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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Aug, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Rethinking the rein ring deal ?         Reply with quote

Folks, give this article a read and let me know if you agree or disagree with the authors thoughts on the rein ring question ?

Concerning Some Features of Scottish Basket Hilts

I'm inclined to agree, as it just makes sense !

* Special thanks to armourer Russ Thomas, Norway, for his generous gift of these journals.
- Many thanks, Russ, Mac



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The ring 5.jpg


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Aug, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many heavy basket-hilts looking to be cavalry-specific have a rather long unsharpened ricasso. The explanation has been proposed that these ricassos are present to allow the left hand to momentary grasp the sword to free the right hand for such purposes as firing a gun. This coincides with the author's theory of the oval opening presented here. It would seem that the need of freeing the right hand has been put forward many times. The article's theory is another possible solution for such a need.

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While it's explained in detail in the article, it's interesting to note that in the above photo the author is still maintaining a grip on the reins.

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 18 Aug, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This article was given to me by the dealer from whom I purchased my English horseman's basket hilt. Until joining myArmoury and SFI this past March, this had been the only theory I had read on the subject of the reins rings. I have not been able to find my ragged photocopy, so I really appreciate you sharing this with us, Mac.
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Eric Myers




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 21 Aug, 2006 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I definitely agree with the author's dismal of the other 3 theories, but I'm not convinced by the way he's holding the basket with his thumb - that's just asking for trouble on a galloping horse that might be making sudden moves sideways....

If the ring is there so that a thumb can grip the basket, then I suspect the thumb would point towards the pommel, with the blade over the left shoulder (as long as the blade is long enough not to slip forwards with the point towards your chest!), or under the arm semi parallel to the scabbard, or perhaps lying backwards along the left forearm. The long blunt ricasso being designed so that it can be gripped in the off hand is interesting too, but since it could easily interfere with the ability to use the reins, I can see how a different solution would be desirable.

Eric Myers
Sacramento Sword School
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