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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Wed 09 Aug, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject: viking pommel         Reply with quote

Hello.What is the significace, of the five lobes, on the viking type pommels?Thanks
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 09 Aug, 2006 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: viking pommel         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Hello.What is the significace, of the five lobes, on the viking type pommels?Thanks


Hi Karl
Possibly because it looked pretty. There was a joy in ostentatious display at that time, to judge by the artifacts found. If you are going to have lobes, an odd number allows one, often the largest lobe, to be in the middle, which looks good and may help somewhat with the function of the pommel (when it is separate from the upper guard) in that it has to cover the peened over or split and spread end of the tang. Five lobes or three are the commonest, and IIRC five can be found on type K, O, R and S(some of). Some people have suggested (can't quote a reference - sorry) that the lobes represent a bag tied on to the upper guard, each individual lobe being the bag bulging out between the ties. I'm not sure if that explanation is currently respectable among the cognoscenti, however. I think Peter Johnsson has suggested that five lobes can represent a beast's head facing in two directions (a shared cranium, two faces and two snouts or beaks). This would work for the type R/S, but doesn't apply to the type K or O, as far as I can see.
Geoff
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Nick Trueman





Joined: 27 Mar 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 10 Aug, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

MMMMMM

Who knows? but there pretty! It would be dificult to really prove what there purpose beyond aesthetics would be? I have heard of the bag tying argument also. Apart from looking very nice and the vikings love for ornate artwork ect I really havent a clue?

Ps it would also really hurt if someone started smashing it in your face, some solid contact points on that style of pommel.

N
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Jim Adelsen
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Location: WI
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PostPosted: Thu 10 Aug, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: viking pommel         Reply with quote

I have never heard of any reason other than it looks cool. There were quite a number of 3 lobe as well as no lobe pommels also. Was probably just an odd number that worked well.

Karl Knisley wrote:
Hello.What is the significace, of the five lobes, on the viking type pommels?Thanks

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Merv Cannon




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: Viking Pommel Lobes         Reply with quote

I shouldnt just quote this without my source reference ( which I have somewhere on my PC) but I have just had emergenct major eye surgery and I cant spend too long on the PC. It has been suggested that back in Vendel times they used to tie a tallisman object to the pommel wrapped in leather and bound with wire. The wire which divides the 5 or 3 lobes seems to have been always present but it has worn away on most surviving originals. However, (in my report somewhere) traces of where the wire can usually always be found. After time, the leather wrapped talisman became a decorative item which was then simply cast. Its the same with the rings which are also often found on one side of the pommel. Perhaps back in the mists of time the talisman could be also worn around the neck by the ring and then tied onto the pommel before a battle for protection or to somehow impart power to the sword ?
Guess well never know for sure.........if anyone knows the article please post a link....meanwhile I'll try to find it when my sight returns more in comming weeks. Hope this helps.
Cheers !

Merv ....... KOLR
http://www.lionrampant.com.au/

"Then let slip the dogs of war ! "......Woof !
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Jeff Pringle
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Location: Oakland, CA
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Aug, 2006 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

H. E. Davidson’s “The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England” blames this concept on Laking (Sir G. F. Laking who wrote “A Record of European Armour and Arms through Seven Ages”), who quotes ‘an eminent authority’; Davidson finds it unlikely: “…there is no indication that they ever formed parcels of this kind, which would be clumsy appendages to a sword. It seems more probable that the lobed pommel is a natural development from the animal-head type…”
And I’d have to agree.
Wink
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Robert H. Shyan-Norwalt




Location: Cambridge City Indiana
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Aug, 2006 8:24 am    Post subject: Pommels.         Reply with quote

In Ian Peirce's Book, Swords of the Viking Age, ISBN 085115 914 1 the Intro by Ewart Oakshott goes into great detail over the Type, style, and decoration of the the Migration-Norman period pommels. His overall observation ( My take on it, no quotes here ) Is that as the blades got longer and heavier, that pommels grew to help counter-balance them. He says the three lobed is most common, but that most variations can be found just about everywhere solingen shipped too from Celtic-Roman times to beyond the conquest 1066.

my .02

Peace

Collosians 2:8
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan, 2011 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: viking pommel         Reply with quote

Karl Knisley wrote:
Hello.What is the significace, of the five lobes, on the viking type pommels?Thanks


I always thought there was some imagery to this but could never quite put my finger on it. Then I read a reference to 'the fist of the sword' (or something along those lines) quoted from Viking Age Sagas in Davidson's book, The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England. I don't remember what page it was on, but I think she just assumed that referred to the pommel.

For me, that fell right into place. Some early lobate forms like Wheeler IV / Petersen K really do look like a fist. Given that pommels have likely always been used as close-in weapons to smash down on an opponent's head and such, shaping them like a fist does not seem like much of a stretch.

That sort of leads to a humerous interpretation of the later forms where the middle 'finger' sticks up more prominently!
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