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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Sun 01 Oct, 2006 7:21 pm    Post subject: pirate cutlass?         Reply with quote

i am searching really hard for a good quality "pirate-based" cutlass. does anyone have any suggestions of websites or sword makers that make good quality cutlasses? prefferabley one a "pirate" would have used historically speaking
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Shae Bishop




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion, Old Dominiom Forge produces just about the best looking cutlasses and hangers around. There is a review of an ODF cutlass in the Reviews section of this website. However, I believe the waiting time on one of these pieces is very long. Anyway, you should have a look at some of thier past works.

http://www.olddominionforge.com/swords.html

Shae
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try this place - http://www.gggodwin.com/swords.htm
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A pirate of which era? The weapon you'd carry in 1650 isn't the weapon you'd carry in 1750.

If you want 1650-1700, get in line for E.B. Erickson's work ( http://www.myArmoury.com/review_ebe_hanger.html ) or follow the ODF link above.

If you're looking for something cheaper/for a later period (1700-1750), I'd suggest the old Windlass/MRL/Atlanta Cutlery "Hanger" ( http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=3217 ). If you can find one new, it'll be around $120 these days.

If you can wait a few weeks, you should take a look at the new Windlass "Captain Jack Sword".

http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Windlass_Sword_Page_1.html

It's a bit more than the Hanger, but it presumably is not etched with the cypher of Frederick the Great like the Hanger, so is appropriate for a wider range of dates. This would be a good choice (design-wise) for very late 17th c. up through the 18th c.

If you want to go super-cheap, you could get the cheapest, ugliest, "cutlass" out there, strip the hilt and replace it with a simple sheet-steel guard and wooden grip.

-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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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I always thought LUTEL's 14019 "smallsword" looked more like a fancy bilbo, an instrument very much in character for a gentleman sea-reaver of the Caribbean...



MRL also makes a couple of pirate cutlasses. One is the Pirate's Companion Sword, a fairly utilitarian brass-hilted thing in the style of many regulation naval swords; their Pirate Cutlass is a less historically accurate weapon, but looks nice and very pirate-y. Being MRL, the quality can be somewhat hit or miss, though.





Del Tin's 5174, a German hanger or dusägge, also looks quite fitting for a pirate, IMO. There's a hands-on review of it here on myArmoury.com, too.



But it does depend greatly on the era, of course.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well, the truth is, i never thought a pirate to have such "shiny" swords, i expected sort of different. they are nice, but i want historically accurate. the nicest i have seen so far is the gggodwin site that Roger put up. i really dont know what to expect though. i dont see many nice looking cutlasses for sale anymore. i am really in the pirate mood, and want something to look good along with the part of a pirate. time period? probably the "golden age of pirates" around late 1600s to 1700s. anywhere around there sounds good.
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garrett....no one has mentioned Loyalist Arms to you. They have a 17th C. Mediterranian cutlass (proper since a lot of pirating at that time was in the Indian and Mediterranean areas) and a 17-th-18th C. Dutch cutlass. I think you might find either of these to your taste depending on whether or not you want fancy or plain. I suspect these are Indian-made so I wouldn't expect too much from quality or handling.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find MRL’s Scottish Cutlass attractive. If I were a pirate, and couldn't use my DT5174 (see Sean Flynt's post, above), I might be tempted to go with this one.


"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Steve. Actually, the MRL "Scottish cutlass" is a fairly accurate rendition of the so-called Sinclair Sabel (saber) which was a semi-basket hilt alledgly used by Scottish mercenaries in Sweden under the command of a Colonel Sinclair in the 16th century. There are several in Swedish collections. Scott at Darkwood Armoury makes a more historically accurate version. The Sinclair Sabel is illustrated in Campbells' "Scottish Blades from the Battlefield of Culloden." I seriously thought about buying one if anyone could tell me how to get rid of the hideous chrome plating with which Windlass insist on ruining their pieces. By the way Garrett, if you find this piece attractive, take a look at www.darkwoodarmory.com under the "basket hilt" tab. George
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you guys are doing a nice job helping me out...Steve, the one you put up is the closest to one i was looking for. but, it all seems too fancy for me. and pirate and fancy dont seem to fit for me. i want to find the closest thing to pirate i can get, trying to be plain, but good quality and maybe even "fully functional" for a pirate sword. i kind of like the Captain Jack sword, but i dont want one from a movie, i want one that can be fit for me, not a movie. do you guys get what i mean? some of these are very nice swords, i just cant seem to find what im looking for. if you guys were a real pirate, and wanted a trusty cutlass, one that you could build a name with, what would you get? thats my thoughts on the subject. thats what i am looking for.
Learn to obey before you command--Solon of Athens
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GG Osborne wrote:
Hi, Steve. Actually, the MRL "Scottish cutlass" is a fairly accurate rendition of the so-called Sinclair Sabel (saber) which was a semi-basket hilt alledgly used by Scottish mercenaries in Sweden under the command of a Colonel Sinclair in the 16th century. There are several in Swedish collections.


The MRL "Scottish Cutlass" does not resemble, in any way, either type of "Sinclair Saber" as defined by Ewart Oakeshott. I've never seen a full basket-hilt defined as a "Sinclair hilt" by anyone. In fact, the MRL "Scottish Cutlass" is a fairly typical baskethilt mounted to what looks like a cutlass blade.. a mishmash combination as far as I can tell. The hilt is similar to the one in the National Museum of Sotland, LA148/1966, which is similar to the Lyttleton portrait.



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SINCLAIR.jpg


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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Mon 02 Oct, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, if you're looking for an inexpensive, no-nonsense thing, I think I'd go with the MRL Pirate's Companion Sword (the brass half-basket I posted). It's a simple regulation kind of sword in the style of 18th or 19th Century, not far from the Captain Jack Sword, a "munitions grade" weapon that would've been manufactured in large numbers for military service. Just don't polish the brass, handle it with bare hands and it will soon stop looking fancy and take on a natural patina.

The bilbo was basically a less fancy alternative to a rapier, common in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking regions of the 18th Century, like the Caribbean, especially among military men - and pirates. The LUTEL "smallsword" is rather weighty for an actual smallsword, but could easily pass for a crossless bilbo, I think. Again, just let the hilt take on a patina, maybe even age it artificially (there are people here who can tell you how to do it), and it will look a lot more rough-and-tumble than straight out of the box.

Actually, a little artificial age should work wonders on any of the swords suggested here. They just look fancy because they're all shiny and new - naturally -, in pristine condition. Get some scratches on the blade and patina on the hilt, and they'll soon look a lot more practical.

PS. That "Cutlass, American" by G. Godwin and many of the simpler Old Dominion pieces also look quite good to me. There are favorable reviews of both of their work in the Reviews database under "Miscellaneous Makers".

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Shae Bishop




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Mikko, a little artificial aging will do any of the above swords good and lend them a bit of a piratical edge. You have to remember that the weapons that a pirate carried were just like everyone elses, they started out life fresh from the cutler's shop looking something more or less like a new replica sword. It is often surprising how much more plain and utilitarian a sword looks after a light patina is applied to the metal. Also, pirates would likely take the best weapons from their prisoners and fallen foes who were often far wealthier than themselves, so fancy doesn't necassarily mean non-pirate. Of course, it is entirely up to your personal preference, I'm just putting some ideas out there.

I highly recommend you take a look at this article.
http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_antique.html
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 4:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Garrett,

The MRL Scottish cutlass isn't such a bad solution, I think. To make it less fancy, you could cut off the quillons, sand the blade and hilt down a bit with fine paper patinate it or for instance japann it. British basket hilts were exported to some extent to the West Indies, and it isn't impossible that some might have been fitted with short sabel/cutlass blades.

I think the G. Gedney Goodwin swords generally look good and well suited for a pyrate:)
And the basket hilts by Darkwood armoury are very attractive, and not out of place for a british pirate Happy
The luthel blade looks awsome, and as said earlier would fit well to a pirate in the West Indies.

George, I have to agree with Nathan. It's not a Sinclair hilt. And that Colonel Sinclair was no colonel, but an officer of a lower standing. He was under the command of Colonel Allan Ramsey who led a party of Scottish mercenaries who landed in Norway, bound for service under the Swedish king. They were misguided by a local norwegian farmer, and ambushed by norwegian militiamen in a pass called Kringen. I remember there was a better description of this battle by Elling Polden in a thread where someone wished to know the reason for these swords having the name "Sinclair swords".

Generally I'd believe the sinclairs are really German of origin, but here in Norway they are claimed to originate from Bohemia; being called "Tesakk" meaning "Czech". These were imported to Norway to arm the militia/farmer-soldiers during the 1600s, and featured both long curved blades, and shorter ones in a more "cutlass" size. Very attractive weapon!

Cheers,
Henrik

Constant and true.
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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, I stand corrected regarding the so-called Sinclair sabel. However, did anyone bother to check out the illustration in the Mowbray Collection (p.61 in Campbell's "Scottish Swords from the Battlefield at Culloden?" ) Campbell claims a "Sinclair" pedigree for this piece and it is a Germanic semi-basket hilt with full down-turning quillons. Frankly, I'm not sure anyone knows what a Sinclair hilt actually looks like. My guess is that it can be anything from a full to semi to pierced knucklebow that has a drusagge blade. From the information provided by Henrik and Nathan, I'd have to say it's just the name for a very generic style associated with certain middle Europe hangers with a tenuous Scandanavian connection.
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Raymond Deancona





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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 11:15 am    Post subject: more pirate swords         Reply with quote

I noticed alot of good responses, but did anyone mention armour class? Their 17th century line has some excellent pieces, both rapiers and single edge hangers, perfect for any pirate persona. Check out http://www.armourclass.co.uk and check out the 17th century pages. I have always been happy with their products, and if you plan on "fencing" you can get the blade made for re-enactment combat.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Somebody just tipped me to this site:

http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com/swords.htm

-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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Garrett Hazen




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Oct, 2006 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean! thank you very much for that site you put up. that led me to the bottom of that page, which led to www.olddominionforge.com and that has what im looking for. look at that cutlass it shows, before it leads to the site. that is the kind of thing i am looking for. the site doesnt seem to say the price, does it?

who tipped you to http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com/swords.htm anyway? that is awesome!

Learn to obey before you command--Solon of Athens
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Greg Calder





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PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct, 2006 2:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm glad you found my website helpful. I saw your question, and have been hemming and hawing about my reply. Since you didn't specifically state a period for your reproduction, I didn't chime in. (till now).

I go into it in a little more detail in my webiste (again http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com/swords.htm ), but there really isn't much on the market that meets the Golden Age of Piracy time frame (1680-1720) that is readily available.

Of the ones posted so far, the Godwin Smallsword looks ok, but the smallsword is more of a gentlemen's weapon, not a sailors weapon.

I wish I had something to reccommend, but I really don't. Consequently, I don't have a sword yet for my impression either. I "had" one of the indian 1742 pattern brass swords, and the thinking is that that "style" of sword came in around 1720, but I can't help but look at that sword and think "1742".

The best route may be have a sword custom made.
If there is anything out that that compares to EB Erikson (somebody PLEASE pm me his e-mail!) or Kyle of Old Dominion Forge, please let me know!

Greg Calder

If you are interested in the Golden Age or Piracy, please check out my website at
http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Oct, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg tipped me to his site when inquiring about contact info for Eljay. I didn't want to "out" him if he didn't want to participate here, but we have him now! Big Grin Thanks for the info, Greg!

I've communicated with Eljay only through the PM system here, so don't know his private address.

-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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