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Mike W




Location: Michigan
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: sinclair hilt information?         Reply with quote

Hello everyone.
I'm sort of new here and sort of not- I've been lurking around this site for about three years, and figured it's time to introduce myself. My main interests right now are 17th/18th century backswords, hangers and cutlasses, and i'm starting to develop a fixation on sinclair hilts. does anyone know of any good references for sinclair hilts?

Thanks,
Mike Wells
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 3:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One good place to start is with E. Oakeshott's book "European Weapons & Armour -From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution". I'm sure others will have good sources to throw your way as well, this is a grand place for obtaining useful info. - lots of most helpful folks.

BTW A thousand welcomes to you!

My main interest/research in the "Mortuary" hilt of the 17th c., some say kinda/ sorta kin to Sinclair & Walloon hilt swords.
Check out the review and photo album sections of this site too for added info. on the Sinclair.

Cheers,

Bill

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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: sinclair hilt information?         Reply with quote

Mike W wrote:


...i'm starting to develop a fixation on sinclair hilts...

Mike Wells



Hi Mike...

Welcome on to the forum buddy Big Grin

For some reason I have become somewhat fascinated by the Sinclair hilts also. I think it is because they seem to be a combination of so many types of baskethilt forms. Although some forms are ugly, to my eye, there is this ideal Sinclair hilt form that just seems right. It is like the Scottish baskets or the Schiavona or the Swepthilt rapier hilts, the shapes and proportions seem work together into an ideal form. I'm not sure I have ever actually seen the ideal but I can see it in my mind. And in the near future I hope to have it in my hands. (it's my next commission).

Here's a teaser...

ks



 Attachment: 96.97 KB
SailGuardBacklite.jpg


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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2006 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott has very little to say about the Sinclair hilts. And when you do a google search the only real hits are on the best sword forum on the internet: myArmoury.com. Here is a summary of what Oakeshott says:

South German origin. Large triangular plate very often pierced with circles diamonds or hearts. The pommel is a flattened pyramid with slightly curved edges. The grip is always short and of oval section.

Oakeshott relates how Victorian collectors gave these types of sword hilts the name ďSinclair.Ē It seems that many of these types of hilts made their way into Norway in the 19th century in the antiquities trade. Victorian collectors noted a resemblance to the Scottish baskethilts. The connection with Scots brought to their mind a band of Scottish mercenaries that tried to fight their way across Norway in 1612. They were routed in the Gudrun Valley. This ill-fated band of mercenaries was led by Colonel George Sinclair. And so in a series of very weak associations Sinclairís name has been attached to this type of sword hilt.

Although the development of the complex hilt is itself very complex, there does seem to be a connection with the German baskethilts. However it seems like every basket form is connected to the German baskethilts. It is almost like the German basket is a seminal form from which many other basket forms sprang. I also wonder if they may have some connection to swords with sail guards (Italian... I think).

Here are some composites I put together for anyone interested in this fascinating basket design:

ks



 Attachment: 76.36 KB
SinclairCollectionAndGerman.jpg
German forms Left True Sinclair forms Right

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SinclairCollectionAndSailItalian.jpg
Italian? forms Left True Sinclair forms Right

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk-
I'm also very intrigued by this hilt type. It's fascinating to me.

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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are three more comparisons...

In each case there seems to be at least one feature that crosses the boundary.

ks



 Attachment: 53.49 KB
SinclairCompareGerman.jpg
German Form and Sinclair

 Attachment: 73.59 KB
SinclairCompareItalianSail.jpg
Italian? Form and Sinclair

 Attachment: 72.07 KB
SinclairCompareRapier.jpg
Rapier Form and Sinclair

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
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Last edited by Kirk Lee Spencer on Wed 01 Feb, 2006 5:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jan, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Oakeshott relates how Victorian collectors gave these types of sword hilts the name ďSinclair.Ē *snip* And so in a series of very weak associations Sinclairís name has been attached to this type of sword hilt.


Aha! So that's where the name comes from. I've always wondered. Thanks, Kirk!

Also, very cool pics. In the very last one, though, with the rapier compared to the Sinclair hilt, I don't think the similarities are strong... the rapier appears to be a left handed one, and the "shell" is for the inside guard, not the outside in the way Sinclair hilts typically seem to be.

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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2006 2:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very nice swords Happy
Thx a lot for sharing!
Many of these sinclair-sabers look very similar to 16/17th century Dussacks. Interesting to see how different countries tweaked the basket-hilt idea to meet their needs and taste.

A dussack from Styria, Austria

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
The connection with Scots brought to their mind a band of Scottish mercenaries that tried to fight their way across Norway in 1612. They were routed in the Gudrun Valley. This ill-fated band of mercenaries was led by Colonel George Sinclair. And so in a series of very weak associations Sinclairís name has been attached to this type of sword hilt.


Not as much routed as masacred, I'm affraid...
The battle of Kringen was a major item of pride in early norwegian nationalism; Complete with cruel scotsmen rampaging the countryside, whereupon the Sons of the Vales rise, picking their axes of the wall, and go to meet them. They are cought in ambush. A local girl is hiding with her horn, until the scots pass a certain point, and the norwegians let loose large bundles of loggs on top of them. Whereupon the battle starts, and every single scotsman is slain.

In reality, of course, the scots where quite cautious, and tried not to upset the locals, but the people that met them where reacting to pure rumours.
The actual fighting ended shortly after the initial attack, and about 250 of the 300 scots surrendered.
But at some point the farmers found out that they would have to feed these prisoners, and with sound economical sense, executed all but a couple, who where sent to Copenhagen as prisoners.
(rumours also has it that some of the stronger looking where married of to various spinster sisters in the region.... Big Grin )

Some of the farms in the area still have swords captured at Kringen; these are probably genuine, as the amount of scottish backswords sold to norway wouldn't have been that large...

"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."
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2006 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
The rapier appears to be a left handed one, and the "shell" is for the inside guard, not the outside in the way Sinclair hilts typically seem to be.



I was wondering about that... The perspective is really odd (taken from the bottom) and it just didn't look right.

Somehow I flipped the picture when I was putting the composite together. So it was not a lefthanded sword but a right handed sword that was flipped. Good eye my friend Eek!

I have restored it now in the right orientation and it is clear that you are exactly right... what looks like a proto sail guard is indeed on the inside.

Thanks

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities


Last edited by Kirk Lee Spencer on Wed 01 Feb, 2006 5:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Wed 01 Feb, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:


Not as much routed as masacred, I'm affraid...
The battle of Kringen was a major item of pride in early norwegian nationalism; Complete with cruel scotsmen rampaging the countryside, whereupon the Sons of the Vales rise, picking their axes of the wall, and go to meet them. They are cought in ambush. A local girl is hiding with her horn, until the scots pass a certain point, and the norwegians let loose large bundles of loggs on top of them. Whereupon the battle starts, and every single scotsman is slain.

In reality, of course, the scots where quite cautious, and tried not to upset the locals, but the people that met them where reacting to pure rumours.
The actual fighting ended shortly after the initial attack, and about 250 of the 300 scots surrendered.
But at some point the farmers found out that they would have to feed these prisoners, and with sound economical sense, executed all but a couple, who where sent to Copenhagen as prisoners.
(rumours also has it that some of the stronger looking where married of to various spinster sisters in the region.... Big Grin )

Some of the farms in the area still have swords captured at Kringen; these are probably genuine, as the amount of scottish backswords sold to norway wouldn't have been that large...


Hey Elling...

Very interesting stuff!

Thanks for the clarification Big Grin

ks

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Charles B





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PostPosted: Thu 12 Feb, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Time for a bit of thread necromancy... Wink

I've just recently become very interested in this hilt design, and I'd be particularly interested in seeing/learning more about the one pictured on the right hand side of this image (so kindly provided above by Mr. Spencer):



Are more images available of this example? I notice the normally "sail"-esque guard is different from most others shown, as is the pommel. Very cool.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Charles B wrote:
Time for a bit of thread necromancy... Wink

...Are more images available of this example? I notice the normally "sail"-esque guard is different from most others shown, as is the pommel. Very cool.




Hey Charles...

Don't have anymore info on this sword.

However, here is a larger picture of it with more hilt detail.

ks



 Attachment: 146.74 KB
SNCL.Olive.Saber.Plain....jpg


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Charles B





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PostPosted: Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome! Thank you very much!

So, given that the attribution of these swords to Sinclair and his Scots of 1612 is inaccurate, who exactly would have used such blades? I've seen them frequently referred to as Germanic in origin, but I'm not sure whether that means they were only popular in that area, or if the use was more widespread throughout Europe. Can anyone provide more insight?
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Kjell Magnusson




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Charles B wrote:
Time for a bit of thread necromancy... Wink

...Are more images available of this example? I notice the normally "sail"-esque guard is different from most others shown, as is the pommel. Very cool.




Hey Charles...

Don't have anymore info on this sword.

However, here is a larger picture of it with more hilt detail.

ks


I notice the word "sammansatt" on the label, meaning composite, so odds are that it's a 19th century assembly.
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Sa'ar Nudel




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So far I've noticed that all these sabers were photo'd from the right, showing only the external side. I wonder if some Sinclairs have thumb rings - Kirk, I'm referring to your pic here, it does look like the one on the right has a thumb ring:


 Attachment: 73.59 KB
SinclairCompareItalianSail.jpg


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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kjell Magnusson wrote:
Kirk Lee Spencer wrote:
Charles B wrote:
Time for a bit of thread necromancy... Wink

...Are more images available of this example? I notice the normally "sail"-esque guard is different from most others shown, as is the pommel. Very cool.




Hey Charles...

Don't have anymore info on this sword.

However, here is a larger picture of it with more hilt detail.

ks


I notice the word "sammansatt" on the label, meaning composite, so odds are that it's a 19th century assembly.



Hey Kjell

Good spot on that one!

It does have that 19th century look to it.

thanks

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
So far I've noticed that all these sabers were photo'd from the right, showing only the external side. I wonder if some Sinclairs have thumb rings - Kirk, I'm referring to your pic here, it does look like the one on the right has a thumb ring:




Hi Sa'ar...

You're right... I do believe it does have a thumb ring. Most of the pictures I have seen are taken from the outboard side. So it is difficult to get a look at the thumb ring. I have a few images that show the inboard side.


ks



 Attachment: 60.7 KB
SNCL.Dome.Falchion.bl79.Heart17th.Mac.jpg


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SNCL.Pyramid.Falchion.jpg
Falchion. Italian 1600 Image by Sean Flynt

 Attachment: 148.83 KB
SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.AMDN.Jz..jpg
Find preserved in Army Museum, Delft Netherlands. Photo by Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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Sa'ar Nudel




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great pics, Kirk, thanks. So, Sinclair sabers did have thumb ring occasionaly. That's an important fact, particularly when we know the thumb ring has became popular across Europe along the 17th c.
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Kirk Lee Spencer




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PostPosted: Fri 20 Mar, 2009 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
...So, Sinclair sabers did have thumb ring occasionaly. That's an important fact, particularly when we know the thumb ring has became popular across Europe along the 17th c.




Hey Sa'ar...

I suspect that thumb rings may have been a relatively common feature of Sinclair hilts...

Here are a few more finds with this feature.

ks



 Attachment: 91.94 KB
SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.Hearts.German.Hearts.Sf.jpg
Photos by Stephen Fisher

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SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.Eljay.jpg
Photos by Ben Sweet

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SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.Hearts.Sf.jpg
Photos by Stephen Fisher

 Attachment: 103.97 KB
SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.HeartsMatrix.jpg


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SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.L95.Plain.1590.HH.jpg
Length 95 cm. Images from Hermann Historica

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SNCL.Pyramid.Saber.LineEngr.HH.jpg
Images from Hermann Historica

 Attachment: 98.2 KB
SNCL.PyramidFlat.Saber.2Lines.HH.jpg
Images from Hermann Historica

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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