 3.8cm
Blade width (clip): 3.9cm

Distal Taper:
Base: 0.50cm
20cm from cross: 0.32cm
Start of back edge: 0.29cm
at clip: 0.20cm (Note: the bevel behind the long edge is 0.04mm thicker at this point than the bevel of the back edge.)
5cm before point: 0.25cm
thickened point: 0.42cm

Centers of Percussion:
Blade node: 18cm from the point
Hilt node: 2cm behind the cross

perceived pivot point in hand: at the point.

Grip length (yew bit): 11.6cm
Pommel height: 3.2cm
Thickness of cross: 1.5cm
Width of Cross: 14cm
Nagel height above Blade: 4.8cm

I like the presence and handling of the thick blunt Gottfried. That one's a nice, moderately choppy blade that is quite well suited for a lot of techniques.

The sharp on the other hand is quite a bit more agile. It doesn't feel like it would have the same impact and presence in a bind, but it feels like a good defensive implement nonetheless.

It flows effortlessly through solo drills, and has a relatively prominent sword wind to it. It accelerates very quickly and precisely and pretty much stops on a dime.

The grip, while rather thin and not particularly wide, feels secure in my hand. Its shape greatly aids with edge alignment and is very comfortable to grasp in both saber/semi-saber as well as thumb-on-flat (or rather "on nagel-peen") grip.

As per my usual MO, I touched up the edge soon after I got, without cutting with it as it was. Edge geometry was good enough out of the box, so I didn't need to tweak much, just polish it up a bit at 2000 and 12000 grit.
I've done some mixed cutting with it. Some tatami, some water bottles, some milk boxes / Tetrapaks. It's a very proficient cutter for its size. The thin blade soars through the targets and sings pleasantly on impact. I have only had moderate success with the short edge, but I'm pretty sure that is on me and my technique - it's just as wicked as the long edge.

Overall I am very pleased with the Messer. It's a very attractive piece, especially if you enjoy pieces with some idiosyncratic marks from manufacture on them, rather than the boderline sterile perfection you might get from an Albion.

The scabbard is a similar story. It's a wood core with a rectangular slot for the blade. It fits all three versions of Gottfried (sharp, thin blunt, thick blunt). The sharp (and probably the thin blunt as well) are not "held in", while the thick blunt has the exact right amount of friction: it's held in when you turn it upside down, but comes out easily when pulling on it. This will obviously vary with humidity. I don't mind, as it should hang vertically down for the most part anyway.
The leather covering is of decent quality. Some of the paint has rubbed off a little, and there are some creases in the thin leather, but nothing I would complain about in any way. It appears to be glued only on the back, and while the seam is not straight or perfectly centered, I think it's perfectly adequate and, again, looks just right.

Edit: I had a typo in here where it said the leather covering was "not of decent quality" - the "not" was a relic from an earlier edit. The leather is of decent, but not spectacular quality.



I've added a chape from Tod Cutler, which fit pretty well with only minor modification (opened the slot about 1mm, chamfered some edges). Currently it is just friction-fit and glued on, but you could conceivably add a rivet to secure it further.



The baldric is of very nice quality. The leather is thick and strong, edges are chamfered. The stitching is solid, but not especially even, giving it has that nice "craftsman's charm".
It was originally attached by way of a wooden wedge pushed between the baldric's scabbard loop and the back of the scabbard. That loosened up a little more than I'd like as the leather relaxed, so I added another thin washer of leather to the wedge and glued the whole thing in place with a small spot of leathercraft cement.



Overall I'm very happy with this purchase. It's not a perfect piece, and there are places where a cleaner finish wouldn't be all that hard to achieve. On the other hand, considering the price point and historical precedent, the finish seems very appropriate and completely sufficient.
Performance-wise I have absolutely no gripes with the Messer, and the scabbard likewise does what it's supposed to.

Will I be buying from Landsknecht Emporium again? I already have, and will be presenting my thoughts on their prototype sparring Kriegsmesser soon.



 Attachment: 152.46 KB
From the Hilt [ Download ]

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Finish of the Nagel, lots of very minor imperfections give it character. [ Download ]

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The Pommel, with some scratches. [ Download ]

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The reinforced point, slightly lopsided. [ Download ]

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Small divets, probably from heat treatment and straightening. [ Download ]

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Scabbard detail [ Download ]

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Scabbard knots. I added the slider myself. [ Download ]

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Tod's pretty chape. [ Download ]

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Overall view [ Download ]

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Cross and Nagel Peen with flaws and toolmarks. [ Download ]


Last edited by Johannes Zenker on Sun 24 May, 2020 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Sun 24 May, 2020 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the the review of the Gottfried, Johannes. It's one I still don't have, but I want to order one customized after an example in a Bruegel painting.

I agree about the grips on these messers, the angled shape really helps in blade alignment compared to rounded grips. I also like the way your pommel is shaped, very distinct facets.

I wish I had ordered a baldric with my recent purchases, right now I'm thinking about making one. So the scabbard was originally held against the loop in the baldric through friction, with a wooden wedge between the two?

I also think the standard models are great value for money, they really do have great historicity and performance. I have had other messers that are just so 'dead' in the hand. Their imperfections are refreshing in my opinion, if you look at originals, you will see lots of wobbly lines, misaligned fullers, off-center points, etc.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart


Last edited by Ian Hutchison on Sun 24 May, 2020 6:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sun 24 May, 2020 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:
I wish I had ordered a baldric with my recent purchases, right now I'm thinking about making one. So the scabbard was originally held against the loop in the baldric through friction, with a wooden wedge between the two?


More specifically speaking there is a riser that loops around the very top of the scabbard. The wooden wedge added enough tension to the hoop that it wouldn't slip off beyond the riser. (see attached GRANDIOSE piece of art. Made in paint.) As leather tends to stretch a little over time, and the wedge was starting to loosen up, I decided to use a more solid fixture.

It's an okay mode of attachment. I've worn it to events twice and didn't fall off even without gluing it in place. In the long run it would occasionally require checking the wedge if you'd rather avoid gluing it.



 Attachment: 9.62 KB
Scabbard.jpg

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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Sun 24 May, 2020 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johannes Zenker wrote:
Ian Hutchison wrote:
I wish I had ordered a baldric with my recent purchases, right now I'm thinking about making one. So the scabbard was originally held against the loop in the baldric through friction, with a wooden wedge between the two?


More specifically speaking there is a riser that loops around the very top of the scabbard. The wooden wedge added enough tension to the hoop that it wouldn't slip off beyond the riser. (see attached GRANDIOSE piece of art. Made in paint.) As leather tends to stretch a little over time, and the wedge was starting to loosen up, I decided to use a more solid fixture.

It's an okay mode of attachment. I've worn it to events twice and didn't fall off even without gluing it in place. In the long run it would occasionally require checking the wedge if you'd rather avoid gluing it.


Interesting! Thanks for the illustration.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Sun 24 May, 2020 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These are all fantastic and look brilliant together!
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Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sat 06 Jun, 2020 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

nice messer and great review.

i have no new input, i just had to answer, as it carries my name.
Big Grin
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