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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: German Estoc         Reply with quote

A 16th c. German estoc from the Art Institute of Chicago. I fell in love with this weapon on a recent visit to the museum and offer it here as eye-candy. Enjoy! The blade, by the way, is very much like that of MRL's estoc (in general design/proportions, I mean).


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-Sean

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A detail of the interesting grip treatment. The brass(?) tacks have decorative borders.


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-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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Jeff M




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings!
Okay, you forced me to de-lurk. I love that estoc and have spent a lot of time in front of that particular case.
Do you suppose the odd pommel was inpired by finding some old Hallsatt dagger?
I don't know of any other precedent for that form. Does anyone else?
On another note, I think the Art Institute is planning to rehab that section. I'm hoping the arms stay on view or get re-intalled somewhere. Lots of museums seem to be consigning these collections to the stacks lately.

Jeff

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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that's handy! An estoc with a built-in musket rest! Laughing Out Loud That's probably not why the pommel is shaped like it is, but that's the first thing that came to mind. Happy
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Joel Chesser




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very intresting. Sean, do you have a date for the piece?
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Matthew K. Shea




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I doubt it was based off a Hallstatt culture dagger, since if I remember correctly the find wasn't discovered till the 1860s and this sword looks earlier. It's an interesting guess, though, since the pommel reminds me more of an insect's anntenae, for some reason.

Overall, I've gotta give it high marks for originality (to answer your second question, Jeff, I've never seen anything else remotely like it), but low marks for personal taste. Not much I like about the sword, and that includes the studs in the grip, which is odd, 'cause I especially love the studs in Nathan's gorgeous custom claymore.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Now that's handy! An estoc with a built-in musket rest! Laughing Out Loud That's probably not why the pommel is shaped like it is, but that's the first thing that came to mind. Happy


May be just a good guess about it being useable as a musket rest: Was it meant to be so used ??? But even if not, it does seem like a good idea that never became popular but I really like the idea of a musket rest doubling as an estoc.

Maybe in an alternate universe these would have taken the place of the bayonets if the bayonets had never been invented ? Although I think the bayonet is the better idea I can also see a gentleman having a sword / musket rest made at least in theory. Wink

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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I dont know much about such things, but I wonder whether that sort of pommel shape could be rested against part of the wielder's armor (pauldron?) in order to get more power or leverage when attempting to pierce through an opponent's defenses?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This piece is 1525-1550. Some other folks have mentioned the possibility that this was a musket rest pommel. I'd vote against that for two reasons:

These weapons are very long--not the sort of thing you'd expect infantry to carry.

The blades are so narrow and acutely pointed that I'd expect them to sink pretty deep into the ground, especially supporting a musket. The shooter would end up on his knees.

The idea about resting the pommel on some part of a horseman's armour (a mail-clad armpit?) is very interesting!

-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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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
This piece is 1525-1550. Some other folks have mentioned the possibility that this was a musket rest pommel. I'd vote against that for two reasons:

These weapons are very long--not the sort of thing you'd expect infantry to carry.

The blades are so narrow and acutely pointed that I'd expect them to sink pretty deep into the ground, especially supporting a musket. The shooter would end up on his knees.

The idea about resting the pommel on some part of a horseman's armour (a mail-clad armpit?) is very interesting!


Oh, the sword when used as a musket rest could be in a rigid scabbard " maybe " ? As to length: I think a musket rest would be between 4" to 5" long to hold the musket close to standing height when aiming. Again " maybe " and I don't know what the normal height is for a musket rest.

Oh, I'm not insisting that this is the why or purpose of the pommel, just giving a counter argument just for the sake of discussion.

Oh, and the length and awkwardness is a good reason why such a weapons system was impractical for general issue: Just might be a failed experiment or a one-off of a sword as musket rest, assuming that's what it is. Question

Are there many more known swords with pommels like this ? If we know of only this one anything is possible?
Obviously if using a sword pommel as a musket rest was popular we would have heard about it before now.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 11:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe this piece is briefly documented in Arms and Armor in the Art Institute of Chicago. My books are currently boxed up due to a recent move, else I'd confirm it for you all.
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
I believe this piece is briefly documented in Arms and Armor in the Art Institute of Chicago. My books are currently boxed up due to a recent move, else I'd confirm it for you all.


It is documented in the above mentioned book alongside a page from a medieval text documenting a similar piece! In front of this estoc has long been one of my favorite spots to stop when I visit the Art Institute. There is a really nice two hander there that always captures my attention during my visits as well. I wish I had photos of it to post!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr, 2006 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tim Lison wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
I believe this piece is briefly documented in Arms and Armor in the Art Institute of Chicago. My books are currently boxed up due to a recent move, else I'd confirm it for you all.


It is documented in the above mentioned book alongside a page from a medieval text documenting a similar piece! In front of this estoc has long been one of my favorite spots to stop when I visit the Art Institute. There is a really nice two hander there that always captures my attention during my visits as well. I wish I had photos of it to post!


Can you retype the text description found within the book? As I remember, it isn't very long.

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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is indeed a very unique piece. I support the armpit theory. That would enable the wielder to use that estoc like a lance if needed.

Once you've managed to set the point in an armour-gap or a part that is covered with mail you go into the "lance-position" and force it into your opponent's body. Sounds cruel Eek!
Or you could grab it like a gun/rifle and thus create more force when pushing/thrusting
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Kevin S. McCarley




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice estoc Sean! I really like the proportions of that hilt.

I now have *three* hilts in-mind for my MRL estoc blade!

I have wondered for a while if some estoc hilts were designed so that the pommel could be rested against a knee or perhaps held in the off-hand (when on foot) like a push dagger for more umph.

In Stone's 'A Glossary...' he shows a 'Rapier and musquet rest' in Fig. 237. Some of his text doesn't agree with other historians but maybe it was at least possible. And I would assume the sword would be in the scabbard when used as a rest.

Just a few additional thoughts.

Kevin
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Claude Blair mentions (but done not picture) a small set of swords whose pommels served as musket rests is his book European & American arms, c. 1100-1850
. So it's at least a possibility.

Happy

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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Tim Lison wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
I believe this piece is briefly documented in Arms and Armor in the Art Institute of Chicago. My books are currently boxed up due to a recent move, else I'd confirm it for you all.


It is documented in the above mentioned book alongside a page from a medieval text documenting a similar piece! In front of this estoc has long been one of my favorite spots to stop when I visit the Art Institute. There is a really nice two hander there that always captures my attention during my visits as well. I wish I had photos of it to post!


Can you retype the text description found within the book? As I remember, it isn't very long.


OK, here is the caption concerning this sword as printed in the book Arms and Armor inThe Art Institute of Chicago :

"Thrusting sword (estoc, tuck, or estoque), probably German, second quarter of the sixteenth century. During the second half of the thirteenth century, swords were increasingly used for thrusting; thus hybrid cut and thrust types evolved with stiffer, more accutely tapered blades. Over the next century, the increased usage of plate armor lead to the development of very strong, piercing weapons called estocs, since the glancing surfaces of such armor proved resistant to hacking blows. As a result, the knightly arsenal included different arms for cutting, thrusting, and combined cut and thrust functions."

Pictured just above the estoc in the book is a page from an illustrated Spanish royal arms inventory made between1544-58, which has an illustration of a very similar estoc. Unfortunately, I have never seen this inventory on display in the museum and I'm not even sure that they own it....

Ooops...I almost forgot this caption from the back of the book:

Thrusting sword (estoc, tuck, estoque)
Second quarter of the sixteenth century
Steel, wood, leather, brass
Length: 4 ft. 3 in. (130cm)
Weight: 3 lbs. 8 ozs. (1.6kg)
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G. Scott H.




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr, 2006 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Claude Blair mentions (but done not picture) a small set of swords whose pommels served as musket rests is his book European & American arms, c. 1100-1850
. So it's at least a possibility.
Perhaps my little jest about it serving as a musket rest wasn't as far off the mark as I thought? I like Jean's idea about it being some kind of one-off or limited "test" piece, and about it perhaps being used in this capacity in conjunction with a scabbard. We may never know for sure, but it's fun to speculate. Happy
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Tue 23 Nov, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is most certainly a musket-rest/good stiff tuck. Check out similar examples in the combination weapons in the features section, inluding one tuck/pollaxe/musket rest example.
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