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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject: Finger rings and thumb rings         Reply with quote

Although my own fencing background is in the French school, I appreciate the practical qualities of the Italian grip with its crossbar (and the rarely seen Spanish version is even better--as close to an orthopedic grip as a "period" hilt can get, IMO). This type of hilt, descended from earlier rapier hilts, makes sense to me, in terms of point control, weapon retention, etc.

Ditto for the leather finger loop on schlagers--I once modified an ordinary sport saber with one of these, and it felt good. My maestro had a concern about the possibility of getting a broken finger (should the weapon for any reason leave my hand), but I wasn't personally dissuaded by that.

However, what about these basket-hilts & sabers with thumb rings? Does anyone here have any practical experience with them? What's the advantage? What's the downside?

Thanks.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Basically, a thumb-ring is to a cutting sword as a finger-ring is to a thrusting weapon. It gives you a surer grip and more control.

Personally, I love the occasional cut-and-thruster that has both... Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:
Basically, a thumb-ring is to a cutting sword as a finger-ring is to a thrusting weapon. It gives you a surer grip and more control.

Personally, I love the occasional cut-and-thruster that has both... Happy


Are there examples with both? Can you post any links or pics?

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Are there examples with both? Can you post any links or pics?


All of these swords of mine have a thumb-ring and at least one finger-ring:









In the case of the "Sinclair saber," the finger-ring is not accessible due to the shell. It seems to be there soley to support the thumb-ring.

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T.L. Johnson





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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seems to me that the thumb rings of a dedicated cutting saber and the thumb rings of a cut-and-thrust are two different breeds of cat. On the saber, the ring looks like it was designed to provide a secure grip. On the cut-and-thrust, the rings are wider and intended to protect the thumb from a cut or slice.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T.L. Johnson wrote:
Seems to me that the thumb rings of a dedicated cutting saber and the thumb rings of a cut-and-thrust are two different breeds of cat. On the saber, the ring looks like it was designed to provide a secure grip. On the cut-and-thrust, the rings are wider and intended to protect the thumb from a cut or slice.

I would say that in both cases, the thumb-ring is intended to help provide a more secure hold on the hilt while allowing one to grasp the grip with a more delicate pressure, improving cutting ability and providing a better sense of control. Most sabers I've seen have wide thumb-rings that are often made from flat stock, where these other types seem to be more of a round bar: exactly opposite of how i'm understanding what you've written above.

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T.L. Johnson





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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an AT1548/CF Cut-and-Thrust hilt combination not unlike your Pheonix Metals hand-an-half that is depicted, and while the large side rings on the guard protect the hand from cuts and slices made against it when my fingers travel over the cross, the only contact those rings make are against the back of my handó and quite lightly at that.

The rings on that hilt provide for me only a means of protection, not an additional means of securing my grip by any degree.

I meant the "wider" rings of the cut-and-thrust in regards of their travel, not the physical diameter of the metal stock used to create them


Last edited by T.L. Johnson on Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T.L. Johnson wrote:
I have an AT1548/CF Cut-and-Thrust hilt combination not unlike your Pheonix Metals hand-an-half that is depicted, and while the large side rings on the guard protect the hand from cuts and slices made against it when my fingers travel over the cross, the only contact those rings make are against the back of my handó and quite lightly at that.

The rings on that hilt provide for me only a means of protection, not an additional means of securing my grip by any degree.


My comment was about thumb-rings, not finger-rings. Does your AT1548/CF cut-and-thrust have a thumb-ring? I'd like to see photos for sure.

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T.L. Johnson





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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The full-on Cut-and-Thrust hilt treatment that Christian Fletcher offer(ed?) for the longsword are both finger loops arcing over the ricasso and the side rings that protect the hand (and thumb).

I have one picture available at the moment.



 Attachment: 29.32 KB
AT1548 Closeup.jpg
AT1548 with reitschwert hilt treatment by Christian Fletcher.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, then we're on the same page. As I mention, it's the thumb-ring (not the finger rings nor side rings) that often add leverage to the cut and security to the grip. The Phoenix Metal Creations sword, and all the others I've shown above, has a thumb-ring in addition to the other rings on the compound hilt. As you mention, the other rings are intended to serve as protection, and while I believe the thumb-ring can certainly do this, I don't see it as its purpose, as I wrote above.
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This illustration from the Anatomy of the Sword article right here on myArmoury.com might be helpful as reference on just what it is that we're talking about... see the first and third hilts in the bottom row.



PS. My initial comment was somewhat inaccurate, for which I apologize. A finger ring does not enhance your grip and control per se; it enables fingering the cross, by protecting the finger hooked around/outside the guard, and that gives you a more solid grip.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Sep, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More thumb rings


 Attachment: 43.71 KB
THUMBRING5.jpg


 Attachment: 18.75 KB
THUMBRING4.jpg

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David Black Mastro




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Sep, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dudes, those are some BEAUTIFUL weapons!

Thank you so much for the pics!



Nathan,

Those schiavone are spectacular looking, and I like the Sinclair as well.


Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2005 2:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On the issue of the leather finger loop, I have an original saber with this. It's from around 1900, and I now beleive it to be of Japanese origin. Even though it's obviously a western style saber, I came across a page some time ago IDing these as Japanese. (When I bought it I was assured it was French or Prussian.)

IT has one of these loops, and it dramatically increases your ability to snap it through it's arc. An impressive change for such a simple alteration.

I also have seen a few SCA guys with these on the basket hilt. Anyone know the history of this loop?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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