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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr, 2018 9:05 am    Post subject: 14th Century Type XV.a Swords         Reply with quote

Please read the entire post carefully before you respond; otherwise, you may waste my time and yours.

I'm looking for unambiguous evidence of period examples for Type XV.a long swords from the 14th century.

These can take two forms: medieval art or extant examples of antique swords.

What I Don't Want

Art

1) Images of swords that have narrow blades but whose form cannot be unambiguously identified as Type XV.a. After all, Type XVI.a and Type XVII swords have narrow blades, too.

2) Images of effigies that show scabbards that look like they could belong to XV.a swords. I want to see blades.

3) Sketches of effigies. People who draw swords can interpret them and get details wrong.

Antiques

1) Swords attributed to the 14th century merely by convention. To my knowledge, this rules out XV.a1 from Records.

2) Swords where there is doubt or ambiguity about their attribution, like the Black Prince sword, or like XV.a2, which looks very similar in style to the Cluny XV.a sword of the 15th century. Oakeshott gives the effigy of John de Creke as support for his dating, but the effigy's scabbard lockets are not only found on 14th century scabbards as Oakeshott thought. As for the sword in the de Creke scabbard, it could easily be a narrow Type XII.a or even Type XVI.a rather than an XV.a

What I Do Want

1) Clear and unambiguous depictions of XV.a sword blades in medieval art.

2) Antique swords where we have solid reasons to accept a 14th century attribution. We know Type XVII swords were used in the 14th century because they were found in the graves of Austrian knights who died in the Battle of Sempach, for instance. Metallurgical evidence is fine as well.

Thanks.
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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
Likes: 10 pages

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For clarification, what type would you ascribe to the sword of the Black Prince? Supposedly the scabbard of this sword is not in doubt, though the provenance of the particular sword owned by Oakeshott was. Is it possible for anything but a type XVa sword to fit into this scabbard? Are you suggesting that the sword that fit into this 14th Century scabbard was really a type XVIa? Are you suggesting that perhaps the XVIa blade style may actually predate the XVa?
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,832

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought of this one immediately
http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/wattyler.htm

http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/tylerwalworth.jpg

What are your thoughts of Ewart remarking the multiple examples appearing as so many peas in a pod, with the Lucerne sword as a counterpart to the Black Prince umbrella stand sword?

Cheers

GC
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,832

PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr, 2018 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Or, the Froissart Chronicles regarding the same instance of the Watt Tyler killing. The falchion is quite well documented and the adjacent swords of more than one type but aa XVa or XVIIIb fairly displayed in the various takes on the instance.
https://spartacus-educational.com/00peasant1.jpg
https://spartacus-educational.com/Wat_Tyler.htm

Oakeshott does go on in the Age of Chivalry to regard the XVIa as earlier in the 14th century but at the same time became more and more ambiguous as the decades of research went on. I believe there is a fairly in depth discussion regarding the advent of pointy fulerless blades and the overlap of typologies as we list them.

I know I have more examples of late 14th century indications of the slim XVIIIb and XVa swords towards the end of the 1300s.

Cheers

GC
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My intention was to question assumptions, including necessarily that there were XV.a swords in the 14th century. Not knowing for certain, I wanted to ascertain what evidence there was. The problem with much of the art of the 14th century is that ir is difficult to be certain whether we are seeing a diamond cross section or just a particularly narrow fuller. Even the images Glen postef are not completely unambiguous.

I was not aware the Black Prince's scabbard was more safely attributable to him. If so, that would be solid evidence for an approximately mid-century dating of the type.

One of the best pieces of evidence I have found is this triptych from circa 1380. It's hard to argue the sword is not a Type XV.a with what appears to be a broken point: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilami/7597243400/in/photostream/

Does anyone have a name for the other weapon shown next to it?
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Steve Fabert





Joined: 03 Mar 2004
Likes: 10 pages

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2018 9:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:

I was not aware the Black Prince's scabbard was more safely attributable to him. If so, that would be solid evidence for an approximately mid-century dating of the type.



Ewart Oakeshott wrote in Records that his identification of the stub of what he believed to be the genuine Black Prince sword was in part its close fit to the undeniably authentic scabbard that has never been separated from the other tomb paraphernalia, unlike the sword itself. Maybe he was wrong, maybe not. I have to take his word for it but I have no reason to doubt his inference. Even if the sword & scabbard don't match, the question remains whether any sword that truly matched the scabbard could be anything but a XV.a. I suppose it's possible for a sword with a long Type XV blade to be just a XV rather than a XV.a, depending on the grip. Would it make a difference to you if there were plenty of short-gripped 14th Century swords with XV.a blades rather than full-blown Type XV.a swords? Is your primary concern just the blade shape, or the blade plus grip combination?
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Craig,

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, you wrote:
One of the best pieces of evidence I have found is this triptych from circa 1380. It's hard to argue the sword is not a Type XV.a with what appears to be a broken point: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilami/7597243400/in/photostream/

Does anyone have a name for the other weapon shown next to it?

That's not a weapon as such. It's a flesh-hook--i.e., the utensil used to retrieve meat that's boiling in a cauldron. The allegorical nature of the rest of the painting would make this clear even if the image were less explicit, but the picture is pretty unambiguous.

I hope this proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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