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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Help Me With a Type XIV Project         Reply with quote

Beyond this site's feature article on the subject, reviews and related threads, I'm pretty ignorant about Oakeshott Type XIV. It's far out of my main area of interest (1450-1650) but I have an interesting project opportunity on the horizon (I can't help it--it's a sickness). So...

Educate me. What should they feel like? What are your favorite examples (photos, medieval artwork, effigies, etc.)?

I'm especially interested in ideas for grip and cross.

I'm game to do something other than the ubiquitous Albion-style grip with cord-bound leather and multiple risers. That grip type is beautiful and my personal favorite, but emulation is crowding out other historic types. Simpler styles? More elaborate? Different materials? What would you want to see? I might fall back on Old Faithful, but I'm wiling to experiment.

As for the cross--faceted? tapered? both?

I'll post interesting finds from Northern European artwork.

-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: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 11:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A quick review of Austrian artwork from 1250-1450 nets little in the way of Type XIV swords. Lots of Type XIII, then lots of Type XVIII.
-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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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,
That's not surprising. Type XIVs seem to have been more popular in England and France than in Germany. There are examples from France and Italy, and a German examples or two, but this type appears more frequently in artwork in England and France than in Germany or Austria from what I've read.

Happy

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! I thought I might be running into a geographic/cultural dead zone for XIV. So...maybe the Musée de l'Armée, Wallace and RA.
-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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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, I have a few pictures of the Paris swords hilt.
Maybe those help a little.



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Felix! That side view is especially helpful. It reveals that the grip had very thin leather over wood (no cord) and shows the rock crystal pommel inset. Is this the sword Oakeshott describes as having a fabric cross under the crystal? I'll check ROTMS tonight. A beautiful sword....
-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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Scott Kowalski




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,
I am at work right now and do not have access to any of the pics on my home computer. A Type XIV that has caught my eye is the one on the seal of Edward I. It has an atypical non-wheel pommel and guard. I wish I had pictures available now to show you. I am unsure if I have any at home on my computer either for that matter. I have seen an example in one or two books including Osprey's Warrior series book English Knight 1200-1300.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found a drawing of the seal but the sword isn't very clear. I can tell that it's not a wheel pommel, but that's about all.

Also, is that Musee de l'armee sword's grip of rectangular section?

-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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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 3:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am currently doing a bit of research into Type XIVs myself for an article.

You have probably already seen what appear to be Type XIVs in the Maciejowski Bible, because the feature article points to them. This is pretty early for a Type XIV to be around and could probably be argued against, but I'll drop an image in anyway:



The below effigy of Sir Robert de Compton which was identified by Mr. Oakeshott to have Type XIV pommel, grip, and cross - though the blade is missing. This is circa 1320AD and in Hawton All Saints, Notinghamshire, England:


J.E. Sarge
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"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
You have probably already seen what appear to be Type XIVs in the Maciejowski Bible, because the feature article points to them. This is pretty early for a Type XIV to be around and could probably be argued against, but I'll drop an image in anyway:


It's only 20 years or so early. Happy The Maciejowski Bible dates from c. 1250 and Type XIVs were most popular from c. 1270 on.

Happy

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Scott Kowalski




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,
I was able to scan the picture from my recently purchased copy of "The World Encyclopedia of Swords and Sabres." Some nice pictures and I could not beat the price, $5.99 on closeout at Borders. Cool



Scott

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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The cross and pommel on that are very unusual. I like them a lot. IMO, they kind of give a Viking-esque look to it. Good find, Scott. I may use that as influence for some future projects I have in mind.
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Scott Kowalski




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like the look of it as well Josh. Definitely an out of the ordinary look. It is one of many ideas I would like to see in steel and in my possession at some point in time. I never really payed attention to it having a Viking look to it before though. Good catch there yourself Josh.

Scott

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Jun, 2009 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you wanted a XIV to play with MRL had their in the discontinue bin yesterday for $122 (half off).Not sure if its still being run at that kind of discount but I figure at that price, with your ability tweak, it would be had to go wrong.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
If you wanted a XIV to play with MRL had their in the discontinue bin yesterday for $122 (half off).Not sure if its still being run at that kind of discount but I figure at that price, with your ability tweak, it would be had to go wrong.


Thanks, folks! You're on top of the game, Joe. I just PM'ed you about your Windlass "Type IV" because I bit hard on that $122 daily special hook on Monday! Laughing Out Loud (hat tip to Nathan Robinson)

My POB is about 1.25" farther down the blade than the POB listed for your review sword, and I can't figure out how that could be. On other projects I've fussed and fretted over how to budge the POB even .25", and I'm not sure how Windlass could keep the same overall dimensions and proportions for this sword but shift the POB that much. Maybe you'll be able to confirm that yours really is at 2.25". If it is, I would guess that your blade simply has more distal taper. Mine feels very good, mind. In fact, its POB is closer to the 4" of the Albion Yeoman.

I got this blade because I've admired these short medieval swords for many years (especially Albion's Sovreign) but felt that they were too far out of my interest range. The price on this one, good recommendations and potential for upgrade won me over and I'm very pleased with the piece. The thing is, there isn't much to do, project wise! It's tightly assembled. The grip core is firm and of a section corresponding to the Musee de L'Armee sword shown above, though slightly oversized. I'll probably work with the existing grip core, which I haven't done in many years.

So, what's to do? The ends of the cross should be cut at right angles. The grip needs slight refining and a new wrap. Satin finish for the steel. That would do it, but I'd also like to add a peen block. The flush peen is perfectly reasonable and historical, but I think a block adds refinement and contributes to the aesthetic harmony of most swords. So, I need to find at least .25" somewhere. I could take that from the grip and still be within spec for Type XIV swords. I could also just move cross, grip and pommel down, taking a bit of the blade's shoulders. The latter option would lighten the sword slightly and pull the POB back a bit (not much, but probably enough to notice). The latter option is more advanced work, but the very simple former option would make a bigger difference in the looks of the sword. So, this piece would be a great first project for folks testing the waters of sword cutlery. It's good off-the-shelf but easily transformed into something better.

-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 10 Jun, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some interesting images from Austrian artwork of 1300-1330:


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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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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:




Scott


This is awesome. I'd like to see a replica of it made some day...

On the other hand, on my Windlass Type (X)IV, I regripped with a leather over cord oxblood wrap, adding risers. I also inset the pommel with a pair of Arabic coins, added a greyish antique patina, and cut some finials into the cross. You are planning some more extensive modifications, so it will be interesting to see how you work though these!

I like the idea of adding a peen block. I've considered just MIG welding one onto a sword in my father's shop and finishing it to look like a real peen block, without the hassle of taking down the blade at the shoulders and actually doing a real one. I would be very interested in seeing how you do this if you do decide for certian on it. Big Grin






J.E. Sarge
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"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jun, 2009 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
My POB is about 1.25" farther down the blade than the POB listed for your review sword, and I can't figure out how that could be. On other projects I've fussed and fretted over how to budge the POB even .25", and I'm not sure how Windlass could keep the same overall dimensions and proportions for this sword but shift the POB that much. Maybe you'll be able to confirm that yours really is at 2.25". If it is, I would guess that your blade simply has more distal taper. Mine feels very good, mind. In fact, its POB is closer to the 4" of the Albion Yeoman.


Sean, the PoB on my Windlass XIV is also about 4", like yours, but such variations are not outside the possible with Windlass. I have seen the PoB vary as much as 2" on the same model. Not only does the distal taper vary, but even the overall thickness (and thus weight / stiffness) of the blade. If you ever watch their promotional video on how they make their swords its not hard to see how this variation can happen. I tend to avoid the thinner, more flexible ones when I buy them off the rack at Reliks, even if those ones are more lively in the hand (personal preference). Perhaps with Windlass reviews one should really examine half a dozen swords and report means and standard deviations!

I'm not as ambitious or talented as you guys, but some day I plan to set a couple of round pieces of amber in my XIV pommel.

-JD
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Ruel A. Macaraeg





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PostPosted: Mon 15 Jun, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jon, apologies -- don't know how I missed your last email, or why my one to you earlier didn't take. Just wanted to let
you know that your sword below arrived as scheduled, though I only actually retrieved it this past Saturday. You did a great job with it, and I'm sure I'll see it through some good service. Cool

JE Sarge wrote:


This is awesome. I'd like to see a replica of it made some day...

On the other hand, on my Windlass Type (X)IV, I regripped with a leather over cord oxblood wrap, adding risers. I also inset the pommel with a pair of Arabic coins, added a greyish antique patina, and cut some finials into the cross. You are planning some more extensive modifications, so it will be interesting to see how you work though these!

I like the idea of adding a peen block. I've considered just MIG welding one onto a sword in my father's shop and finishing it to look like a real peen block, without the hassle of taking down the blade at the shoulders and actually doing a real one. I would be very interested in seeing how you do this if you do decide for certian on it. Big Grin
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Jun, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was handling the Windlass XIV this weekend and couldn't help myself--I had to see what was under the surprisingly well-don grip. Normally, a Windlass grip comes off without any trouble--usually just sliding off over the tang after removal of the pommel. In this case the tang was peened and I bet that the pommel would slide down, exposing the peen, if I simply broke off the grip. Easier said than done. I laid the grip on my anvil, pressed chisel against it and popped it with a mallet. The chisel sunk halfway through the grip but remained firmly in place. Same treatment on the other side of the grip, with similar effect. In fact, it took multiple blows and serious prying to break off the grip. It was attached with a few large spots of a brittle dark epoxy. Not only that, the grip was of relatively complex and historically plausible section, and well-fitted to the tang.

The cross and pommel also were epoxied, but a couple of hard blows with a rubber mallet had them rattling as per usual. The pommel dropped down the tang roughly .25", where it actually fit tighter and was less prone to turn. This exposed a very robust non-threaded tang end and very thin peen. In this state, the grip is within length spec as described by Oakeshott (a bit over 3.5") and still comfortable in my hand. So, most likely I'll just use a slighly smaller grip as opposed to moving down all the furniture.

-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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