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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 12:06 pm    Post subject: sword points- what's the point?         Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I am seeking forumites, both lay and professional, opinions on the issue of the shape of the point terminus of historical and reproduction swords.

I am really interested in types X, Xa, XI, XII, XIIa, XIII, XIIIa, and XIIIb. The further types have clearly "pointy" points. Specifically, I notice that different makers' reproduction/replica swords have either rounded or "pointy" points. Albion swords, both NG and ML seem to be "pointy" or end in a single apex, even on type XIII like the Tritonia and XIIIa's like the Duke which have rounded point sections. Some of Patrick Barta's swords (type X's) end in rounded points without a clear apex.

What can be observed on the best preserved historical peices? Were both pointy and rounded points seen? I would be especially interested in Angus, Craig and Peters' opinions of this matter.

I hope that my musing/question is clear enough

Thanks,
Jeremy
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My impression is that you would have seen points that were made rounded: a parabolic curve.
There were also those with rounded ends that still ended in a point of sorts.
Some of these got rounded of (eroded) by resharpening and reshaping during use.
Sometimes you can see how a blunt rounded point is given a reshaping to become more pointy.
This I have noted on both 17th C cut and thrust swords and 14th C type XIIIa war swords.
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Jeremy,

Historical sword points could vary quite a bit depending on type and apparent function. For instance, the Oakeshott Type XVIIIa that is thought to have been the sword of Edward III has a point that's fairly sharp, but the central ridge peters out about eight inches from the point. On the other hand, the Oakeshott Type XVIII thought to have been the sword of Henry V displays a reinforced point, with the central ridge running right to the point.

Some Oakeshott type XIVs have fairly sharp points (relatively speaking), but the cross-section is rather flat. However, some such as the Type XIV in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have a reinforced point with a central ridge, more like an Oakeshott Type XVI. (Another Type XIV that appears to have a reinforced point is the possible royal sword in the Musee de l'Armee, Paris. Oakeshott drew the sword as if it has a central ridge at the point, but classed it as a XIV.)

Many swords of Oakeshott's Type XIII have a fairly rounded, almost "spatulate" (Oakeshott's word in The Archaeology of Weapons) points. Some of this may be due to corrosion, but many pristine examples have rather broad points. This can be seen in an examination of the photos and a study of the descriptions in Oakeshott's books, especially Records of the Medieval Sword (where I found the information regarding the swords of Edward III and Henry V). There have been some previous threads about great swords with some photos posted. Check out some of the examples shown.
Here's one of the threads with a few pictures:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...mp;start=0

And here's another that has some pictures showing the difference between the points on different types of "two-handed" swords:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8367

Most Oakeshott Type XVs have very sharp, acute points. This is in keeping with the blade type of this category of sword, since the straight edges taper strongly to an acute point. Again, this is relative, as compared to other forms such as the fairly non-tapering Oakeshott Type XIII.

Type XVIII points are typically a bit broader than those on Type XVs, since the Type XVIIIs show a graceful, curving taper to the edge, but the points are still fairly sharp.

Type XVIIs have fairly acute, sharp points. Their blades tend to be similar in silhouette to type XVs, with acutely tapering edges.

Type XVIA blades tend to have sharp points, often strongly reinforced.

Again, this is all a gross generality, and examples within the same Oakeshott type could vary.

I hope this helped a bit, even if it's not based on first-hand experience. I gleaned all this information from many of Oakeshott's books.

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Peter and Richard,

Peter, you eddressed exactly what I was getting at, even with my clear-as-mud description. I am interested in the 2d silluette and that very terminus of the point. Does it end in one point- a type XV is a perfect example- like the bottom of a letter v or does it end in a parabolic curve? I realize that looking al seeming "points" if magnified are infact somewhat curved. I am interested in the naked eye sort of impression.

Thanks again, any other forumites have any thoughts?

Jeremy
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Richard Fay




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again!

Jeremy,

I hope you don't mind if I chime in again with a bit more info gleaned from Oakeshott's books. If you're wondering if a sword's point could change over the course of a sword's life, then you should have a look at Type XV. 7 in Oakeshott's Records of the Medieval Sword. Oakeshott classed this sword as a XV, but he stated that the blade had obviously been severely honed, so it may originally have had the silhouette of a type XVIII. As the sword is now, it has a fairly acute point. The sword when new may have had the slightly more curving point, but still sharp, of a type XVIII. Honing could, if done excessively, change a sword from one "type" to another. Obviously, to change this sword from an XVIII to a XV, the point was honed down to have straighter, more acutely tapered, edges. The second silhouette of this paticular sword's point is somewhat of a curved "v" now, but may have been a wider, more curved "v" originally. I believe Arms & Armour has a replica of this sword as it would have appeared new.

Yes they do (the wonders of the edit button). Here's a link to their replica of this sword, number A.460 in the Wallace Collection:
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword188.html

And here's a link to the myArmoury review of the Arms & Armour replica, where mention is made of the change in the blades silhouette:
http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_french.html

And, finally, I've attached a picture from Records of the Medieval Sword of this sword. Note the rather acute point as compared to the Arms & Armour replica.

I hope this was helpful!

Stay safe!



 Attachment: 20.2 KB
French Medieval Sword.JPG
Type XV, Wallace Collection A.460, from Records of the Medieval Sword.

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Travis Canaday




Location: Overland Park, Kansas
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2006 3:05 am    Post subject: Re: sword points- what's the point?         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Albion swords, both NG and ML seem to be "pointy" or end in a single apex, even on type XIII like the Tritonia and XIIIa's like the Duke which have rounded point sections.


This might be because Albion's swords are historically correct in their thickness and distal taper. Along with this taper, a blade will flare out in thickness towards the tip, this way you can get a sharp "pointy" point, and have it still remain durable. I think this is why Albion swords look so "pointy", much like their historical counterparts.

Even dedicated cutter type blades (such as the Tritonia and the Duke) still exhibit this thicker, pointy tip. This maybe what you are noticing.

Travis
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