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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 298

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jan, 2022 4:42 am    Post subject: Portuguese swords of the late 17th century         Reply with quote

Hello again. I'm largely asking out of curiosity though I might try to add one to my collection in the future. Can anyone talk about what kind of swords would likely have been seen in Portugal and its colonies in the last quarter of the 1600s? Did they have styles all their own (or at least noticeably different), or were they pretty much the same as in Spain, or elsewhere in Europe?
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2022 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something like this? Or is the cup hilt more of an 18th-century thing?

Is there any chance of seeing a pillow sword around the Portuguese empire?
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Sat 29 Jan, 2022 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

As a Brazilian and Portuguese speaker I could point out some stuff, even though it's not my area of interest. So, Portugal was an Iberian kingdom, so for most of its history it was under a sphere of influence from Castile, for example, but that doesn't means stuff in Portugal was necessarily the same of Castile; in weapons, at least, for the Medieval Period, it's established that all Spanish Kingdoms (Portugal, Navarra, Castile, Aragon etc) all had the same weaponry, whether plummed darts, axes, sword etc.

I speculate that by the time Portugal became independent again, it went under some influence from the Netherlands, as some equipment was bought from Holland. I'm not a specialist on 17th century armor, but one of the Portuguese commanders at the Battle of Guararapes (1648) has typical Cuirassier armor, probably of Dutch style:



It's located at the Acervo do Museu Histórico Nacional. Whether it was previously owned by him or pillaged from the Dutch army is something I wouldn't know, armor was rare in the Portuguese side, as all the sources point out, but Francisco Barreto de Meneses, the owner, was wealth enough to buy one, and many Portuguese governors in Brazil went back and forth to Portugal and such, as their noble houses were already there, instead of simply being isolated here.

Another Francisco Barreto, this one the chief governor of India, having a dagger and a sword, but also armor. From Asia Portuguesa book, made in the 17th century:


And yes, that's mail, pretty much a ton of the noblemen depicted are wearing mail and/or plate. Source:
https://books.google.com.br/books?id=sC4DtA9Nm9QC&printsec=frontcover&hl=pt-BR#v=thumbnail&q&f=false

There's some museums in Brazil with a collection of ancient weapons, and while I may cast some doubt on the Medieval ones, the Modern ones are most likely to be authentic. I might ask permission from a friend to show them.

So, weapons ...
Portuguese swords don't seem to be different from Spanish ones: the cup-hilted, as far as I'm aware, was invented in Spain by 1600, and the rapier the fellow gentleman posted above is of this style. Brazilian-Portuguese governors and important people by the 17th century would often have portraits showing armor and a rapier/smallsword, this might give you a methodology to search.

Oh, and I almost forgot, during the Indepence he had English mercenaries fighting against Spain, and some azulejos from this period show them wearing what you would call typical Puritan dress (Cromwell officially supported the rebellion) and indicated as "Ingrezes". Due to this cooperation, English graveyards and such were allowed in Portugal, and English Puritans living in Portugal were even decreed to be outside the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, provided they don't proselitized, of course. In those azuleijos you may also find typical 17th century English cavalry armor and dress among the Portuguese cavalry; and we should notice, D. Pedro's harquebusier armor is pretty much an Ironside gear with a Portuguese Cross on it.
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Dan D'Silva





Joined: 28 Apr 2007

Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sun 30 Jan, 2022 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you. That's very informative.

Would you say that in Portugal itself during the Restoration War you would expect a number of native troops to be wearing swords similar to those of the English in the ECW along with the armor, e.g. Hounslow hangers or half-basket broadswords?
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Tue 01 Feb, 2022 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan D'Silva wrote:
Thank you. That's very informative.

Would you say that in Portugal itself during the Restoration War you would expect a number of native troops to be wearing swords similar to those of the English in the ECW along with the armor, e.g. Hounslow hangers or half-basket broadswords?


Yes, but the extension is subject to further research. Also, you can check the depictions of the Portuguese governors of India and notice the guards. If I find the azulejos again, I will post them here.

https://acasasenhorial.org/acs/index.php/pt/fontes-documentais/desenhos-pinturas/539-vice-reis-e-governadores-da-india

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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