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Howard Waddell
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Steve Fisher just completed the prototype blade blank for the Dane (Danish Two-Hander) and I thought I'd share some photos and impressions.



more photos here:

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...-blade.htm

My first response was frankly emotional - this thing is a beast! The thickness of the tang and ricasso give even the unmounted blade a sense of devastating authority. You can just imagine going up against a row of pikemen and cutting through a pikeshaft and then spitting the poor pikeman with this long nasty spike! Or opening up an armoured opponent like a lobster!

Looking at the photos it looks almost dainty -- that is why we added a shot of it next to the Baron, to give you a sense of the scale.

More than anything, this reminds me of a supersized Svante, (though it is not hollow-ground) -- the authoritative "feel" is somewhat similar.

Some rough specs (I may have gotten the conversions wrong)
Thickness of ricasso and tang: .375" (9.5 mm)
Thickness halfway down cutting edge: .304" (7.7 mm)
Length (ricasso and cutting edge): 39" (99 cm)
Length (cutting edge): 30.5" (76 cm)
Tang length: 17.75" (45 cm)
Overall length: 56.75" (144 cm)
Weight: 3.45 lbs (1567 g)

I was struck by how "unsual" this sword is to someone unfamiliar with the type (such as myself.) One thing I really love about my job is that I never stop learning and this sword is no exception - looking at photos of swords of this type I never had an appreciation of the scale or the geometry -- and as a result I had a very different impression of what these swords were all about.

So, I asked Peter to tell us a little more about the type of sword that the Dane represents and this is what he had to say:

"The Dane is an example of one of the more advanced or extreme blade designs in the history of the European sword.

Oakeshott classified these and put them as subclass XVIIIe in the large and varied type XVIII group. They differ dramatically when compared to any other type XVIIIa, b, c or d, however.

The grip is typically very long in proportion to the blade. Grip length can be a third or more of the total length. Quite a few of these weapons have survived and now reside as excavated specimens in museum store rooms in Scandinavia. I have had the privilege to see and handle several of them.

Swords with extremely long grips were popular in Scandinavia and possibly northern Germany in the 15th C. Interestingly, swords of similar size and proportions were also made/used in Italy at the same time (one fine example is exhibited in Brescia).

These swords will show some variation within the family. I am not sure all can be comfortable classified as XVIIIe´s. Despite sharing the same general proportions, there is quite some variation to the blades of these weapons. Sometimes the blade rather shares characteristics with type XIII, XV or even XX. All are obviously intended for two handed use. Most are large, but some have blade lengths more in scale with single handed swords.

One subgroup have blades that are fairly broad at the base, tapering to a narrow spade shaped point. These are flexible, thin bladed cutting swords. Sometimes the blade has one or several fullers. There is no ricasso on these blades. The grip is sometimes very long. I have seen one example where the grip was almost equal in length to the blade. The guard is often wide and slightly curved. Pommel is often wedged shaped or spherical.

Others have blades of moderate width that seem to favor thrust and cut equally. They do not have a ricasso. Section can be diamond shaped or lenticular. Some have fullers and could be classified as type XX swords with extremely long grips.
The guard can sometimes be C-shaped with both arms curving to the front side of the grip at right angles to the blade; like an S-curved guard gone wrong. Others have a pretzel shaped guard. Both these guard types seem to be locally favored in the Scandinavian countries. Pommels are commonly spherical or a small octagonal scent stoppers.

The Dane is a representative of those perhaps most characteristic or familiar of the long gripped Scandinavians. These were the swords that Oakeshott described in his classification and included as type XVIIIe. They stand out from the other long gripped swords because of the character of the blade, and that they all have a ricasso. The blade is usually not so broad but very thick and stout with a diamond shaped cross section. The point is strong and awl like.

The proportion grip/blade length is often about 2:5. The guard is normally curved towards the point, sometimes just a more or less straight bar. The pommel is almost always a scent stopper with octagonal section. In many cases there are traces of a rather unique grip cover: it has short sections tightly wrapped with iron wire, serving as reinforcement and providing good gripping. The wood could be left plain or covered by leather under the wire binding. In some cases there could have been a leather rain guard covering the cross and the mount of the scabbard.

The feel of these weapons is special and quite apart from most any other type of sword. The thickness of the blade and ricasso is striking. When used in half swording, they could almost qualify as a kind of short pole arm: its thick, stiff blade and tremendous awl point would have been devastating when the swordsman put the full momentum of his body behind a thrust.

The length of grip and blade together provides long reach in both cut and thrust, while the balance provides surprising maneuverability. The point of balance is close to the guard, but the sword still has a positive blade presence because of its mass. They are massive weapons, but agile despite their size.

When seeing swords such as these up close it becomes obvious they were made to be strong thrusting swords. It is equally obvious that blades like these must have been developed to be able to deal and take blows in fighting between fully armoured opponents. Even if a sword cut can never really be expected to cleave armour, a blow from a blade with the mass and stiffness of these swords would still deal terrible damage, stunning or perhaps even killing. The point could conceivably penetrate the thinner parts of plate armour with a good hit, but thrusts would naturally be aimed at gaps and openings, where only mail and/or padding was the protection.

To a less than completely armoured opponent the edge and point of these swords would be equally lethal.
They give a strong impression of being made for battlefield use. They have the mass, heft and agility to be reliable no nonsense killing tools. A trained swordsman in full armour equipped with a sword of this type must have been truly terrifying.

Perhaps these swords could also have served well on horseback. The long grip, stout guard and strong ricasso makes it possible to couch the sword like a lance, resting the guard across the armpit and breastplate. The reach is not long, but in some situations this might have been a good thing. The use of swords as lances is described in some medieval texts.

A number of these swords has been found in the graves of Danish Noblemen dating to the third quarter of the 15th C. Quite a few has also been found as loose finds in other parts of Scandinavia. It is impossible to say whether these weapons saw a popularity among the fighting men from all parts of Scandinavia, or if the finds are remains of Danish knights and men-at-arms who fought and fell on foreign soil. "

This prototype blade will now be shipped off to Peter for development of the hilt waxes and he will possibly do some cutting tests for us with the blade.

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, that's gonna be Beauty and the Beast rolled up in one!!
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, that blade shape isn't all that dissimilar from the blade on Patrick Kelly's new ballock dagger. Maybe he'll have to get a Dane so he can have a pseudo matched set. Or maybe he'll have to hurt me for suggesting such things.

-Grey

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Colin F.




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject: Re: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Howard Waddell wrote:
Perhaps these swords could also have served well on horseback. The long grip, stout guard and strong ricasso makes it possible to couch the sword like a lance, resting the guard across the armpit and breastplate. The reach is not long, but in some situations this might have been a good thing. The use of swords as lances is described in some medieval texts.


Whilst I was absent mindedly calculating how much $1.1k was in GBP (not to mind how long i'm gonna have to save Laughing Out Loud) I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of such texts? Any of them online?

That looks like a truly stunning blade though, I can't wait to see how the guard, pommel and handle are going to complement the blade. The fullered ricasso design gives the sword the right lines, wrong way to say it, but it makes it look like a business sword rather than one less suited to combat.

Melchett - "In short, a German spy is giving away every one of our battle plans."
Cpt. Darling - "You look surprised, Blackadder."
Edmund - "I cerainly am, sir. I didn't realise we had any battle plans."
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
You know, that blade shape isn't all that dissimilar from the blade on Patrick Kelly's new ballock dagger. Maybe he'll have to get a Dane so he can have a pseudo matched set. Or maybe he'll have to hurt me for suggesting such things.

-Grey


Hmmmmmmm...... Wink
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's an awesome blade, in more ways than one! It sounds almost like a more sophisticated version of the ahlspiess, or awl-pike, envisioned in sword form. Of course, the sword would be more versatile than the pole arm.
Stay safe!

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Edward Hitchens




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Colin F. wrote:
I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of such texts? Any of them online?


Hey Colin. I checked on it for you. As of now, $1100 USD equals about 586 GBP. The converter I found was www.xe.com/ucc/

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My favorite online currency exchanger is http://www.oanda.com/
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Howard Waddell wrote:
... My first response was frankly emotional - this thing is a beast! The thickness of the tang and ricasso give even the unmounted blade a sense of devastating authority ....

My response was similar, " Idea Surprised LOOK AT THAT TANG Exclamation "

Quote:
Some rough specs (I may have gotten the conversions wrong)

FWIW, I checked the numbers, and all of your conversions are within rounding error, except for "length (cutting edge)", (unless, of course, I got my conversions wrong Laughing Out Loud ). See my results in [brackets], below

Thickness of ricasso and tang: .375" (9.5 mm) my result: [9.525mm]
Thickness halfway down cutting edge: .304" (7.7 mm) [7.7216mm]
Length (ricasso and cutting edge): 39" (99 cm) [99.06cm]
Length (cutting edge): 30.5" (76 cm) [77.47cm]
Tang length: 17.75" (45 cm) [45.085cm]
Overall length: 56.75" (144 cm) [144.145]
Weight: 3.45 lbs (1567 g) [1565 g]

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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Geoff Wood




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 4:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Edward Hitchens wrote:
Colin F. wrote:
I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of such texts? Any of them online?


Hey Colin. I checked on it for you. As of now, $1100 USD equals about 586 GBP. The converter I found was www.xe.com/ucc/


... but then he has to add VAT at 17.5 % and a few percent for import duty and some more for international P&P (which may be more than usual on an item of this length and may itself attract further tax or duty) and bear in mind that his credit card may not be quite so generous on the exchange rate as the headline figures suggest and so on and so on ............. . I usually just take the dollar figure as the GBP figure and hope for a pleasant surprise. However, I think he was asking about texts regarding the sword use.
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have wanted this sword since I saw the drawing of it. I can't wait to see the finished product!
So far it looks great.
-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword sort of looked interesting in the drawing but now it just made a big " bleep " on my sword radar. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Oh, and thank Howard for the interesting background information. Cool

This one is going on my short list once all my custom projects have been paid for. ( Top of the maybe list of 2007 )

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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Dane Update         Reply with quote

Howard Waddell wrote:
... My first response was frankly emotional - this thing is a beast! The thickness of the tang and ricasso give even the unmounted blade a sense of devastating authority ....

My response was similar, " Idea Surprised LOOK AT THAT TANG Exclamation

Forget about the tang, look at that ricasso! It looks like a train rail!!!! This sword is HUGE.....and cool!
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Oct, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well! Idea You know, I have been looking at this beautiful graceful beast on and off for some time. Now in view of this photograph the wheels are turning and the more they turn the more I am motivated to figure out a way to acquire this sword! Late next summer is my 50th, since I've declared in here and in my home to my wife and mother of the Edward III and the custom scabbard from Russ Ellis as my gift to myself, perhaps this here "Dane" could be the gift from my wife and my mother to me for my 50th?
I don't know but I gotta figure out something! Because "this sword" has got my attention and it is not letting go!

As the saying goes, "Where there is a Will, There is a Way!

I can easily tell that the Dane is going to be one of the most beautiful creations to come forth from Albion Swords yet!

I know one thing for sure, I have one of Albion's most recent gorgeous creations, the Vassal, it's a dream, absolutely a dream!

Now this Dane, my oh my oh my, it is most indeed calling me and I think I shall just have to resort to showing this to my wife and mother and petition with pleads for my 50th!

Even a beast can have elegance and the Dane is proof of that, this is beautiful, very beautiful Exclamation No two ways about it!

I can envision this sword in my collection!

Bob
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bob Burns wrote:
... I don't know but I gotta figure out something! Because "this sword" has got my attention and it is not letting go!

As the saying goes, "Where there is a Will, There is a Way!"...

Maybe it should say, "Where there is a Bob Burns, There is a Way." What do you think? Big Grin

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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W. Schütz
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been waiting for this sword for years! It started out with drooling dreams of the ATrim 1592 but i knew there was a more historical version out there. Then i planned on having a custom-made version from Pavel Moc but i decided to wait, and im so glad i waited for this day - finally an update! Keep up the good work Albion!!
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 9:14 am    Post subject: Off topic         Reply with quote

So when do we get to see some of the other odds and ends like waxes that are in but not up yet?
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Laughing Out Loud Steve, this is not even funny. This is mesmerizing! I just lured my wife in to show her what I would love for my 50th, she said, "let me guess, it's something large, sharp and expensive" Worried .
This will take some thinking and planning, perhaps some strategy. Maybe even some patience and sacrifice.
No, I cannot part with any of my swords, I just love them too much and selling either my Berserkr or Vassal is absolutely out of the question, no can do! I have too few Albions as it is for goodness sakes! Eek!
Then there is the factor that only 100 will be made, which is a good thing for the sake of the value of the sword, but it does lend to the pressure and stress of acquisition. However, this is what makes it all fun! It's the challenge!

One thing for sure, now after having gazed upon these pictures of the blade blank, the real beauty of this thruster beast can be well appreciated for it's absolute superior design and intended mechanics of use!

Mere words cannot say enough!

Bob
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David Lannon




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Width of blade?         Reply with quote

So, how wide is the blade. Both at the ricasso and the begining of the blade?

Thanks
Dave Lannon

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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Oct, 2006 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Width of blade?         Reply with quote

David Lannon wrote:
So, how wide is the blade. Both at the ricasso and the begining of the blade?....

Albion's Dane web page gives the following preliminary dimensions for the sword:
Quote:
Blade length (with ricasso): about 100 cm.
Overall length (including hilt): about 140 cm.
Width of ricasso at guard: some 28-30 mm (but the ricasso is waisted along its length)
Width of blade at base: some 32-34 mm (tapering in a very sublte curve to a *strong* awl shaped point)

Thickness of blade: about 9 mm

The prototype's blade length and overall length, as given in Howy's lead post, are very close to the preliminary dimensions, so its a pretty good bet that the ricasso and blade widths will also be similar to the preliminary figures.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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