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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 6:19 am    Post subject: Messer & Buckler         Reply with quote

I've never heard of this combination, but it sounds like wicked sparring fun.

The image below is from a German religious painting of the late 15th/early 16th c. Might be meant to depict Near Eastern arms, but most of these paintings stick to known European varieties of the day. I've never seen a messer grip like this one, though.



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-Sean

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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, I've seen knife hilts similar to this one a lot. The European bird's-head grip was very popular well into the 18th century, maybe even the 19th, too. Never seen it in combination with a small buckler before, though. Cool (and yes, I also like the messer/buckler combination idea).
Christopher Gregg

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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sean,

Talhoffer, in at least two manuscripts, shows sword and messer used interchangeably with the buckler. Have a gander at this portion of the 1459 Thott Codex: http://flaez.ch/talhoffer/teil7.html

Best,

CHT

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've seen metal bird heads, especially on later hangers, but not wood. But then, on closer inspection, I see what looks like a pommel plate on this weapon. That makes much more sense to me, as many large knives of the period had a somewhat boot-shaped grip with pommel plate. I think we may be viewing this weapon more from the pommel end rather than in full profile.

The more I think about it the more I like this combo. The close quarters of messer fighting seems to be especially dangerous for the off hand, which I assume is why it's sometimes shown held behind the back. A buckler wouldn't allow extensive grappling, but it might prevent coming to grips in the first place.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hi Sean,

Talhoffer, in at least two manuscripts, shows sword and messer used interchangeably with the buckler. Have a gander at this portion of the 1459 Thott Codex: http://flaez.ch/talhoffer/teil7.html

Best,

CHT


A perfect match for what we see in the painting! Thanks, Christian! I forgot about the other incarnations of Talhoffer.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The messer in the painting reminds me of nothing so much as a Khyber knife, which I love in spite of my arms & armour Euro-centrism. Big Grin


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
The messer in the painting reminds me of nothing so much as a Khyber knife, which I love in spite of my arms & armour Euro-centrism. Big Grin


Sort of reminds me of a German rugger or bauernwehr/hauswehr, in a way...

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Sep, 2008 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremiah Swanger wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
The messer in the painting reminds me of nothing so much as a Khyber knife, which I love in spite of my arms & armour Euro-centrism. Big Grin


Sort of reminds me of a German rugger or bauernwehr/hauswehr, in a way...


Yes, it is very rugger-ish--like the love child of a rugger and one these medium-size messer.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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