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Trent A. Huff




Location: New York, USA.
Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 29 Sep, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject: pillow swords         Reply with quote

hello,
was wondering if anyone knew whether a PILLOW sword would necessarily have had a SCABBARD. i'd imagine keeping one w/out scabbard would save critical time, considering your state of unreadiness. but again, any "facts" regarding their popular use and placement? thanks much,
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Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Reading list: 20 books

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Sep, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Pillow Swords         Reply with quote

Hi Trent

The "pillow" terminology may well derive from the hilt shape rather than their being associated with use in bed. The style is a throw back to the crosshilted sword from the more complex hilts that preceded them. Which coincided with a renewed interest in the knightly history of the middle ages. They were usually worn through a sash and did have scabbards.

Best
Craig
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 479

PostPosted: Sat 30 Sep, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pictures please. I'm intrigued by this as I've never heard of it.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is an antique pillow sword for sale here. The pillow sword resembles a transitional rapier/small-sword. Here are a few pics:


 Attachment: 17.58 KB
168OPILLOWSWORD1.jpg
Overall shot of the pillow sword

 Attachment: 34.75 KB
168OPILLOWSWORD2.jpg
Shot of the hilt
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Ruel A. Macaraeg





Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 9:38 am    Post subject: Re: Pillow Swords         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
The "pillow" terminology may well derive from the hilt shape rather than their being associated with use in bed. The style is a throw back to the crosshilted sword from the more complex hilts that preceded them. Which coincided with a renewed interest in the knightly history of the middle ages. They were usually worn through a sash and did have scabbards.

Craig,
Any chance we'll see the A&A pillow/scarf sword again? That was always one of my favorites from the A&A lineup. Cool
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Helen Miller




Location: Springfield VA, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 131

PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's beautiful! Look at the wire wrapping on it........*drool* I've got to be honest, like Jonathan, I've never heard of a pillow sword.
-"A woman's tongue is her sword, and she does not let it rust."
Proverb
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is an example of a pillow sword in Neuman's Swords and Blades of the American Revolution on page 127. It is item 196.S--"German Pillow Sword Circa 1640-1650." Neumann says, "One of the sword types in the transition from long-bladed rapiers to the shorter and lighter small sword during the first half of the 17th century was this styling--referred to today as the "pillow" sword. The name springs from the spurious belief that such swords were hung from the bed for defense against nocturnal attacks." I don't have a scanner, but I'll try to take a photo of the page in Neumann. For now I'll share the specs: Length: 34 7/8", Blade: 28 1/4" x 7/8" (thick), Hilt: Iron, Weight: 1.1 lbs. Another resource that pictures a pillow sword is the excellent World Swords 1400 to the Present by H.J.S. Withers (page 33). myArmoury.com has a pillow sword in the Album section here.

How about "scarf" swords? I don't recall seeing photos of any. In my mind I have pictured them to resemble the pillow sword--can anyone elucidate?
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the excerpt from Neumann:


 Attachment: 67.38 KB
German Pillow Sword Excerpt [ Download ]
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Trent A. Huff




Location: New York, USA.
Joined: 11 Sep 2006

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phew!, I sure have learned a lot about "pillow" swords since i posted that ques.. thanks for all the info., sincerely.
Ahh, yes, THAT pillow sword. i asked the seller of that particular sword the same question(s) when it appeared..... w/ regard to having been kept bedside, he said, why not, although it was probably a romantic vision more than anything and would have been used when about your business, court, AND for "home defense". a name has to come from somewhere, and i've seen reference to the term now from old sources, nearly period.
It is a beauty, isn't it.
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Helen Miller




Location: Springfield VA, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 131

PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info J.G. Question: was there a reason why the pommel and quillon were blunt???


Helen
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 4:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You are welcome. I do not have a lot of references to pillow swords in any of my books, which is why I am now thinking my next purchase should be Norman's The Rapier & Small-Sword: 1460-1820. It might have more info on the pillow sword (but that is an assumption) and explain the exagerrated lobed quillons. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with the evolution of the rapier and small-sword will chime in. (Please?)

BTW--A search of the Classifieds here on myArmoury will turn up a withdrawn sale of an A&A Pillow Sword.

Jonathan
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 16 Oct, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just got a copy of Antique Arms and Armor by Frederick Wilkinson, and he conveniently has a photo of a pillow sword for us. Here is the description: "Small defence sword known as a pillow sword--made by IOHANNIS CONIG of London. Traces of gold and silver inlay decoration on the quillons and pommel. English c.1640. Overall length 28 3/4 inches."

The pillow sword in the album section I linked in an earlier post leads to a photo of a schiavona, so here is the corect image.



 Attachment: 8.87 KB
17th century pillow sword from Wilkinson's [i]Antique Arms and Armour[/i] [ Download ]
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Ian Evans




Location: Sheffield
Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct, 2006 3:29 am    Post subject: "Sash" Sword         Reply with quote

Somewhat related to the pillow sword is the sash sword, I've not got my copy of Norman to hand so i can't add Norman's thoughts on this. But I have seen a family tomb in Salisbury Catherdal, Wiltshire. The tomb has two kneeling male members of the family in armour, one style from about 1580-1590, one styel from about 1620-1640. The later family member has a sash over his shoulder, can't remember which way round. Thro the knot of the sash, at the hip, is thrust a sword that I would have called "Small sword" in style and lokking very much like the examples shown in this thread.
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Ian Evans




Location: Sheffield
Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct, 2006 5:54 am    Post subject: "Pillow Swords"         Reply with quote

Right, I've had a look in A.V Norman and this what he says. "Pillow sword" is a collectors term. He is of the belief that at the time, they were known as Scarfe swords, a Scarfe being the sash worn by Gentleman serving as Officers. The two types he suggest are worn in this were are Hilt Type 105 and 106, being similar to what is shown here without a shell guard. The normal form is very short squat quillons, Type 106 adding a single side ring that is sometimes filled in with a plate. Type 105 is the smaller, shorter style, Type 106 longer and heavier with a larger grip to balance to balance the blade and normally seen in pictures of of armoured Gentry. They are normally worn in a Baldric, covered by silk fabric to create a sash, giving the appearance of being thrust through the knot of the sash on the hip.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct, 2006 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian,
Thanks for the information on scarf swords. I thought that scarf and pillow were probably interchangeable terms, but I was not sure. That reminds me that I need to make Norman's book high on my priority list.

Thanks,
Jonathan
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Ian Evans




Location: Sheffield
Joined: 17 Oct 2006

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 24 Oct, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject: A.V.Norman's Book         Reply with quote

That would be a damm good choice. Having had a close look at both Norman and the Wallace Arms Catalogue I think that the sword shown here is a variant on a Type 112 hilt.
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E.B. Erickson
Industry Professional



Location: Thailand
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 435

PostPosted: Tue 24 Oct, 2006 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a pretty nice one on eBay right now, being offered by pcay. It's got a decent and unusual blade (may be later than the hilt, but if it is, it's not by much), and the hilt retains a lot of the silver decoration. Unfortunatley, I didn't write the eBay # down! But search for pcay and you should find it easily enough.

--ElJay
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