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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > How have your tastes changed? Reply to topic
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Jeremiah Swanger




Location: Hershey, PA
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject: How have your tastes changed?         Reply with quote

I guess I'm in a rather reflective mood tonight. I guess you can say that said mood was likely induced by excessive quantities of Johnnie Walker Green Label, Balvenie 12-year, Knob Creek, and some Dominican cigars-- but no matter.

I first counted myself amongst the sword collecting community when I bought a Kris Cutlery 29" katana back in 2000. I first learned anything useful about medieval and renaissance swords when I joined SFI back in March of 2001.

In those days, my tastes in swords were quite "Patrick Kelly-esque"-- single-handed, fullered cruciform swords, though I liked the longer, slimmer versions, like the Oakeshott types Xa and XI. In those days, Angus Trim was making swords for Albion (the "Acre, type XI" was a sword I drooled over quite frequently), Christian Fletcher was an armor smith, Ken Jay had less than a dozen swords, and the swords I asked about most often were the CAS Iberia swords made in the Phillippines-- sharpened crowbars of vague sword shape.

Again, my preference was toward swords of the fullered variety. I liked straight crosses and wheel pommels. For much of my interests, I still do.

Then I checked out the "Swedish Bastard Sword" on Albion's website (this sword then moved to Dancing Giant after the ATrim/Albion "divorce") and fell in love with its crisp, pointed lines. Even after the myriad of updates that were made to this sword, I still find it one of the most attractive.

Even though I still liked the medievel cruciform single-handers, my tastes leaned primarily toward longswords with a diamond cross-section. I also picked up a taste for later single-handed arming swords, especially if they were broad and tapered. Scent-stopper pommels became my favorite style, and I started practicing with a Purpleheart waster with such a pommel.

Then my tastes changed again, albeit not as drastically, when I recieved my ATrim Northern Italian Bastard Sword-- my first "good" european-style sword. I started using the sword single-handed, but then I found that the wheel pommel cradled itself so neatly in the palm of my hand. Thus, I started liking wheels all over again, coming full-circle, as it were...


So, for those of you who have been around for a while, have your tastes in swords changed much? And if so, why?
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Chris Lampe




Location: United States
Joined: 07 Mar 2005

Posts: 211

PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been interested in "knights" and "arms & armor" since I was a little kid but even as a teenager in the mid-to-late 80's there just weren't many study resources available in a small city and Museum Replicas was just starting to sell decent swords. Of course, as a teenager MR's swords were as out of my price range as a Kevin Cashen or Vince Evans sword is today. As a result, my interest in the hobby faded over time.

Fast-forward to March of 2005 and I discovered that several people/companies were producing high quality reproduction swords and information is now quite easy to find.

My initial interest was Western European single-handed sword from the Crusading era. From my teenage years I had a vague notion of a guy named Oakeshott but I didn't realize how many styles of swords were used during the Crusades.

As I studied more swords my interest switched to Japanese swords for a short time and then the European longsword from 1400-1500's (coincides with my interest in the War of the Roses). Shortly after this I discovered Chinese swords and they have been my primary interest since even though I still love the Euro stuff.

I went back and forth on my collecting goals but finally decided to stress quality over quantity. My collection, for the forseeable future, will be limited to a restored antique jian (Chinese straight sword), a custom made dao (Chinese saber), and an old Angus Trim type XVIII (I think) short sword I purchased as a "project" sword. Eventually, I would like to add a W. European one-hander like Albion's Thegn.
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Gary Grzybek




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No change really, I just want three of every type starting from the bronze age to the renaissance Laughing Out Loud
Gary Grzybek
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James Holczer




Location: Central New Jersey
Joined: 29 Dec 2003
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I canít honestly say my tastes have changed over the years. But I rather like to think that my taste has just expanded to include other styles and eras. Back in the early 90s, when I first discovered that their were companies and smiths out there that were making quality European sword replicas, I was really into Viking style blades and early medieval style cutting, blades such as Oakshott type X and type XII. But recently my tastes have grown to include later period blades such as types XVa and XVII. Also 16th and 17th century compound hilts such as rapiers and continental basket hilts have really sparked my interest of late. I believe that this change in is due in part to my recent (within the past 18 months) interest in WMA research and practice.
As I stated before I donít truly consider it a change in taste, itís just an expansion of the overall appeal that sword collecting and studying has for me.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,486

PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Changes...

Rapiers - > Longswords - > Class specific weapons, basically sliding away from what the nobles used.

Finer detail and crisper execution - > performance and finer detail and crisper execution, basically trying to trend toward perfection- > now starting to appreciate somewhat more organic work that looks / feels hand made

Growing interest in kit and armour.

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Jay Barron




Location: Albany, NY
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I first started collecting swords I was really interested in having a wide variety of European swords from all time periods. Now I have decided that my true interests lie in swords from the migration era to the Viking age. I still like my later period swords but my high end custom pieces will most likely be migration era from now on.
Constant and true.
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B. Stark
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Location: ORYGUN
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PostPosted: Wed 01 Mar, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, funny that this topic would come up now. I've run the gammut. In leaps and bounds. Way back when it was katanas. Like, 1986. Wheew. Then it was baskethilts. I still like baskethilts, but I won't settle for anything less than near custom for a 1700's Basket. Which put's them out of my spending range. Slewed towards earlier Scottish swords. Then iron Age Celtic, then Irish ringhilts, vikings for a long time(which I still like, probably because the blades by and large follow the same general profile with lots of different hilts). I never got heavily into longswords. Don't really know why. Compound hilts have raised their beautiful heads as well as 16th century Scots/Irish swords (yes, ringhilts). You know, sometimes I think I know what schizophrenia must be like Confused ....
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Eric Nower




Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 22 Dec 2004

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haven't really changed.....just become more focused on weapons from a certain time frame.Gotta love the 100 years war Laughing Out Loud Happy
May God have mercy on my enemies, for I shall have none.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to like certain kinds of swords. Katana, rapier, cruciform longswords...

Now, I like 'em all. And not just swords, either, I've also become rather fond of polearms, axes, knives, spears, maces, shields and what-have-you...

You could say my taste in swords has grown to match my taste in music and fashion: ecclectic nigh to the point of non-existence.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting question. My taste in swords hasn't changed much, but my expectations for quality and accuracy have.

What has changed more are my collecting habits and interests in other weapons and armour. I have most of what I want in terms of sword forms (cutters, thrusters, in-betweeners and a basket hilt). For daggers, I have a quillon dagger, ballock dagger, scottish dirk, sgian achles, and sgian dubh. I want a good Rondel dagger now, but that's about it.

While I'll probably never be able to afford a full kit, I'm kind of into assembling some of the major components of them. I'd love to have a helm, pair of gauntlets (if applicable), a dagger, and an impact weapon to match each sword: a kind of mini-kit. For example, I'm close to having one built around the Sovereign: Sovereign and scabbard, A&A hybrid classic/crusader dagger, MRL Staunton great helm. If I bought the MRL Thames mace, I'd have that group rounded out. I'm a helm away from having a Scottish mini-kit (maybe I should have kept that burgonet I sold off), though a targe would be nice, too. I have part of the Sempach mini-kit: Sempach and Campaign scabbard (needs to be re-covered), and a pair of hourglass gauntlets. Now I need a dagger, bascinet (or late great helm), and an impact weapon (I had my eye of MRL's late 14th century axe, but it may have been discontinued).

This trend has influenced purchases. I want a good Rondel dagger, but I want it to "go with" a sword already in my collection. If I put my VE ballock dagger with the Sempach mini-kit, then I'd want a German-esque mid-to late- 15th century Rondel dagger to "go with" the Regent. If I pair the ballock with the Regent, then I'd want to Rondel to be earlier to fit with the Sempach better. That ballock dagger could fit with either piece, I suppose.

Weird and illogical, perhaps. But that's me sometimes.... Happy

Happy

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
but my expectations for quality and accuracy have.

What has changed more are my collecting habits and interests in other weapons and armour.


Sadly, this is true for me too. Which just means more expensive stuff that I can't afford. Sad Maybe it's not so sad, it means I can't afford things and therefore won't buy them, thereby keeping me out of debt. Happy

Actually, my tastes haven't really changed, but grown, but my focus has narrowed. These days I appreciate just about every type of edged weapon, primarily from the bronze age to the 19th century, and this has expanded greatly into non-sword weapons (primarily polearms) and armour. But that's just too broad a field to really learn about/collect, so I tend to focus primarily on medieval arms and armour from the 14th and 15th centuries, and Renaissance swords of the 16th-17th centuries. (haven't really expanded beyond swords for the Renaissance yet, and that's for the best!)

But as Chad said, my expectations for quality and accuracy have definately sky rocketed. As a collector, I don't just collect arms and armour because "that piece looks cool" anymore. I'm very much into understanding the weapons as they were created within a certain context. This is why companies such as MRL, while still a viable option for introductory level swords, just isn't good enough for me anymore. I've got a few custom swords, and companies like A&A have become almost a standard for me. I'm occassionally picking up a cheaper piece purely for the intent of reviewing it and reselling it from time to time, but for the things in my personal collection I've become pretty picky. I'm afraid I'll start buying some multi-thousand dollar scabbards soon. Eek!

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Ken Jay




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Thu 02 Mar, 2006 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: How have your tastes changed?         Reply with quote

Jeremiah Swanger wrote:
I
In those days, my tastes in swords were quite "Patrick Kelly-esque"-- single-handed, fullered cruciform swords, though I liked the longer, slimmer versions, like the Oakeshott types Xa and XI. In those days, Angus Trim was making swords for Albion (the "Acre, type XI" was a sword I drooled over quite frequently), Christian Fletcher was an armor smith, Ken Jay had less than a dozen swords, and the swords I asked about most often were the CAS Iberia swords made in the Phillippines-- sharpened crowbars of vague sword shape.


Wow! My reference is keeping good company. Cool As to changes in preferences, I guess mine have evolved somewhat. I started with the early ATrims and liked the lighter single handed models. I also had a real fondness for short swords. While I still like the shorties I really like the heavier cutting swords - single handers and bastards. I've stuck with ATrims after briefly flirting with Albions and prefer the simple cruciform guard to the complex hilts. I don't "need" historical perfection, I'm not a re-enactor, and I want to be able to cut with my swords without worrying about a ruined finish or damaging an expensive sword.
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Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 9:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've only been collecting for a few years but already my tastes have gotten more expensive. I definitely go for higher quality now. But I still want a collection that reflects a wide variety of manufactures, styles, and yes, even price ranges. Of course I will only go down-scale so far. MRL is my entry-level base. I think that having a wide variety keeps a collection interesting and prevents it from looking too homogeneous.

I am also becoming increasingly more interested in armor and would love to build a kit(s) around my main periods of interest. I'd like to have a 14th century kit and a 15th century kit, the ultimate being a full gothic harness. It's interesting that, when I consider how to build these, I find myself taking a step back from full harnesses to just a couple of key pieces, thus making a more "man-at-arms" kit as opposed to that of a well-equipped knight. Ironically, this is probably the same way someone would have armed themselves back in the day. You armed up as much as you could afford. The more things changeÖ Big Grin

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Changed a bit recently. Range of interest was ~900 AD to ~1400 AD, but I've just got an Aquilifer from Albion and it is really rather nice, so now I need to know what shield went with that etc. etc.. All advice welcomed.
Geoff
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Bill and Chad said about quality applies to me as well. After my refocusing from WMA to the weapons themselves, my tastes haven't changed radically. I started out in WMA as a rapier student and the rapier era remains at the center of my period of primary interest (1500-1650). I've certainly broadened my weapon interests, partly as a result of sparring and partly just by more exposure to the great variety of arms of the period. I've confirmed my period of interest and identified the geographic/cultural scope of my interest as well (British, German and colonial North American).

Probably the two most important changes for me were the building of an arms and armour library so I could conduct my own research, and the development of personal collecting philosophy/discipline. The former made me a much better educated consumer (see first sentence above) and the latter allowed me to make the best use of my resources of time and money. Without these, I'd be buying anything that caught my eye and often getting burned by poor quality and historical inaccuracy. Nowadays, I know a good quality item when I see it and I'm comfortable simply admiring it from afar if it doesn't suit my collection.

The Next Big Thing for me is in the workshop. There are a number of items I'd like to add to my collection but I either can't afford them or they're simply not available on the market. So, I'm gradually developing the skills to either make these things myself or buy the needed parts for a song and do the mounting, finishing, upgrading, etc. myself. Projects underway now: Haft a German halberd head, finish a handful of Irish darts, make an Irish target, finish painting a Roman scutum, make some small wooden toy halberds of historically accurate design, etc. These are ridiculously inexpensive projects and they satisfy my craving for new items.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Fri 03 Mar, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My obsession & study of Mortuarys remains. Though lately I've become interested in vinatge military swords (purchasing wise) and a bit more strayed from the repro. market.

Unless................ that special repro. piece comes around, like the discontinued MRL German Cut & Thrust sword that I picked up from Kirk Spencer this past week. Big Grin

Been look more into possibly building a ECW kit as well (lobster-pot helmet, buff coat,etc.)

Cheers,

Bill

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