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Cornelis Tromp




Location: Holland
Joined: 03 Jan 2010

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Mon 30 Nov, 2020 2:18 am    Post subject: landsknecht'sword katzbalger with complex snake hilt         Reply with quote

The sword was found in 1973 in the river meuse near roermond.
was in the Visser-collection, hereafter the famous San Diego, California Collection and now ( luckily) back in the Netherlands.
The length of the sword is 117 cm, the blade 93 cm and the grip 19 cm. The pommel is onion-shaped and decorated with woven bands and has the characteristic for the 16th century flower-shaped brass blade-button on the pommel.
With a grip of 19cm it can be handled with two hands, so it is slightly larger than a one-and-a-half-hander. its a big 1 1/2 hander or a small two hander.
a katzbalger is very rare in itself, but this one in particular , it has a cross-guard shaped like a snake, which twists and bites its own tail, here the characteristic katzbalger hilt is formed.
The snake biting its own tail is a common motif in the 16th century. The time of the Renaissance, a time when the tail-eater was frequently depicted in paintings and on and around sculptures and statues. This made it even more a symbol for rebirth (= literally renaissance). And stands for eternal repetitive life.

the Landsknecht's sword can be dated somewhere between 1520-1530.

Does any body know of similar comparable hilt shapes from the 16thC?



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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Mon 30 Nov, 2020 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Cornelis!
This sword popped up in an earlier thread, discussing so called “kringla”, or pretzel, shaped guards on a subset of scandinavian longswords:

[url] http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.32093.html[/url]

This one you posted has a very well defined snake motif, compared to some of the others here with more of a, well, hand rolled pasta look to them. But the overall form is similar and I wonder if it really should be considered Danish or Swedish more than low country or landsknecht.

Nice to hear from you again!
-E
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Jeff Cierniak




Location: NE United States
Joined: 17 Sep 2020

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec, 2020 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have much of answer, just wanted to say thanks for sharing! Love that motif.
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Cornelis Tromp




Location: Holland
Joined: 03 Jan 2010

Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec, 2020 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Hi Cornelis!
This sword popped up in an earlier thread, discussing so called “kringla”, or pretzel, shaped guards on a subset of scandinavian longswords:

[url] http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.32093.html[/url]

This one you posted has a very well defined snake motif, compared to some of the others here with more of a, well, hand rolled pasta look to them. But the overall form is similar and I wonder if it really should be considered Danish or Swedish more than low country or landsknecht.

Nice to hear from you again!
-E

thanks for the nice and interesting input.
I think the pretzel swords are from a different group, although there are some similarities to be found.
A similar pommel and blade geometry and sword dimension ? can be found in griffwaffen1 nr 106 on a one-and-a-half-sword found in Germany.



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Mark Lewis





Joined: 19 Apr 2014

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Wed 02 Dec, 2020 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cornelis Tromp wrote:
Eric W. Norenberg wrote:
Hi Cornelis!
This sword popped up in an earlier thread, discussing so called “kringla”, or pretzel, shaped guards on a subset of scandinavian longswords:

[url] http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.32093.html[/url]

This one you posted has a very well defined snake motif, compared to some of the others here with more of a, well, hand rolled pasta look to them. But the overall form is similar and I wonder if it really should be considered Danish or Swedish more than low country or landsknecht.

Nice to hear from you again!
-E

thanks for the nice and interesting input.
I think the pretzel swords are from a different group, although there are some similarities to be found.
A similar pommel and blade geometry and sword dimension ? can be found in griffwaffen1 nr 106 on a one-and-a-half-sword found in Germany.


Speaking as the one who originally posted this sword in the "kringla" thread, I would now immediately agree that it is more likely German/Netherlandish. Probably the pretzel-hilted swords are a local Scandinavian imitation/derivative of katzbalger-style and related complex hilts from further south.

Thanks for sharing your purchase, it is a very interesting and unique piece. Happy

Bonhams compared it with another sword they sold. The hilt is simpler, but the tips of the cross are ornamental, if not rising to the level of the snake motif.



In South-eastern Europe you can find a decent number of hilts that have the same overall geometry (figure-8 cross plus side ring) but the manner of achieving this form is entirely different. I think again a regional style, drawing upon a design principle that was quickly and widely shared in the early 16th century.

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