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Norlyn C




Location: Virginia
Joined: 20 Feb 2007

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: The Swedish Staff-Sword and Swedish Costume circa 1500...         Reply with quote

All,

I know we have many friends on this board from the Scandinavian countries i thought i would ask some questions. I am intrigued by the weapon known as the Swedish Staff-Sword or svärdstav(i believe). I found some interesting information on it in a book on the Landsknecht soldiers. One of these soldiers , Paul Dolstein, was a Landsknecht around 1500 who encountered this Swedish Polearm during his mercenary work (for King Hans of Denmark) at the siege of Elfsbourg on July, 14th 1502. He also happened to be a literate writer and competent illustrator (of which i am neither). During the siege he mentioned that the 'Swedish Farmers' had crossbows and "good pikes made from swords". He goes on to illustrate a Swedish Pikeman and Staff-sword (?) with 'Baggy Trousers and kettle-hat (and breastplate as well).

My Questions are as follows: Does anyone have a picture of the original Weapon and Swedish Pikeman costume from his period (1500's) perhaps pictures from a museum? and does anyone currently make a replica? as i have yet to find anything on my web searches.

Thanks,

Norlyn

-Direct decendant of Mustered Swiss Pikeman from Münsingen, canton of Berne during the 16th century.
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Martin Wallgren




Location: Bjästa, Sweden
Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 12:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here you go!

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=dolstein

This thread is about Peter Johnssons replica of the Stavsvärd!

You also get the pictures of the Swedish conscript army that Paul Dolstein faced in 1502 at Elfborgs Castle!

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Merv Cannon




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Reading list: 13 books

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Posts: 301

PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 2:16 am    Post subject: Swedish Staff Sword         Reply with quote

Thanks Martin for reminding me of those great pages. I have a file on this weapon. I also have a theory.....what if this was a genuine desendant of the elusive Viking Halberd weapon.....being a Swedish thing and all. I forget which saga it is that describes how this Viking reaches a King or Prince and shoved this Viking Halberd right through him and... ( probablly puting his foot behind the shaft- butt)... lifts this unfortunate leader right up off the ground so that all his men could see his fate and thus surrender. Obviously there would have had to be something like this wavy guard to stop him sliding all the way down like a stuck boar !
Theres no way to prove it but I enjoy thinking of the possibility and I dont think its entirely improbable.
Cheers !

Merv ....... KOLR
http://www.lionrampant.com.au/

"Then let slip the dogs of war ! "......Woof !
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Korey J. Lavoie




Location: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2006

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting weapon, I imagine that it would have been very effective at both the cut and the thrust. As for the Viking Halbard: Blade Magazine had a good series of articles on Viking weapons and featured the Halberd. Their favorite and a great example of Black Humor: Involved a warrior at a seige who was sent to see if the warlord was actually home, while scaling the wall to get on the roof, the warlord stabbed him through the chinks in the logs with his halberd: The warrior falls, gets up and walks back to his army where they ask him if the enemy is home, to which he responds: "I cannot say but his Halberd is." Then falls and dies.
In the same article, a passage is referrenced where a small ax with a "T" shaped blade is described as being shaped like a Viking Halberd: Take a blade shaped in such a fashion oriented on it's "Side" so the bars of the t shape form the hooking and piercing points of the weapon with the top acting as a cleaving blade and it will perform all the functions assigned to a Viking Halberd.

From the hundred year war
To the Crimea
With a Lance and a Musket and a Roman Spear
To all of the Men who have stood with no fear
In the Service of the King
-The Clash: The Card Cheat
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Anders Nilsson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Reading list: 4 books

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Posts: 145

PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some pics of the Swedish Swordstaff.

http://www.uppbadet.se/visa.php?galleri=Axtor...300062.JPG

http://www.uppbadet.se/visa.php?galleri=Axtor...300061.JPG
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Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that is a very neat weapon, are there any surviving originals?
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a rather long thread on the nature of the Atgeir/Kesje, AKA the viking "Helbard" at
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5813

The most likely contender, MHO is the broad bladed hewing spear, like the Pettersen type G:



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"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Korey J. Lavoie




Location: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 06 Apr 2006

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't want to completely rehash the thread that was already linked: But then why the different names for the two? I think that you are on the right track but maybe in reverse, perhaps the Hewing Spear is the weapon related to the Staff-sword?
From the hundred year war
To the Crimea
With a Lance and a Musket and a Roman Spear
To all of the Men who have stood with no fear
In the Service of the King
-The Clash: The Card Cheat
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 12:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think it is a really neat weapon. Seems like a good use of broken blades if that wazs ever done in their production.

RPM
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Korey J. Lavoie wrote:
I don't want to completely rehash the thread that was already linked: But then why the different names for the two? I think that you are on the right track but maybe in reverse, perhaps the Hewing Spear is the weapon related to the Staff-sword?


The stad sword is from a much later period. The terms Atgeir, Kesje, and Hoggspjot, which are the ones translated as halberd or bill, fall from use in the 13th-14th century, which is why we don't know exactly what they mean.
I'm not really up to speed on the later terminology, though. As far as I've gathered, they are simply known as "Big spears" or "bear spears" in the 1500's....

If only Oakeshott had published his work in 978, everything would be easier :P

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Fri 26 Nov, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I second! I have recently discovered and fallen in love with 15th C Scandinavian arms, armor and costume. I am just starting my own sword-staff and I would be eternally grateful if someone could turn up a good photograph of an original. The sword-staff doesn,t appear to be Scandinavian in origin, the Louis de Bruges copy of Froissart's chronicles (1460's) is full of representations of these weapons. I think that their asssociation with Scandinavia is due to their continued use there after they had mostly fallen out of use in the rest of Europe. As for it being in any way related to hoggspjot, heptisax, and such 10th-12th C saga terms, that one has been done to death elsewhere.
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Stephen Wheatley




Location: DORSET ENGLAND
Joined: 15 Nov 2008

Posts: 91

PostPosted: Sat 27 Nov, 2010 1:10 am    Post subject: HEWING SPEAR         Reply with quote

Egil's saga I think is the one featuring the hoggspjot (spellcheck that one) Egil Skallagrimsson - a huge Icelander wields one of these for king Athelstan of the English and carves up Scots, Norse, Welsh and a few Icelanders - he doesn't seem to discriminate, but there, his pa was nicknamed ' Kveldulf' - Evening Wolf. Is a it a halberd though? Thought it was a heavy mounted spear.
Stephen Wheatley
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Joe Pittman




Location: Memphis, Tenn.
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
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Posts: 42

PostPosted: Sun 28 Nov, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Staffsword         Reply with quote

Modern version, Blade and guard by Earl Blackmore of Hell Fire Forge, 25".


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Long Life
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Peter O Zwart




Location: Ontario Canada
Joined: 28 Nov 2010

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Tue 30 Nov, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I think it is a really neat weapon. Seems like a good use of broken blades if that wazs ever done in their production.

RPM


I actually have a broken sword that I was thinking of doing this to but haven't got the time or the courage to do it yet Sad
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