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Paul Tompkins




Location: Mountain View, CA
Joined: 13 Feb 2007

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2007 1:28 pm    Post subject: 14th c vs 15th century rondels and ballocks         Reply with quote

Hello all-

I am shopping for a late 14th century dagger for a knight or man-at-arms. I am partial to both rondel and ballock forms. However, most of the daggers I find commercially available are labeled as 15th century replicas, perhaps due to the prevalence of 15th century re-enactment and interest, or perhaps because of a lack of artifacts from the 14th century. I've heard a lot of vague references to good examples of art, effigy or artifacts depicting either rondels or ballocks in the 14th century, I haven't seen many directly (particularly of ballocks). 14th c. ballocks I have seen in museum pics seem much more short and stubby than their 15th century counterparts, which seem to be plentiful.

Three parts to my question:

1) Could you point me to any superb 14th century examples in art, effigies or of artifacts (rondels and ballocks)?

2) In terms of commercially available daggers, I've been looking at several beautiful "15th century" based replicas. Could anyone comment on a few of the following image links as to whether any of them would satisfy the 1360-1400 style of daggers?

Here are a few:

BRACTEA is a Polish crafts shop that makes some really nice looking stuff. All their daggers are on the same page here, most 15th century. Specifically I'm looking at the light-handled ballock mid-way down (D06), and the one two below that, in the decorated black scabbard (DO8):

[url]http://www.bractea.freha.pl/knives.html [/url]

Arma Bohemia is in the Czech Republic, and makes a number of rondel-like daggers, all claimed to be 15th century.
Here's one:

[url]http://www.armabohemia.cz/imgnew/epees/poignards/dyka1_v.jpg [/url]

Here are two more, Swiss and French, 15th century:

[url]http://www.armabohemia.cz/imgnew/epees/poignards/DG15v.jpg [/url]

Here's another, from a myArmoury.com review:

[url]http://www.myArmoury.com/review_ab_rondel.html [/url]

I am also aware of offerings from Arms & Armor (they offer a very nice-looking rondel) and Del Tin (two rondels, both 15th).

3) I guess my basic question has to do with the evolution of form and materials for both dagger types. What distinguishes a mid-15th century from a 14th century in either the rondel or ballock?

Thank you very much for any help you can provide.

-Paul
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Apr, 2007 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's true that there aren't a great deal of daggers on the market representing the 14th century. A&A's rondel dagger is inspired by late 14th century period art, so there's one. Happy

From our Rondel Dagger spotlight:

The top one is identified as being from 14th century:


Both of these are from the 14th century:


Based on period art, effigies, and brasses, baselards may have been more prevalent in the 14th century than rondel daggers among the knightly class. Looking through some books with effigies and brasses here's the dagger breakdown from some 14th century monuments:

No dagger: 16
Baselard-esque: 7
Rondel dagger: 6, some of them are hard to tell
Ballock dagger: 3
Other/undefinable/quillon: 6

Now, ~40 monuments doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, of course. It would seem, based more on surviving historical examples, that quillon daggers and baselards may have been more popular in the 14th century.

In terms of trends and evolution, that's a tough one. Not every brass/effigy shows a dagger, as seen above. Not many historical examples survive. I'd say the rondel daggers where only the grip is a rondel and the pommel some other shape seem to be more of a 14th century thing. The rondels, especially the one on the opposite end of the grip from the blade, seem to get larger as time passes.

The few surviving ballock daggers I've seen seem to be less well-developed in the ballocks than later examples, though period art differs.

Below are some pictures of 14th century ballock daggers and rondel daggers:



 Attachment: 16.69 KB
14c ballock.jpg
14th century German ballock dagger.

Happy

ChadA

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are more pictures of 14th century ballock and rondel daggers. These are things already scanned into my computer. As I have time, I'll check my books and look for more.


 Attachment: 48.54 KB
Orlamunde.jpg
Count of Orlamunde

 Attachment: 51.16 KB
Orlamunde-HA.jpg
Drawing of Orlamunde effigy

 Attachment: 52.61 KB
Landschaden.jpg
Landschaden effigy. Maybe a rondel?

 Attachment: 57.24 KB
Kreglinger.jpg
Kreglinger effigy - remains of a rondel

Happy

ChadA

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are a couple more effigies/brasses.


 Attachment: 27.57 KB
AldeburghBrass1360.jpg
Aldeburgh brass

 Attachment: 59.79 KB
Frosch.jpg
Weikhard Frosch. Unusual rondel

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ChadA

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2007 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thumbed through basically all of my good picture-heavy books that contain items from this period. I found 1 "ballock" dagger from the 14th century not already shown here. The wooden hilt was a modern restoration, so I didn't bother scanning it. I found 1 rondel dagger not already shown here. It's below. It was dredged up from the Thames and is dated to the late 14th century.

I found other 14th century daggers, but they were quillon daggers (and variations), baselards, and those odd Burgundian heraldic daggers with the big hollow pommels.

I have a pretty decent library, and I just can't find much from the era. Worried It seems to be more common to see daggers of any kind on effigies in the 15th century than the 14th. Most of our surviving antique examples, especially rondels and ballocks, come from the 15th century and later.



 Attachment: 9.76 KB
14c rondel.jpg


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ChadA

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Paul Tompkins




Location: Mountain View, CA
Joined: 13 Feb 2007

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2007 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad-

Thank you for all your effort - these examples are far better than what I had already.

Incidentally, I've found other examples of what might be the "unusual rondel" of the Weikhard Frosch effigy, in the Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis and the Life of Bertrand du Guesclin. These images are courtesy of the British Library. More to follow in a separate reply...



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britishlibrary_7043.jpg
Chroniques de France: Daggers in raised hands. Perhaps not a rondel, given the bent form, but similar in form to the "unusual rondel". Note the scabbards, which also seem to have a round top to fit the rondel.

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britishlibrary_11764.jpg
Life of Bertrand du Guesclin: at the side of du Guesclin on the left

 Attachment: 105.89 KB
britishlibrary_12239.jpg
Chroniques de France: Daggers at sides of knights. More like classic rondels.
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Paul Tompkins




Location: Mountain View, CA
Joined: 13 Feb 2007

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2007 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A few more images, also from the Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis. Perhaps the illustrator knew of no other type, since this type of dagger seems to be the only type he includes? They look like they have a rondel guard, and a bulbous pommel. Perhaps an early relative of the rondel?


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britishlibrary_12307_small.jpg
Chroniques de France: Most like the "unusual rondel", at the side of Duke d'Anjou and another official

 Attachment: 112.57 KB
britishlibrary_21009.jpg
Chroniques de France: Another of the "unusual rondel" type?
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Chad Arnow
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myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Tompkins wrote:
A few more images, also from the Chroniques de France ou de St. Denis. Perhaps the illustrator knew of no other type, since this type of dagger seems to be the only type he includes? They look like they have a rondel guard, and a bulbous pommel. Perhaps an early relative of the rondel?


There are a number of surviving rondel daggers with a rondel between grip and guard for a globular or other "pommel." They tend to be earlier, I think.

Happy

ChadA

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