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Rusty Knorr




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 08 Jun 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 10 Aug, 2008 9:49 pm    Post subject: Falchion usage...         Reply with quote

Just curious if the Falchion would be appropriate for the Durer type of fighting. It seems the Falchion comes from the same family and I was wondering if the style of fighting using a Falchion would be similar to the Messer. Also...what type of shield would be appropriate? Thank you for the information...

Respectfully, Rusty Knorr
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The falchion can be used with any single hand sword techniques, so yes, what you see in Albrecht Duerer's illustrations is appropriate. Keep in mind that what he drew wasn't a true fencing manuscript (and much of it seems to be a recreation of earlier manuscripts, redrawn in his contemporary style).

I personally don't view the messer as a true falchion, but rather as a weapon with a similar looking blade that developed independantly from the falchion (that is, it evolved from a simple knife whereas the falchion seems to have evolved from swords). But otherwise there isn't a separate set of techniques to use for a falchion, a messer, and an arming sword.

As for shields, it will depend on what time period you're looking at. But as far as I know, whatever shield would make sense for an arming sword would also make sense for a falchion, assuming it is contemporary to the type of falchion you have. Bucklers would have also been used as well (Hans Talhoffer shows the messer and arming swords as interchangible in his sword and buckler illustrations).

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tend to feel that because of the cutting ability and brute force use of the falchion, I would say at least a medium shield would be in order.
It does not need to be a big shield but if I was to be swing a hefty sword like this one, I'd have a bit of coverage.
A 15" round or better would be my preference. I have seen period art of a knight in Spain using a Falchion with a large heater strapped on his arm. Time line was about 12th Century.

A small 12' buckler I feel would be a bit small and more conducive to a thrusting weapon or a cut and thrust.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Rusty Knorr




Location: Seattle, WA USA
Joined: 08 Jun 2006

Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Fachions I have read about have not been heavy at all. In fact, the Albion Vassal that I am planning on getting weighs less than my Albion Crecy. Granted that is a hand and a half but still, I understand that there is a misconception about the Falchion being a heavy cleaver when in fact it is no heavier than any other sword in that style. I am no expert though!
-Rusty
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rusty Knorr wrote:
The Fachions I have read about have not been heavy at all. In fact, the Albion Vassal that I am planning on getting weighs less than my Albion Crecy. Granted that is a hand and a half but still, I understand that there is a misconception about the Falchion being a heavy cleaver when in fact it is no heavier than any other sword in that style. I am no expert though!
-Rusty


You're absolutely right, Rusty. While some falchions were heavier than others (as is true of all swords), they definately don't usually require brute force any more than any other type of sword.

And they were definatlely sometimes used with bucklers.


Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Gary A. Chelette




Location: Houston, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is true, I have one of the falchions that is represented in that painting. It's not at all heavy and very quick. It depends on the time period and type of falchion you look at.



I guess you have to look at what the falchion was designed for and go from there. Indeed there was small, light falchions but you will also find the bigger ones that can do good damage to plate.


Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:
I guess you have to look at what the falchion was designed for and go from there. Indeed there was small, light falchions but you will also find the bigger ones that can do good damage to plate.


From what I understand, the Conyer's falchion you are showing is not very heavy. The blade might be wide, but that doesn't mean it is thick. But I haven't actually handled that piece, nor have I seen published stats, so I can't say for certain.

But I don't think you'll find much evidence that shows falchions being used to do "good damage to plate". Warhammers and such do a much better job in that department. Falchions make great cutting weapons, and I suspect they were primarily intended for lightly armoured and mail clad opponents. If you look at the swords that are actually designed for plate, they go the opposite direction in design: Narrow thrusting blades meant for going in between the gaps rather than hitting the plate itself. Period fencing masters advised this method as well, as trying to hack through someone's plate armour was not a very efficient use of a blade.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The back of the Conyer's falchion is thick but it tapers to the edge. I did not get to handle it personally but I was able to get a very good look at it a bout a year ago. Looks like a lovely weapon. I agree with Bill its likely not intended for plate but light ly armoured gents.

Here is a nice Falchion kept at the RA in storage though I could not remember if Ian and I spoke about it or not so I do not have any info on it. Needless to say looks like a fairly well built but light single edges sword.

RPM
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Richard Hare




Location: Alberta, canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think a light falchion would make a terrific slicer!

Here is a picture or two of one made by Vladimir Cervenka;

Richard.



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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Aug, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard, that's a wounderful sword. I wander how it handles - weight, balance, "feel" etc. I had a chance to handle one of Del Tin's first Dusscks which is basicaly very similar, it felt too heavy to size and the hilt was narrow for my average+ hand. Fit and finish were superb, though.
I would think also that messer & dussack techniques can both work well with a falchion, as those three weapons are similar in size and sometimes in shape; more to it - the boundries between them are blurry and sometime they overlapp each other, depending period and location.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Rusty Knorr




Location: Seattle, WA USA
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Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri 15 Aug, 2008 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That certainly seems like a thin blade, I bet it is very light and fast. I would worry about it's sturdiness though. It seems like any resistance would fold a blade like that over...

-Rusty
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Werner Stiegler





Joined: 27 Feb 2007

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Fri 15 Aug, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rusty Knorr wrote:
That certainly seems like a thin blade, I bet it is very light and fast. I would worry about it's sturdiness though. It seems like any resistance would fold a blade like that over...
Thrust me, a blade that can be bent like that and return true won't be bend out of shape by anything less than smashing it against a rock over and over again.
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Richard Hare




Location: Alberta, canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2008

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Fri 15 Aug, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar,

I don't have details on this one, but have asked Vlad.
If he sends me further information I will pass it on.
I know he spends a lot of time in museums measuring originals, so it'll most likely be extremely close to one he's seen

I'm not his salesman or anything,(!) but I Do like his work immensly!....that's why I like to show it!

Best wishes,
Richard.
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Richard, this will be great. I've noticed the work of Vladimir myself, they look awsome but of course weight and 'feel' cannot be transfered (yet) via monitors...
Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Richard Hare




Location: Alberta, canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2008

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sat 16 Aug, 2008 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar,

I've not heard back from him yet. He's been on holiday in his lovely Czech countryside, and is maybe trying to catch up on some work.
When I was enquiring about his "Viking " swords, he told me he measured blade thickness, and balance, and tried very hard to make his the same.

All best wishes,

Richard.
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Richard Hare




Location: Alberta, canada
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Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar,

Vladimir got back to me re. the falchion.

He says that he has heard a review might be coming up of this sword here at myArmoury!

Regarding measurements, Vladimir has not got anything specific. He made this sword three years ago and has no recorded details.
He did offer approximate statistics as follows;

Blde length..................700mm
O/all length..................895mm
blade width, @ hilt.....43mm
blade width near tip...50mm
weight...........................1080 grams.

Hope this is of some help!

Richard.
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Doug Lester




Location: Decatur, IL
Joined: 12 Dec 2007

Posts: 167

PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I deffinatly have an interest in European single edged swords. How historically accurate is a falcion with a type one Sinclair hilt (Oakeshott)? I read in "European Weapons and Armour" that there were backswords with this type of hilt. Does the falcion just fall under the heading of backsword? I've seen a reproduction of a falcion with a knuckle guard and a rear quillon. I think that it was labeled a Venetian falcion. Are there any examples of such a guard combined with a forward ring guard supported by branches to support fingering the guard or had falcions fallen out out favor by the time guards became that complex?
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2008 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard: thank a lot. This info sure helps.

Doug: historical Sinclair falchions are in (at least) the Royal Armouries, Leeds. Some examples are depicted in European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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