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Keith S.





Joined: 05 Feb 2018

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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 7:12 pm    Post subject: Stone or Wooden Sword Fittings         Reply with quote

Higher-end Han dynasty jian in China sometimes have jade fittings, and at least one surviving antique has wooden hilt furniture. Are there any examples of this outside of the Han dynasty context?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out this thread: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3101

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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2020 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I might point out that there are a number of bronze swords from Mycenaean Greece with stone pommels, including marble and maybe alabaster? I've seen one hilt plate (grip and guard) that look like stone as well, but there was no description visible so I'm not sure. Lots of ivory and bone hilt pieces survive, and wood was quite common right through the Classical and Roman eras.

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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2020 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If garnets count, then there is some migration period swords from Scandinavia and Wester europe that fits the bill.
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Peter Lyon
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Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Jul, 2020 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Royal Armoury Leeds has several stone and rock crystal pommels in its reserve room collection (or did in 2008). I found them interesting, because I don't know how functional they would be, or how vulnerable. I could see them shattering if dropped or hit. Obviously not as heavy as solid brass, bronze or iron ones would be, but considering many of those big medieval pommels were hollow anyhow, the stone ones could be about the same mass.

I recommend contacting Bob Woosnam-Savage if you want to know more; I don't know if RA Leeds is open or not currently, but worth trying.

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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2020 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wood has been the common hilt material in Europe from the Bronze Age until the Carolingian / Viking Age.

Even in the Viking Age, several swords were made with wood or antler fittings in styles similar to the iron versions.

Stone, is another matter. In the Middle East, jade continued to be a popular material for high status decorative hilts, but outside the Middle East, I don't think it was ever very popular.

I would suppose that wood, horn, antler etc. are more logical to use for hilts. Not only are these materials generally common and cheap, but they are also good for absorbing shocks.

Stone seems like a less useful material and generally used for decoration on high status swords.
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Keith S.





Joined: 05 Feb 2018

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul, 2020 10:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I didn't previously know about stone or jewel pommels, and it is nice to learn new things!
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