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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Tue 24 May, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject: Photos from "The Sword - Uses, Myths and Symbols"         Reply with quote

As many know, The Museé de Cluny (The French National Museum of the Middle Ages) is hosting a special exhibition on the sword this summer, from April 28 to September 26, 2011.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

I was just in London for 4 weeks for an independent study course, and while I was there I was lucky enough to snag some train tickets to Paris one weekend to check out the swordly goodness. I took a bunch of pictures there (though I'm no photographer) and thought I'd share them here. Laughing Out Loud

I really enjoyed the exhibition. It wasn't enormous, and I don't think there's a lot of information there that fans of the sword aren't already familiar with, but the simple opportunity to look at such nice antique pieces up close and in person was absolutely extraordinary. For an entree fee of €8.00 it's more than worth it to check it out if you are nearby this summer.

Anyway, here's pictures!




The hallway towards the exhibition


The main room and display cases:



And now for some swords!






A highly corroded but beautifully crafted Venetian sword:


Shot of a lovely blade inlay; I can't seem to find an image of the hilt, though Blush


A wall display of Oakeshott's typology. With some example swords nearby.





************************
That's all for now. I have quite a few more photos, so I'll update this thread soon!
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Tim Lison




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PostPosted: Tue 24 May, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gorgeous! Thanks for posting these! If you have any more of the brazil nut with inlay, I would be grateful to see them. Especially a full length shot with the blade! Oh, and the viking sword witht the checkerboard inlay. A full length shot of that would be great. Keep them coming!

Last edited by Tim Lison on Tue 24 May, 2011 9:45 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Paul Watson




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PostPosted: Tue 24 May, 2011 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the other end of the world, thank you very much to all who post museum photographs of swords and armour. We have no such examples as our history here is much briefer. It is likely that if I do get to see such displays in person it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting these Zach!

This is something I definitely can't afford to miss...

J

edit: It's the first time I've seen the Oakeshott typology used and displayed in a Museum...this is a step in the right direction for sure (I was amazed while chating with a couple of professionnal antique arms and armor dealers in Paris some years ago that they never heard of it).
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I saw the exhibit last week. The designers mention Oakeshott and Peterson typologies in the displays. Of particular interest to me was the display of blunt training & "schule" fencing swords with the Liberi Florius MS and a Liechtenauer tradition MS I am unfamiliar with. You don't see that stuff in other museum displays!

A visit to the Cluny is a very full day.... Its a lot bigger inside than it looks from the outside.
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Zach, much appreciated.

I too am surprised (and happy) to see a museum using Oakeshott's typology.

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William Frisbee




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice posts and images. Thanks for the effort.
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Julien M




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 7:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Thanks Zach, much appreciated.

I too am surprised (and happy) to see a museum using Oakeshott's typology.


Yes, the prospect of sharing a common analytical frame with the accademics of the field & museum curators is encouraging indeed Happy
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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julien M wrote:
Michael Edelson wrote:
Thanks Zach, much appreciated.

I too am surprised (and happy) to see a museum using Oakeshott's typology.


Yes, the prospect of sharing a common analytical frame with the accademics of the field & museum curators is encouraging indeed Happy


I dunno, I'm going to miss the days when I could be all smug in a museum and rant about those ignorant curators. Happy

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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the response, guys! Happy to share. I figured people on the forums would appreciate the photos more than most.

@Tim, my apologies for not having full-length pics of the checked viking or brazil nut. There were some beastly reflections off the glass that day on several of the cases, which are easier to block out on the close-ups. I probably deleted the attempts at full-length because they didn't show up. My memory is probably not the best source, but I believe the viking had a blade along the lines of a Geibig type 3, pretty corroded, and the Brazil was similar to the blade near the end of my first post, but wider.
On a more general note, I tried to get the best pics I could with my little point-and-shoot but often things came out blurry because of the longer exposures where flash is banned. So if there are obvious gaps in the coverage it's usually from one or both of those factors.


I, too, was pleasantly surprised to see Oakeshott's typology mentioned. Haven't come across that before in a museum.

@Kel, the training display was one of my favorites as well. Got a couple pictures of that coming up.

Onward to more snapshots, 15 at a time! Big Grin

More from the typology area, where the swords were sort of suspended in mid-air:



(Loved that last one, wrote down that it's from the Swiss National Museum in Zurich.)

Here's a rather elaborate boar sword, basically a lugged spear mounted in a sword hilt!




A skull showing evidence of sword blows to the head:



Ah yes, the Suontaka sword. The close-ups are blurry, but they show some of the hilt shapes better. The hilt is canted because the blade is severely bent, tip indistinguishable. Worried Which I ought to have a picture of, but cant find.






Some fighting texts in the display Kel mentioned. Liechtenauer and Fiore. The open pages of the first fechtbuch clearly show blunt trainers being used, so they had examples over head.



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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't recognize that fechtbuch offhand. It is reminiscent of several that I know, but I don't recognize it specifically.

Does anyone know what it is?

Edit: Nevermind, it's Gladiatoria CL23842. I knew I had seen it before.

Ottawa Swordplay
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William Frisbee




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its a bloody shame we don't have older European swords in the same condition as some of the older Japanese blades... I'd love to be able to see the detail on the surface of the steel and edge...
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Frisbee wrote:
Its a bloody shame we don't have older European swords in the same condition as some of the older Japanese blades... I'd love to be able to see the detail on the surface of the steel and edge...


Oh, there's a couple. I've got a few shots coming up. Wink
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now for some of the big-hitters. First, the star of the show---the 15th century longsword that calls the Cluny home. It was displayed above the fight books, presumably as an example of the best kind of tool to use for the task. I wouldn't disagree.






Phenomenal Sword. And over in the giftshop, they had a familiar face from a familiar manufacturer. Wink The recently debuted Albion Museum Line Cluny Sword. Couldn't get a full length shot, so I stitched one together from several close-ups.





I was making a fuss over the sword in the display case, and one of the workers at the shop came over to ask if I needed anything. I made vague gestures with my camera at the sword (as I don't speak a word of French, nor he a word of English) as if to say, "Oh, I'm just taking some pictures." Imagine my surprise when he marched over to grab some keys, unlocked the door and HANDED ME THE BOX. Eek! I was flabbergasted.
I barely remember taking these next two photos, so focused was I on looking at the sword up close. The details were beautiful and crisp, the imprinted grip lines deeper than I'd seen before. The grip is just long enough for two hands and very thin. It looks to be a viciously fast sword, and I love the restored full "rain guard," rather than the flaps now present on the antique sword after the first rainguard was removed.


(There was a bit of dust--I think sawdust--on the blade, that's what's visible in the second picture, not staining of any kind)
Were I in a bolder mood I might have tried to sign my way into getting the box open so I could dry-handle the sword, but that seemed to be a bit much at the time, as I had no intentions of buying the piece. Or worse, if I had gotten my hands on it I might not have been able to leave without it, and my bank would probably lock my account if a sudden €2600 charge appeared on my statement! Laughing Out Loud
At any rate, the recreation does justice to the original. Magnificent stuff.

Also present was the sword of Svante Nilsson Sture. The glare was unbearable in this area, so only these two shots came out:



The Sword of St. Maurice of Turin. In astoundingly good condition for a sword from the 13th century. Glare is again my enemy, but I tried to get some shots that show how well preserved the weapon is.


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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Shackleton wrote:
I don't recognize that fechtbuch offhand. It is reminiscent of several that I know, but I don't recognize it specifically.

Does anyone know what it is?

Edit: Nevermind, it's Gladiatoria CL23842. I knew I had seen it before.


Yes, and the one above it is MS 862, from circa 1500.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Craig Shackleton wrote:
I don't recognize that fechtbuch offhand. It is reminiscent of several that I know, but I don't recognize it specifically.

Does anyone know what it is?

Edit: Nevermind, it's Gladiatoria CL23842. I knew I had seen it before.


Yes, and the one above it is MS 862, from circa 1500.

Hmm, I was speaking of the upper one, my resources call it CL23842 (and I agree with the date). The lower one is Fiore's "Florius" from the 1410s. My Fiorist friends would be offended if I called Florius a "fechtbuch." Wink

Ottawa Swordplay
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, guys. I would have no clue, as all the information cards were in French! Big Grin

************************************************************************

Here are some shots of the Turin Scabbard that also show the edge of the sword and the engraved marks in the fuller in more detail. Note the stitching along the edge, rather than up the back, and the fact that the scabbard seems to have been made of untreated calfskin.


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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More photos!



The ridged type XVIII they use for all the promo material. The blade is surprisingly long, and I couldn't fit it all in one frame without obscuring reflections appearing, so I settled for some more detailed shots of the hilt and blade embellishment.




Charlemagne (attributed) I always thought this was a rather odd-looking sword, but it's in impressive condition.



Some more bits and bobs.


A nice Russian piece




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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sword of King John II of Castile.


Some execution "Sword of Justice"


With the characteristic square tip


A more battlefield-friendly spatulate cutting sword. Never been my favorite type of blade, but I was very impressed by the distal taper and clean, no-nosense lines of this piece.


A nice hand-and-a-half sword:





They had a nice little video at the end of the exhibit dispelling some myths about armor: they showed people in full plate climbing ladders, doing somersaults, sparring and grappling. I believe there are also sometimes live demonstrations of historical swordsmanship during weekends, but I did not witness that bit.
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Wed 25 May, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Zach
Thanks for posting your pics. they`re pretty cool! I suddenly have the urge to go to France:-)
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