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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject: The Italian Job         Reply with quote

I have a project in mind that I'm not sure will fly. Maybe y'all can help me decide. The blade would be the Hanwei-Tinker longsword blade--long and relatively broad at the cross but light and with a very strong taper, fuller and needle point. I'd cut down the tang to single-hand proportions, add a simple recurved cross, leather-bound grip and large globular pommel. I'd also need to eliminate the slight flare at the top of the blade, which is just as well because this blade is very sharp from tip to tang, and it would need a few dull inches below the cross.

The idea is to make something approaching those interesting Italian swords/rapiers of ca. 1550. Two problems--I can't find many (any?) antiques of this type and I'm not sure where the POB should be. Initial experiments suggest I'd get a POB of around 4" if I proceed as described above. That seems reasonable for a more typical single-hand sword, but what about for this application? Anglo reports that one Italian master recommended a POB of four fingers below the cross (3"-4", depending on the hand). Any thoughts are appreciated.

PS: If we've learned nothing else in 500 years, I hope we have learned NEVER to fight geometry naked.



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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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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: The Italian Job         Reply with quote

My initial impression is that even with the flare removed the blade will be too wide for the type, specifically it will preclude fingering the quillon which can be seen on both illustrations. Depending on the tang configuration you could try to turn a portion of it into a ricasso?

If you're looking for inspiration perhaps the stats of A&A Milanese rapier would be of interest. There are also measurements of 17 antiques of this period in Ken Mondschein's new Agrippa translation, but I'm not sure it's OK to share these... And the book is cheap Happy As a rule I'd say 4in PoB is a more typical minimum, and there are examples with a PoB even further down. In absolute terms it may seem big, but bear in mind that most of those single-handers actually have longer blades than your Tinker longsword. The longest has a full 45in...

Of course there is more to balance than PoB but don't get me started on that Happy

Regards,

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very helpful, Vincent! Thanks! Yes, the width does concern me, although I can comfortably use a finger over the cross of this very rough clay "sketch". The grip shown here might be too small, but the blade is ~1.75" as-is. I haven't yet figured how much width would be shed by eliminating the flare--maybe .25" on each side. So, maybe a final max width of 1.50, which is still about .25" broader than A&A's Milanese rapier. I need to check out Mondschein's book.

It's very interesting to hear that 4" would be at the low end of the POB. As you point out, there are other factors to consider there, including blade length, but that's an eye-opener for me.

-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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D. Besnier





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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi sean

If you search on this site (the best for me) the topic "Examples from the Musée de l'Armée Paris", I think there are some swords that seems to match what you seek! One in particular on the first page which is the third to the left from a claymore. I hope it can help you!

Dan
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Besnier wrote:
Hi sean

If you search on this site (the best for me) the topic "Examples from the Musée de l'Armée Paris", I think there are some swords that seems to match what you seek! One in particular on the first page which is the third to the left from a claymore. I hope it can help you!

Dan


I think Dan means the one in this pic:


The swords in this next pic might also help:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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D. Besnier





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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More pictures of it !


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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: The Italian Job         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
I have a project in mind that I'm not sure will fly. Maybe y'all can help me decide. The blade would be the Hanwei-Tinker longsword blade--long and relatively broad at the cross but light and with a very strong taper, fuller and needle point. I'd cut down the tang to single-hand proportions, add a simple recurved cross, leather-bound grip and large globular pommel. I'd also need to eliminate the slight flare at the top of the blade, which is just as well because this blade is very sharp from tip to tang, and it would need a few dull inches below the cross.


The blade, maybe a little less wide near the guard?

Your blade so, is similar to another sword. The famous "Lupa" (she-wolf" of Brescia.) (different period)
Will I see her everywhere. In love with her. We are made one for the other.
Stuff to be examined by a psychologist. Razz Big Grin Cool



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Ciao
Maurizio
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're not crazy, Maurizio! Although the H-T blade doesn't have the unusual geometry of the Brescia blade, it is a light, fullered, acutely tapered longsword blade probably best suited to civilian dueling. As far as I can tell, that corresponds to the Brescia sword as well as one in the Royal Armouries with a scent-stopper pommel. If I don't make one of these single-hand Italian swords I'm planning to use the blade for a sword similar to one of those. I think it's very interesting that the culture that gave us that Brescia sword later gave us the acutely tapered single-hand swords and their new systems of fighting.
-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: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the photo tips, Dan and Greg! I'd take every sword in that case. The one y'all are noticing is too complex for my meager skills but it is beautiful.
-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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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

Another sword that might be worth considering is A&A's Saxon Military Sword: http://www.arms-n-armor.com/view.html?sword135a.jpg . Maybe it might be worth contacting Craig to find out how much the blade by itself would cost?
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just remembered another photo I had of a pair of swords that might help shape your image for this project.


For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg, that one you posted looks a lot like (if not identical to) one re-created by Peter Johnsson for the Royal Armoury in Stockholm. Do you know where it is located....perhaps it is the original?

Thanks,
Dan
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm.

This case was unmarked and in the children's section--which at first made me think these were not authentic but replicas or something--of the Royal Armoury in Stockholm. So I suppose this is either the original or Peter's recreation.

Greg Coffman

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sword is mine *and* it is the original (they are one and the same) Happy
I was asked to make a sword for the Royal Armouries to use for their knighting of children during various festivals and open house events.
The theme of the project was the romance of the knightly ideals of the early 17th C. There were tourneys and festivities celebrating ancient/medieval times at that time.
There are swords surviving from this period that show a romantic mix of old elements with the contemporary. I think the illustrations that have inspired Sean Flynt´s project is an expression of the same thing: not necessarily depicting specific or popular sword types, but drawing Swords with an archetypical or classic flavor. A way to build a credibility of having support from ancient times, or re establishing old arts. That is the spirit of the renaissance after all...
I presented half a dozen different suggestions to a design that would be in this spirit: a sword of the early 17th C that would celebrate the ideals of older times. This design was the favorite and it was fun to make.

I have seen some swords that were made like this. There is one in the Wallace collection that is a very god example. It looks like a very big left hand dagger. An italian blade. I shall see if I can dig out the catalogue number. It is not depicted in the printed catalogue. I do not know how much they have advanced with internet publishing of the new photos of all th objects in the collection?

It is fun seeing my old sword. It must now be ten years old or more.
It starts to look almost genuine! Razz

On the left is A&A´s replica of the rapier of Gustav Wasa.
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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Sun 07 Mar, 2010 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

LOL. Really small world.

My regret in seeing Stockholm was that the Stockholm Medieval Museum was closed.

Greg Coffman

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Mar, 2010 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A detail from Carpaccio, ca. 1500. Note sword length and acutely tapering profile.


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Greg Coffman




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PostPosted: Fri 12 Mar, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
A detail from Carpaccio, ca. 1500. Note sword length and acutely tapering profile.


Isn't that earlier than you intend?

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Mar, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A bit, but it helps to see an antecedent, get some idea how the type might have developed...
-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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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Mar, 2010 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
A detail from Carpaccio, ca. 1500. Note sword length and acutely tapering profile.



Sean, I have seen Italian painitngs from the same period depicting swords with böades just like that and hilts of the same type I used for Albion´s "Machiavelli". A few even with knuckle bow as well. I am not sure I saw one with just a single front ring over the cross.

The type does exist, naturally.
Norman, in his "The Rapier and the Small-sword" gives this type # 10. and dates it to 1510 to 1650.
He says:
"In most areas of Europe the side ring is oval, but in German lands, however, and in areas under German influence, such as Scandinavia, each end of the ring, which is roughly U-shaped, turns outwards towards the ends of the quillon and is often decorated with a simple but effective dragon head.
...
The first illustration I know of a side-ring mounted on the quillons without other guards is the engraving by Daniel Hopfer, believed to be f Kondrad von der Rosen about 1515.
...."
And he goes on mentionng other diepictions in art.

He also mentions some surviving swords with hilt of this type, but they are not common. The swords mentioned are of rather prestigious use.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Mar, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahh, Norman....One of the few books I've never been able to find for a reasonable price. I need to just track it down in a U.S. library so I can at least borrow it. Many thanks for the notes, Peter. It's becoming clear that I don't really have the goods to do something authentic with this project. I do think I could make a very attractive "fantasy" piece, though. Might be fun to work without boundaries. Happy
-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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