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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Spadroon time!         Reply with quote

Well it looks like I am not going to be able to get the late 17th cen. dutch/english rapier (Alas!!) I was hoping that would fulfill my desires for a pre 18th century piece, but I will try to console myself with my model 1796 spadroon. It can be a companion to my 1786 model. Here are some pics. Thanks to everyone for their input on the rapier. I appreciated it!


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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been wondering about the spadroon. From what I hear it's a cut and thrust sword, but they look awfully light to be cutters. Do they actually pack any bite, so to speak?
The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Tue 01 Apr, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well the fact that they are a single edge weapon gives them a little more bite to exposed flesh and hard points like elbows and temples. A draw/push cut to a lightly clad opponent would do damage but really its much better for thrusting. On the whole I think it makes a superb civilian weapon. Light enough for fencing techniques but just enough heft to help out against moderately heavier weapons, say a rapier style weapon as a matter of fact. And because its single edged its got a good amount of stiffness for the thrust. However it was unpopular on the battlefield. Not a melee weapon. More the last vestige of monarchial 18th century authority before everyone moved to sabres.
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Chuck Wyatt





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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since we are on the subject somewhat: How much difference is there to Spadroon techniques compared to Small sword?
It seems to be exact with the addition of some cuts .
BTW: nice consolation for the rapier.

Cheers,

Chuck
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations, Morgan. I am not familiar with the spadroon’s effectiveness as a dueling weapon, but the 1796 infantry officer’s sword was not a well-liked weapon based on the limited accounts of its use as a battlefield weapon. One officer described it as “the perfect encumbrance”. David Critchley addresses this in his article at SFI.

Jonathan
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the few examples of "Spadroon Technique" that I've seen are very much like smallsword except with a hanging guard added.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Wyatt wrote:
Since we are on the subject somewhat: How much difference is there to Spadroon techniques compared to Small sword?
It seems to be exact with the addition of some cuts .
BTW: nice consolation for the rapier.

Cheers,

Chuck


I'm not an expert on the style, but I know there is a lot of cross-over. Certain fencing masters required a student to master the smallsword first, as it taught all the subtlties which could be directly applied to the cutting sword.

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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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have also read that the Spadroon (which is said to have german origins) Is the precursor to the italian duelling sabre and ipso-facto the modern fencing sabre.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have found this and other pages useful in understanding some of the overlap in tachniques taught in the 18th century
(Hopefully that links takes. lots of 20% stuff)

http://www.cateransociety.com/A%20Brief%20His...rdplay.htm

Mcbane, Page, Hope, etc. All seem to have taken diffrences of various arms into some consideration, even if a lot remained the same.

Cheers

GC
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Morgan Butler wrote:
Well the fact that they are a single edge weapon gives them a little more bite to exposed flesh and hard points like elbows and temples. A draw/push cut to a lightly clad opponent would do damage but really its much better for thrusting. On the whole I think it makes a superb civilian weapon. Light enough for fencing techniques but just enough heft to help out against moderately heavier weapons, say a rapier style weapon as a matter of fact. And because its single edged its got a good amount of stiffness for the thrust. However it was unpopular on the battlefield. Not a melee weapon. More the last vestige of monarchial 18th century authority before everyone moved to sabres.


Interesting.

When I first heard about it I drew some parallels to the lighter type of Chinese Jian. Is that a sensible comparison or am I completely off?

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not really familiar with jian technique so I really couldnt say. You would have tell me more. Here is something I found about spadroon technique that I found in Egarton Castle's book "Schools and Masters of Fence."

"Thrusts in carte, low carte, tierce, and seconde, were also practised, but
were never much in favour in broadsword play.
With the spadroon, however — the light, straight, flat-bladed sword used
for cut and thrust after the German rapier fashion — the play was in the
main rather thrusting than cutting, cuts when delivered as attacks being pushed
forward like thrusts, and when as reposts, either with a flip, cutting over the
point, or with a drawing action in resuming the guard.
Most of the attacks and parries belonging to the small sword were
used with the spadroon, excepting circular ones ; simple ones performed
with a proper opposition being equally effective against both cut and thrust, whereas circular parries can only be of use against the point."

Sounds like a good comparison would be the Transitional Rapier. (Always a favorite of mine.)

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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not fond of spadroons at all, but I rather like this one-of-a-kind combination of a standard pattern hilt with a broadsword blade.


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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thats Awesome! I have looked for an earlier period spadroon, with a broadsword blade or Heirloom rapier blade. But whenever I find them I'm always outbid or they are already too fabulously expensive.
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is an interesting blade to see on a classic Prussian hilt used throughout the 19th century. I am quite drawn to some of the multifullered infantry swords of the latter 19th century and beyond, such as this French hilted example. There were also broader bladed smallsword hilted examples and what get included as spadroon hilts fitted with broadsword blades.
Then also not to forget the other infantry broadswords of the 19th century and spadroons of very similar form.

Cheers

GC



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French hilted muti-fullered broadsword of late 19th century characteristic.

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Military weight smallsword circa 1750 blade length 33"

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Spadroon hilted broadsword
late 1700s


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American infantry broadsword 1830s + -

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American spadroon, militia period [ Download ]
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Wed 02 Apr, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Morgan Butler wrote:
I am not really familiar with jian technique so I really couldnt say. You would have tell me more.

Sounds like a good comparison would be the Transitional Rapier. (Always a favorite of mine.)


Well, I don't know much about Jian technique either, but I've been told it's supposed to have a lot of similarities with rapier fencing. Only, it's a cutter as well as a thruster, and the standard length for a jian seems closer to the standard length of a spadroon. Hence why I thought they might be similar.

The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to be picky... Happy

I would not consider the Prussian sword to be a spadroon, but a broadsword. IMO, a spdroon is more of a blade type that a hilt type: ~1" wide at the ricasso, single edged straight blade (most of the time, but not always Wink ).

Jonathan
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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
That is an interesting blade to see on a classic Prussian hilt used throughout the 19th century.
It's not a prussian model. It's an austrian infantry officer's spadroon with a blade simmilar to the ones found on the swords of the Akademische Legionen.
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Morgan Butler




PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2008 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I always seem to find the most attractive Spadroons to be American. There is a group called The American Historical Fighting Arts Association that has photos and articles about sparring/fighting with Spadroons but the website is "forbidden" for some reason. Its the Forbidden Spadroon Site! I'm sure they have some very interesting info. If anyone else can get on it let me know.


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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I have also read that the Spadroon (which is said to have german origins) Is the precursor to the italian duelling sabre and ipso-facto the modern fencing sabre.


Hmmm...... That is interesting, I have heard that modern foil fencing is based off of the Small sword. If what you are saying and what I am saying are both true than Small sword technique and Spadroon technique would be very similar indeed!!! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
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Tim Harris
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PostPosted: Thu 03 Apr, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to add to what's been posted so far:

I've been engaged in a bit of ongoing study of spadroon play of McBane's period (late 17th/early 18th cent). From my experience so far, spadroon style falls somewhere between smallsword and 18th century backsword.

I think a case can be made for the spadroon McBane and Hope would have recognized (known at least in Scotland as a shearing or sheering sword) differing from the later weapons illustrated in this thread. Hilt styles vary, but the blades seem to be flatter and broader. Paul Wagner has identified some examples in the National Museum of Scotland - see "Highland Swordsmanship" and "Highland Broadsword". Later examples seem to me to be closer to military-weight smallswords.

Using an approximate reproduction, I've found the earlier spadroon effective. Light enough to be able to hold its own against a smallsword, and sturdy enough to deal with a broadsword.
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