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Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2019 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, I think I want to buy a sword now! Or a messer...
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun, 2019 3:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:


I do not know of any Type XVI.a swords that have scent stopper pommels, and as far as I know it is a modern anachronism to have them. The grip length is also off compared with the antique examples I have seen, reflecting the modern penchant for overly long grips on every long sword, whereas historically it was only seen on some long swords. The waisted grip also doesn't belong on a sword of this type, as such grips appear generally in the late 15th century, and only on a few swords. The cross style does not look right either, with a long rectangular bar form when many XVI.a swords have shorter crosses of a different form. You can argue that the original "Brescia Spadona" has a wide cross, but the style of cross is very different from this one.


This seems an odd post. In your first sentence you say you know of no Type XVIa swords with scent stopper pommels and then go on to talk about the Brescia Spadona which is a Type XVIa with a scent stopper pommel. And yes I know itís often classified as a Type XVIIIa but itís also often classified as a XVIa. Even Albion states it could be a XVIa.


Fair enough, that was a mistake on my part. Nevertheless, as far as I can see, the style of pommel doesn't match the scent stopper on the Brescia Spadona, which again makes the sword anachronistic. And while it is true that the Brescia can be classified as a Type XVI.a, the great majority of XVI.a swords that are unambiguously type XVI.a have some sort of wheel pommel. So the overall point still stands. Additionally, your pommel is more appropriate a few decades after the Brescia, at a time when Type XVI.a swords had more or less vanished, replaced by various Type XVIIIs and perhaps XV.a swords.
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Michael Kelly wrote:
Craig Peters wrote:


I do not know of any Type XVI.a swords that have scent stopper pommels, and as far as I know it is a modern anachronism to have them. The grip length is also off compared with the antique examples I have seen, reflecting the modern penchant for overly long grips on every long sword, whereas historically it was only seen on some long swords. The waisted grip also doesn't belong on a sword of this type, as such grips appear generally in the late 15th century, and only on a few swords. The cross style does not look right either, with a long rectangular bar form when many XVI.a swords have shorter crosses of a different form. You can argue that the original "Brescia Spadona" has a wide cross, but the style of cross is very different from this one.


This seems an odd post. In your first sentence you say you know of no Type XVIa swords with scent stopper pommels and then go on to talk about the Brescia Spadona which is a Type XVIa with a scent stopper pommel. And yes I know itís often classified as a Type XVIIIa but itís also often classified as a XVIa. Even Albion states it could be a XVIa.


Fair enough, that was a mistake on my part. Nevertheless, as far as I can see, the style of pommel doesn't match the scent stopper on the Brescia Spadona, which again makes the sword anachronistic. And while it is true that the Brescia can be classified as a Type XVI.a, the great majority of XVI.a swords that are unambiguously type XVI.a have some sort of wheel pommel. So the overall point still stands. Additionally, your pommel is more appropriate a few decades after the Brescia, at a time when Type XVI.a swords had more or less vanished, replaced by various Type XVIIIs and perhaps XV.a swords.


So now your critique is that it's not the right scent stopper pommel to match the Brescia? Even after I stated it wasn't meant to copy that sword... Seriously!?
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Johannes Zenker





Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 88

PostPosted: Thu 13 Jun, 2019 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Kelly wrote:
So now your critique is that it's not the right scent stopper pommel to match the Brescia? Even after I stated it wasn't meant to copy that sword... Seriously!?

Kinda, but not quite.
His point is that, while the Brescia is an example for of a scent stopper pommel on type XVI.a, it is a very rare combination in the first place, and as such already an outlier in its type. This means that using a scent stopper pommel on a modern made XVI.a is unusual already and puts it to the edge of the "historically appropriate" category.
The main point is that the existence of the Brescia Spadona, with one specific scent stopper pommel shape on an arguably type XVI.a blade does not validate putting a significantly later pommel on a type XVI.a blade to create "historically accurate" piece.

It's ultimately not a historical piece, which is fine. Since pommel and blade shape are anachronistic to one another, it being "historically plausible" is questionable as well. Because it's not the right shape of scent stopper pommel. That's okay, though. It's probably a really nice sword, historical or not.

If I'm overlooking some nice XVI.a swords with such scent stopper pommels, let me know, I'll gladly reassess my standpoint.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2019 4:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johannes Zenker wrote:

His point is that, while the Brescia is an example for of a scent stopper pommel on type XVI.a, it is a very rare combination in the first place, and as such already an outlier in its type. This means that using a scent stopper pommel on a modern made XVI.a is unusual already and puts it to the edge of the "historically appropriate" category.
The main point is that the existence of the Brescia Spadona, with one specific scent stopper pommel shape on an arguably type XVI.a blade does not validate putting a significantly later pommel on a type XVI.a blade to create "historically accurate" piece.

It's ultimately not a historical piece, which is fine. Since pommel and blade shape are anachronistic to one another, it being "historically plausible" is questionable as well.


Indeed. The broader point, too, Michael, is that there is a tendency to combine hilt and pommel furnishings rather indiscriminately on replica swords in a way not seen on real swords. It's not like you can choose any old pommel and grip on a long sword with a Type XV.a blade; there's some that clearly don't work. No one would place a Type A Brazil nut pommel and a Gaddhjalt cross on a Type XV.a sword. It just wasn't done. Likewise, no one puts a Type T2 pommel and curved style 1 cross (the "Sempach"-style hilt furnishing) on a Type XIII.a because it's not right. While the two examples I gave might seem obvious, there's a surprising number of other cross and pommel combinations that were not attested with particular blade forms. Or, in some cases, a particular hilt furnishing might belong to one a particular time-span and not another. These things do matter, because they are a part of historical accuracy. Yet many customers do not give due consideration to this as though it's irrelevant. It isn't.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2019 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess some of it depends on your goal and what you're willing to accept in terms of plausibility and/or historical accuracy. For me, one of the benefits of makers who do their research is that I can be assured that their work will yield stuff that conforms to currently known norms based on study of extant pieces and artwork.

Just because a pommel, guard, and blade form existed roughly contemporaneously doesn't mean they go together or would have been used on the same piece hundreds of years ago. One of the lost parts of Oakeshott's typologies (yes, plural) is that the end goal of assigning types to the components was to place swords into families with similar characteristics. While some swords clearly fall outside of families (meaning we don't know of enough examples to have a valid sample set of data), many fall into groups and that gives us pretty sound reasoning when figuring out what components go together.

For me, that's what I want in a piece. Something I can be reasonably sure wouldn't have been out of place back in the day. So I tend to stick to makers whose work shows me that they know understand that. Albion is one of those; there are many others.

Some folks want pieces that are more unique and/or personalized and so they may have a wider definition of plausible than I do. That's fine. There's enough room in the market and on internet sites for that. Happy

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2019 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Indeed. The broader point, too, Michael, is that there is a tendency to combine hilt and pommel furnishings rather indiscriminately on replica swords in a way not seen on real swords. It's not like you can choose any old pommel and grip on a long sword with a Type XV.a blade; there's some that clearly don't work. No one would place a Type A Brazil nut pommel and a Gaddhjalt cross on a Type XV.a sword. It just wasn't done. Likewise, no one puts a Type T2 pommel and curved style 1 cross (the "Sempach"-style hilt furnishing) on a Type XIII.a because it's not right. While the two examples I gave might seem obvious, there's a surprising number of other cross and pommel combinations that were not attested with particular blade forms. Or, in some cases, a particular hilt furnishing might belong to one a particular time-span and not another. These things do matter, because they are a part of historical accuracy. Yet many customers do not give due consideration to this as though it's irrelevant. It isn't.


The mix-and-match nature of modern sword design generally doesn't work for my collecting interests. My disclaimer is I really appreciate pieces from history and so am interested in replicas of that. There's nothing wrong with other interests, but that's where mine lays.

The thing many modern collectors don't understand or perhaps appreciate is that it's not just the mixing and matching of types of parts, but it's the consideration of how these parts were created, shaped, etc. to create the whole. Context is super important in this regard. One has to consider region, era, purpose, type, economic status, and so many other factors when "borrowing" elements and adding them together.

Simply looking at a sword that was roughly in the same period as another sword and mixing and matching parts between the two will not generate a "historically plausible" sword. Things just don't work this way.

A basic a analogy that we can all understand: One cannot take the front clip off of a '66 Mustang, the rear deck lid and taillights from a '67 Charger, the trim package of a 68 Firebird and add all that to a 68 Camaro to create a "historically plausible" late 60s muscle car. It would create a custom creation, a fantasy car, that would be inspired by historical elements and design but not be historical in and of itself.

I see this stuff happening in sword design all the time. People grab elements from German swords, add them to elements more commonly found in Italian knightly swords, and then cover it in decorative elements in the English style... but because these elements are from the same basic period of time, they claim them to be "historically plausible" or some other term. That might seem like an extreme example but I've seen far more wild examples... and even more subtle combinations are just as unrealistic.

Why can't we just be happy with our MustangChargerFirebirdCamaro for what it is and not feel the need to justify it to others and claim it "may have actually existed?"

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