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Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat 23 Dec, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject: Federschwerter Lengths         Reply with quote

During a few recent looks into Meyer's fechtbuch, I became inspired to find as much statistical information on as many extant examples of the "federschwerter" as possible. I have browsed around the web, checked some trusted websites, looked in a few forums, and PMed a couple of individuals on these boards and came up with surprisingly little solid information. My suspicion that there are relatively few carefully guarded "federschwerter" around seems to have been confirmed.

If anyone has any sourced information on the length of historic (not modern reproduction) federschwerter, please let me know. Most importantly, please list:
    the source of the information
    any specific identifying information (serial #'s, etc)
    any measurements

Hopefully this thread will provide a collective insight into what seems to be a historically common but recently rare historical training tool. Thanks.
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David Welch




Location: Knoxville TN
Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Reading list: 14 books

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Sat 23 Dec, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Derek Wassom has some measurements from a swiss museum here:

http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/swiss-swords.html

And I have one made based off of the measurements from one in Poland from a group of swords Jake Norwood had commisioned, but it is on loan at the moment so I can't give you the exact measurements. They are basically made to the size of the sword you are wanting to train to use. Mine are "longsword" sized.

"A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca 4BC-65AD
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Michael Olsen





Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat 23 Dec, 2006 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Welch wrote:
Derek Wassom has some measurements from a swiss museum here:

http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/swiss-swords.html

And I have one made based off of the measurements from one in Poland from a group of swords Jake Norwood had commisioned, but it is on loan at the moment so I can't give you the exact measurements. They are basically made to the size of the sword you are wanting to train to use. Mine are "longsword" sized.


I am familiar with that one, and the one from which Jake had commissioned his. In fact, that is the only information I've been able to locate. Thanks for the info though - this reminded me to bookmark it.

I understand that they can be made to size, but I'm interested in finding out the basic physical properties of the historic tools.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 25 Dec, 2006 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I saw an antique Federschwerter recently in a museum in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt am Main. I didn't take any measurements of it, but I do have a photo. Theoretically, with some clever mathematics, you might be able to figure out how long it was. I noticed too that it had an extreme distal taper, starting at about 1 cm thick near the ricasso, which appeared to widen about a milimeter or two over the next inch or so, and then tapered gradually so that by the time one reached the "point" of the sword it was about as thin as the edge on a regular sword. Since I didn't do precision measurements on it, I can't be more precise than that, and there may have been other subtle changes in the taper that I missed. Nevertheless, it gives you a general idea of what the blade is like.
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