My Germanic basket-hilt from E.B. Erickson
Sometime last year I talked with E.B. Erickson regarding a few antiques that I found interesting. I was looking for a custom maker to base a reproduction sword on them and ElJay was interested in the project.

As many of you know, I tend to be interested in many of the unusual swords that history has brought us. There are so many varieties of hilts and weapons that have really not seen much popularity in the world of reproductions. Many of these types are exactly what I want to be able to study in 3-dimensions, being able to handle them and study why they have developed in the way they did. Often, having a reproduction made is the only feasible way of doing this, as antiques are very expensive to purchase and museums generally do not allow a lot of handling of their items.

For the first project with ElJay, we decided on a very odd "continental" basket-hilt pattern. We used two swords as inspiration, one from ElJay's own antique collection, and the other described below. This hilt type appears to have very similar design characteristics to the schiavona type of sword. The complex basket is all attached at the cross-guard and knuckle-bow only, just like the schiavona.

This particular Germanic example, circa 1570, exists in the Museum of Border Arms and Armour, Teviotdale, Scotland:

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As you can see, this hilt has a very similar pyramidal type of pommel as many dussacks, Germanic basket-hilts, and even the "Sinclair" hilt type of weapon. As mentioned above, the diagonal nature of attachment of the "bars" of the guard is reminiscent of the schiavona. Itís likely that this type of hilt saw use in the Scottish/English border areas, as the antique's home in the Museum of Border Arms and Armor would suggest. Many schiavone also saw use in this area, calling to my interest in border reiver type of things.

I received the sword today from ElJay, only a short time after he started it. Here are some photos of it:

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ElJay's creation is 37" long with a 32" long blade. It weighs around 2.3 pounds and handles wonderfully. To say I'm thrilled with this sword would be an understatement. It's a highly unusual piece to replicate and I'm excited to own it.

More photos and complete stats will appear on a future myArmoury.com weekly update. Stay tuned.
Hey Nathan,

Congratulations-- you do well at choosing the unique ones and that is an absolute stunner! I look forward to seeing the next update and hearing more about it.

Hat's off to ElJay for a great job, too.

David
And here are some photos of a similar sword ElJay has in his own collection:

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This type of basket has subtleties of form that are very difficult to capture photographically. As such, they require many photos to really show the volume and shape. Here's a few more:


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:eek: My God, Nathan! Thats beautiful!
Beauty! Makes me more and more excited for my upcoming S-Hilt from him! :D
You're really building up a nice collection of interesting compound hilts Nathan. It looks like you have another beauty to add to the collection.
OOOO.....AAAAAAH....slobber,slobber,drool,drool...................... :eek:

Nathan,dude, that's one hell of a beauty. Keep the photos coming,
can't get enough eye candy of this one. BIG 'OL CONGRATS to ya'
and "I'm not worthy,I'm not worthy" bows to Eljay for another fantastic job.
I'll get to see him tomorrow at a get together at Dave White's home,so I'll
pick his brain pan on this.


Cheers & enjoy the new addition.. :cool:

William
aka Bill
Beautiful! I've admired that one since first seeing it in the Osprey Border Reivers book. Just missed a chance to see it in person. Congratulations on a wonderful new piece!
Cool! I was thinking about a similar basket hilt for a future custom order....looks great Nathan!
gorgeous sword! I notice the handle looks a lot thicker than either of the two antiques. Is that a trick of the eye or is it bigger?

-v
My jealously knows no limits. As an artist and a sculptor I can appreciate this on mulitple levels.
Vincent Labolito wrote:
gorgeous sword! I notice the handle looks a lot thicker than either of the two antiques. Is that a trick of the eye or is it bigger?

The grip is definitely bigger than both antiques. It ended up being larger than ElJay wanted to make it, too. He's offered to re-do it for me, but frankly, it feels excellent in the hand and I'm inclined to keep it as it is. Authentic continental basket-hilts are often crudely executed and odd looking, so the over-sized grip actually adds to the look of the reproduction, in my opinion.
Patrick Kelly wrote:
You're really building up a nice collection of interesting compound hilts Nathan. It looks like you have another beauty to add to the collection.


Yep, Patrick, that would seem to be where I'm heading. I guess I'm turning into the "continental" version of Thomas McDonald, the British basket-hilt king!
Wow, Nathan! That is one outstanding piece!! I went back and studied your other Shiavona; I think I have a new favorite
here. I'd love to see a picture of this 'in hand'. Hope it brings you a lot of pleasure. It's certainly one I wouldn't get tired of
looking at anytime soon.

Mark
Over the past couple years I've seen several samples of Eljay's work up close and several more not so up close. It looks like he continues to press himself to raise the bar as time passes and the results show.
Hi Nathan,

The more I look at it the more I like it. I like ElJay's "makers mark," a nice touch. I think we need to see a picture of all of your fine basket-hilts side by side. ;)


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Hi Nathan

What a wonderful piece ..... a very interesting basket-hilt indeed !

I'd be tempted to do a little engraved decoration to the guards just to fancy them up a hair !

Congrats on another great piece , Nathan !

Nice work, EB ! Mac

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