Mid to Late 13th Century German Knives
I have put together a kit for this fall....a mid to late 13th C German crossbowman. I am all set on everything except for a knife. I am looking at a bigger knife....say 8-10" long blade...about 1 5/8" wide...1/4" thick....small clip point....single edge.

I hesitate to say "bauernwehr" because, by my understanding, this is a much later designation....along with a "trousse".

This will be an actual use tool to field dress and butcher deer.....but still as a "side arm" for my kit....and a dagger does not fit the bill....

Ideas? Pictures?

I think, In your case, a large butcher knife in a period -style scabbard would work. Other than that , Darksword makes a killer-looking messer. :D .............McM
Do you know of Any examples?
I don't think I've seen any sidearms at all in depictions of 13th century crossbowmen. There are a few with swords in the early 14th.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no distinctively "German" knives in the 13th century. Therefore, I would not be concerned about looking for a knife in a German manuscript; any knife will do. Likewise, most blades are shorter than what you describe.

This image from the Maciejowski Bible shows two types of knives common to the mid 13th century: http://www.medievaltymes.com/courtyard/images...tm17vc.gif
Thanks guys!

Would a larg-ish knife of this century have a nagel?
Kenneth B wrote:
Thanks guys!

Would a larg-ish knife of this century have a nagel?

Not that I'm aware of. By the way, I would keep the knife blade at less than 6 inches if I were you. While there may have been larger knives in the 13th century, I would hazard that the majority of tool knives are shorter than this.

Of course, if someone has a book on medieval knives with plenty of evidence to the contrary, I would be happy to stand corrected.
You have got some good advice already.
If you are thinking about a knife and not a dagger, you will probably want a whittle tang type knife: a hidden tang that is secured by glueing and/or riveting of the protruding end.
This type of construction is typical of the 13th century. Full tang knives become popular later or.
The grip can be very simple: a (burl) wood grip with an egg shaped cross section, or oval cross section. Often very little in the way of metal mounts. You can go a little bit fancy and decorate it with carved patterns, simple lines and /or ring dot decoration.
The grip can also be bone.
Stay away from antler. That is something that is popular in reenactment, but is not very common in finds.

I found some images that are earlier than your time frame. I think you can still find them useful as the knives depicted are of a type that would not change dramatically in shape. The size of the knives are exaggerated for dramatic effect, but they are still substantial. Their blades seems to be very similar to such found on some single edged daggers and ballock daggers (of slightly later date): fairly wide at the base 25-30 mm, tapering in width to a good and sturdy point. Such blades are good for both stabbing and cutting. Fro how you describe the use of your knife, I think such a blade would fit the bill.

Simple wood grip, good sturdy blade (thick back, almost flat triangular cross section, thickness retained well down towards the point for a good and strong point, and a nice and sharp edge) some 20 cm long. Simple leather scabbard with a seam down the back. Incised decor on the scabbard, slung from a leather thong that is threaded through slits on the back of the scabbard.

The images below are from a french manuscript from the second quarter of the 13th century, found at Manuscript Miniatures Online: (manuscriptminiatures.com)

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ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisee1225-1249folio37v.jpg

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ONB Han. Cod. 2554 Bible Moralisee1225-1249folio38r.jpg

Another even earlier example from a late 12th C Italian manuscript (also from Manuscript Miniatures Online).
The knives depicted looks a little bit like seaxes, but are more laurel leaf shaped in outline and generally more alike later period whittle tang knives. At least to my eyes.

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BBB Cod. 120.II Liber ad honorem Augusti sive de rebus Siculis1194-1196folio130r.jpg

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