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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Beak-nosed ribbon basket hilts!         Reply with quote

Hello all!

I need information on the Beak-nosed ribbon basket hilts.
When were they first produced and where? According to John Wallace in his book Scottish Swords and Dirks they were generally produced in the Western Highlands during the 1600's. Now I'm a bit confused; according to the text below,on one of the images, they are from the first quarter of the 17th century, yet I have read quite a few times that they were first produced during the 3rd quarter of the 17th century.
And do they appear in art?

If you have pictures please post them!

Here are pics I've found in the albums here at myArmoury (Note: Not all the swords shown here are beak-nosed ribbon hilts).











Cheers,
Henrik


Last edited by Henrik Bjoern Boegh on Fri 27 Jan, 2006 1:57 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Fri 27 Jan, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More pics:






[/img]
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Henrik,
My observations on dating these hilts:
1. A well-defined S member in the rear wristguard space puts the hilt after about 1650. These also have the knucklebows welded to a crescent which is slottted into the pommel.
2. Earlier hilts are a ribbon version of the SW11 construction.
3. Earlier hilts have those little tongues extending down from the hilt (visible in one of your photos).
4. Earlier hilts have both front and rear quillons, or at least stubs where they were removed. Longer quillons are earlier.

A hilt with 2,3 and 4 would probably date in the late 1500s to about 1620.

A hilt with 2 and 3 would be from about 1600 to maybe 1630(?).

A hilt with just 2 would be early 1600s, but I'm clueless as to when these faded from use. One was found at Jamestown, but I don't know the date placed on it.

The above isn't based on anything but my observations, so the dating is only approximate.

One of these is shown in a painting of a Highland Chieftain dated about 1670; I bet Thomas has a scan of it!

Hope this helps some! --ElJay
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E.B. Erickson
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Location: Thailand
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Again,
Thinking about things, I thought I'd add to my post above.

In the last sentence, "these" refers to a beaknose hilt.

I'd like to suggest that the sword dated 1625 is mis-dated. There's nothing about the hilt to indicate manufacture earlier than the 1650s or so. I'm not implying that the sword is a dealer's composite, by the way. It's just a later hilt with an earlier blade.

On earlier hilts, the knucklebow ends each had their own small rectangular slot in the pommel into which they fit. I forgot to mention this in my previous post. The ribbonhilt from the Jenkinson collection shown above has the earlier SW11 basket, but the pommel is from the late 1600s, as that's the earliest date at which you find the slot going all the way around the pommel.

--ElJay
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The Highland Chieftan", Sir Mungo Murray, by John Michael Wright (1617-1694)

Photos 1, 2, 4, 5 - T, McDonald, 2004, 2005.
Photo 3 - Highlanders; A History Of The Highland Clans by Fitzroy MacLean, 1995.

* More pics here !

Mac











Last edited by Thomas McDonald on Sat 28 Jan, 2006 12:19 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, ElJay and Mac!
Now, I should have remembered that portrait of Sir Mungo Murray features that hilt style!

Those "tongues" you're refering to, ElJay, do you mean the same as those on mortuary hilts?

So for the beak-nosed/snouted ribbon hilts 1650-1700 would be an acceptable time-span estimate?

As for their place of origin, do you have any ideas?

Cheers,
Henrik
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Those "tongues" you're refering to, ElJay, do you mean the same as those on mortuary hilts?


Hi Henrik

I took Eljay's "tongues" to mean the little langets, but I may be mistaken ?

Mac
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that's what I figured he meant with "tongues".

According to Wallace in Scottish Swords and Dirks some of the snouted/beak-nosed ribbon hilts had armourer's marks on the back guard. Have you seen this?

Cheers,
Henrik
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Jan, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Henrik for posting these photos..........

Seeing these makes me admire Eljay's work that much more, I have one of his Beaknose here, and the resemblence of that hilt and a couple of the photo'd hilts is amazing.........

swords are fun
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Angus,

Will you put the ElJay beaknosed ribbon hilt in production?

Cheers,
Henrik
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Angus Trim




Location: Seattle area
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Hi Angus,

Will you put the ElJay beaknosed ribbon hilt in production?

Cheers,
Henrik


Hi Henrik

It kinda sorta is, though I only get about five hilts from Eljay during the year........

This one may be for sale, as I have not been able to get a hold of the gent who's name has been on it, and oddly enough things fell such that there's no downpayment on it {meaning its mine to do as I wish}............

swords are fun
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Michael R. Black





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PostPosted: Sun 29 Jan, 2006 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Gus. Just sent you a couple of PM's.

Regards, Michael Black
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
According to Wallace in Scottish Swords and Dirks some of the snouted/beak-nosed ribbon hilts had armourer's marks on the back guard. Have you seen this? Cheers, Henrik


Hi Henrik

I've not noticed any armourers marks on the ribbon hilts I've handled, nor do I recall any photos of the ones Wallace speaks of ?
But .....

I took these shots of the beaknose (SW 5) ,that Wallace has pictured (plate 20), while at the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh !
The display case made it tough to get a good shot of what I thought might be an armourers mark on the front quillon ?
( I should have asked Vince to take one with his telephoto lens .... my bad for not doing so !)
* MOS display card reads: 13. b. Basket-hilted sword marked AF, 17th century. H.1992.1865.47, Colville Collection.

Also, there is a photo in Bezdek's book of a ribbon hilt , c. 1665-1675, in the collection of Geoffrey Jenkinson, that is said to have been signed by Thomas Gemmill, TG, of Glasgow.
The only thing that is wierd about that is Thomas Gemmill, the Kings Armourer, has later working dates (1718-1737).
Bekdek does list a Thomas Gemmill the Elder that worked from 1620-D1665, but I've always read that the TG signature was just an early one that the younger used, so I dunno ???

* All Photos - T. McDonald, 2005.











Last edited by Thomas McDonald on Tue 31 Jan, 2006 5:37 am; edited 4 times in total
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Henrik Bjoern Boegh




Location: Aust Agder, Norway
Joined: 03 Mar 2004

Posts: 386

PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Mac!
This is very interresting!!! Great photos! It certainly looks like some sort of armourer's mark.
I thought that was the same sword as the one in Wallace's book but wasn't sure. Wallace doesn't supply any photo of these "single letter of the alphabet punched under the backguard" nor does he refered to where these snouted ribbon hilts are to be found.

Now do you have any idea of when these hilts went out of fashion?

BTW what is the grip made of on that sword? Wood covered with leather or just wood???

Cheers,
Henrik
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2006 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Henrik Bjoern Boegh wrote:
Thank you, Mac!
Now do you have any idea of when these hilts went out of fashion?
BTW what is the grip made of on that sword? Wood covered with leather or just wood??? Cheers, Henrik


Your very welcome, Henrik, my pleasure !

The only guess I would make at a timeframe of the period they were "in fashion" would be their probable dates of manafacture (as Eljay's post noted) They surely would have been used, if serviceable, well past these dates, like any good weapon would have been, but I'd suspect the men with money would have moved on to the more current styles of the day ! (how's that for a "I'm not sure" answer ;-)

The grip on that beaknose is leather over wood !

Alba gu brath, laddie ! Mac



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