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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Tuck to Hanger? Reply to topic
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Dan M.




Location: IL
Joined: 26 Aug 2020

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar, 2021 10:10 pm    Post subject: Tuck to Hanger?         Reply with quote

As I understand it, the main infantry sword for much of the 16th and 17th centuries in Western Europe was the tuck or estoc, only able to thrust, while infantry in the 18th century mostly carried 'hangers' with broad, curved cutting blades. When did this transition occur, and what were the ancestors of the hanger?
War without fire is as worthless as sausages without mustard.
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George B




Location: England
Joined: 06 Dec 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 24 Mar, 2021 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was trying to look into this myself, trying to figure out what a "tuck" of the English Civil War pike man looked like, and what I found was that hangers were used in the 1600's and used as sidearms by infantry, but never found an example of the thrusting tuck, which I'd like to see.

I'd imagine from this that they were contemporary and the tuck was slowly abandoned over time, but that just an assumption from light reading.
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I could be totally wrong on this but I think the word tuck, when used in the context of a 16th or 17th century infantry sword, was just another term for a hanger. The confusion lies in the fact that an estoc was also sometimes called a tuck.
Éirinn go Brách
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George B




Location: England
Joined: 06 Dec 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Curtin wrote:
I could be totally wrong on this but I think the word tuck, when used in the context of a 16th or 17th century infantry sword, was just another term for a hanger. The confusion lies in the fact that an estoc was also sometimes called a tuck.


I'm pretty sure this is the case, searching online museum archives, you can find a few examples of things called a "tuck" that are thrusting swords of the period, but sometimes swords attributed to pikemen are just hangars, or even broad or backswords, but most are simply called "sword", rather than being given a specific name, which I guess is to be expected.

They were all used at the same time, and probably all called a tuck by the fact they were being used by infantry.

Some examples of some of the stuff I found in a brief search, only one sword being called a tuck in the Royal Armouries isn't particularly helpful, but it fits the bill of what the is supposed to mean exactly, I'd love to see some more examples specifically referred to as a "tuck"

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=1964-08-34-5

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=1974-10-197-1

https://collections.royalarmouries.org/object/rac-object-6993.html
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,487

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

why were tuck estocs even called tucks anyways?

was it due to the aspect of estocs being 'tucked' under the arm as a backup lance?
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
why were tuck estocs even called tucks anyways?

was it due to the aspect of estocs being 'tucked' under the arm as a backup lance?


According to the OED, just an anglicization of the French estoc (which in Norman French was apparently etoc)

Tuck in the sense of "tuck under the arm" isn't recorded until later than the sword, apparently. The tailoring term is earlier though.

Anthony Clipsom
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,943

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 8:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Deepeeka has a pre "hanger" tuck
http://deepeeka.in/english-tuck-sword.html

The short straight blades were favored by the French until the briquet sabres with cast grips. Both double and single edge.

The US made good use of short backsword blades with nco swords from both Rose and Starr from the early 19th century until the 1820s and beyond.

Cheers
GC



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Sabre Troupes Marine

Half hilt


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Starr 1818

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Rose brief [ Download ]
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George B




Location: England
Joined: 06 Dec 2017

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Deepeeka has a pre "hanger" tuck
http://deepeeka.in/english-tuck-sword.html

The short straight blades were favored by the French until the briquet sabres with cast grips. Both double and single edge.

The US made good use of short backsword blades with nco swords from both Rose and Starr from the early 19th century until the 1820s and beyond.

Cheers
GC


That Deepeeka doesn't look particularly great, and isn't something anyone should base any knowledge off of.

I think things like the smallsword/spadroon and shorter backswords in later use are at least adjacent to the tuck or the hanger if not directly related, but it's a good point that smaller thrusting swords never really went out of use with the infantry.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,943

PostPosted: Thu 25 Mar, 2021 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George B wrote:
Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Deepeeka has a pre "hanger" tuck
http://deepeeka.in/english-tuck-sword.html

The short straight blades were favored by the French until the briquet sabres with cast grips. Both double and single edge.

The US made good use of short backsword blades with nco swords from both Rose and Starr from the early 19th century until the 1820s and beyond.

Cheers
GC


That Deepeeka doesn't look particularly great, and isn't something anyone should base any knowledge off of.

I think things like the smallsword/spadroon and shorter backswords in later use are at least adjacent to the tuck or the hanger if not directly related, but it's a good point that smaller thrusting swords never really went out of use with the infantry.


There is a review on Kult of Athena and the Mayflower Militia seems impressed. I know English retailers carry the sword. It is a Deepeeka after all though. I find the form plausible, without looking for the true counterpart. SKU: AH3422

Capt J. – June 1, 2018 (five stars)
Mayflower Militia Sword The English Half-Basket Hanger is the perfect sword for the an armed musketeer that were part of the militia of the Pilgrims that land in 1620. As commander of the Mayflower Guard I recommend this item for Pilgrim militia living history particiapnts.


I've watched the Deepeka for years and it would currently be $123 usd (including tax) from KOA to my door.

I own both a sister of the 1750s French sword pictured and that is my Starr 1818 above. I did buy a repro of the Rose swords which is very close to true and with the longer blade of this auction. Owing many period swords, I am quite impressed with this India made reproduction.
https://www.lotsearch.net/lot/rare-rose-non-commissioned-artillery-officers-sword-with-scabbard-48371777?page=5

Having owned many spadroons, these short and wider blades aren't really spadroons but what's in a name. Here is also an old picture of my French hanger with longer spadroons. The short sword on our right is a US Marines musician boy sword.

Cheers
GC

Something period
http://civilwaroriginalperioditems.com/c_1640...rapier.htm



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Rose reproduction

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Some straight stuff [ Download ]
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Tom DR





Joined: 22 Nov 2016

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2021 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As I understand it, tucks weren't a particularly common infantry weapon through the 17th century-they seem to have used the usual assortment of cut-and-thrust swords, hangers, backswords, the occasional rapier etc. as sidearms. I think the idea of tucks as an infantry sidearms comes from military manuals like the Duke of Albemarle, where he wanted all soldiers(cavalry got long tucks, infantry got tucks "not too long") to carry tucks out of frustration with them wrecking the edges of their swords using them to chop firewood. All the antique tucks I'm aware of are quite long and seem to be either edgeless rapiers or the western European equivalent of a koncierz.
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