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Shae Bishop




Location: Louisville KY
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Maciejowski Bible hilt furniture         Reply with quote

When looking at the Maciejowski Bible one of the most noticeable features of the swords is that the majority appear to have bronze guards and pommels. Surviving swords from the 13th century almost all have steel hilt furniture from what I have seen and heard. Were the artists of the Maciejowski Bible just exercising a little artistic liscense like where swords are shown cleaving straight though helm, coif, and skull?

I also noticed that in the portrayal of Goliath on leaf 28, his massive sword has a 5- lobed pommel as seen on many viking-era swords and again, seems to have bronze guard and pommel. The plates with Goliath on them are well known because he is wearing plate greaves, so I think it is interesting that Goliath is shown with ahead-of-his-time leg defenses and a sword with a very old-fashioned pommel.

Anyone have any thoughts on these things?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Maciejowski Bible hilt furniture         Reply with quote

Shae Bishop wrote:
When looking at the Maciejowski Bible one of the most noticeable features of the swords is that the majority appear to have bronze guards and pommels. Surviving swords from the 13th century almost all have steel hilt furniture from what I have seen and heard. Were the artists of the Maciejowski Bible just exercising a little artistic liscense like where swords are shown cleaving straight though helm, coif, and skull?

I also noticed that in the portrayal of Goliath on leaf 28, his massive sword has a 5- lobed pommel as seen on many viking-era swords and again, seems to have bronze guard and pommel. The plates with Goliath on them are well known because he is wearing plate greaves, so I think it is interesting that Goliath is shown with ahead-of-his-time leg defenses and a sword with a very old-fashioned pommel.

Anyone have any thoughts on these things?


The hilts could have been gilt or painted as well. There are other colors, including silver, besides gold. It could be artisitc license or perhaps gilding or paint on originals has been lost over the years. We do know that the over-zealous collectors of the Victorian era were known to scrub things shiny.

Of course, this was commissioned by a wealthy warrior king. He may have had a preference for gold-looking hilts. I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure.

As for Goliath, I don't believe that's a lobated pommel. Oakeshott thought it was a decorated version of the spherical pommel Type R.

Happy

ChadA

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Shae Bishop




Location: Louisville KY
Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Likes: 9 pages
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback. I agree about the guilding or commissioner's preference and a spherical pommel does make more sense on Goliath's sword. I thought the lobes were just ill-defined when I looked at it.
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J. Bedell




Location: Maryland, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know this is straying off topic but how exaggerated do you think the cleaving through helm, coif, and skull is? In Usamah ibn-Munqidh's first hand account of the crusades he tells of several instances where swords had cleaved a man in half or hacked him from his shoulder down to his saddle. I realize a mail shirt and bone isn't as tough as a helm, bone, and mail but isn't it plausible that a sword could do that, maybe not as frequently as the Maciejowski Bible but do you think it happened occasionally? Escpecially a nice falchion? Just wondering how far a sword really could cleave.

-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Jun, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Bedell wrote:
I know this is straying off topic but how exaggerated do you think the cleaving through helm, coif, and skull is? In Usamah ibn-Munqidh's first hand account of the crusades he tells of several instances where swords had cleaved a man in half or hacked him from his shoulder down to his saddle. I realize a mail shirt and bone isn't as tough as a helm, bone, and mail but isn't it plausible that a sword could do that, maybe not as frequently as the Maciejowski Bible but do you think it happened occasionally? Escpecially a nice falchion? Just wondering how far a sword really could cleave.

-James


James,
That is pretty off-topic. I think it deserves its own thread because many literary and pictorial sources speak of and show this kind of thing. Should be interesting. Happy

I'd love to see a new thread started just on that (hint, hint).

Happy

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