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John Oliver





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject: Solingen versus Saint Maurice         Reply with quote

Okay,

Here we go!:-) My first post on this board/forum...

Better start off with a quick introduction:-) I've been a sword addict for many years now - and have been through the Nihontophile craze (now recovered), have been a collector of antique British military swords and even Third Reich daggers.

Over the last 25 years my main collecting interest has been Western swords - mostly military - but over the last couple of years I've got caught up in two main collecting areas of interest - smallswords and British baskethilts - I now have some nice original pieces and a much emptier wallet:-)

One thing I've *always* wanted to have - and have never done anything about - is a 'knightly sword' - the sort of thing my Norman ancestors might have carried when they invaded England in 1066 - or that they might have carried throughout the crusades. This is a case where I *can't* just save up to by an ORIGINAL - to get the quality of sword I want (and in the condition I want it to be in!) would cost a FORTUNE - so what I need to do instead is get the BEST QUALITY replica I can get - a fully functional high quality replica - preferably copied from an historic original.

I've looked at many different makers and models of swords - but SO FAR, I'm quite impressed by what I've read/heard about the Albion Swords 'Peter Johnsson Museum Collection' swords - they basically guarantee that they have followed traditional methods and produced weapons with identical distal taper, edge geometry, mass distribution, etc. to what the original swords they are copied from have...

Two swords that I am presently looking at/thinking about are the SOLINGEN and the ST MAURICE...

I may only ever buy ONE really good reproduction/replica of a knightly sword - I'm more a collector of original antique pieces - so I really want to 'get it right' - especially since the money I'll be spending works out to the cost of a really nice original 18th century smallsword (!)

I want something truly representative of this amazing period of time - Norman England/the Crusades/etc. - a sword that is of the highest quality/finish and attention to detail - a sword capable of performing just like the original - and that looks/feels/responds like the original its modelled on...

Could anyone out there who has bought/handled/tried the Albion Arms 'Museum' grade swords (especially the St Maurice or the Solingen) - or any other sword they think fits the bill - give me some feedback?

Many thanks in advance and apologies for my rambling/confused attempt to try and tell you all what I'm after!:-)

John in Perth.
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 4:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to myArmoury Happy

First, in regards to Solingen, check out the reviews section of this site (the link is at the top of the page below the logo); there is a review of this very sword, along with a good number of reviews on Albion swords just to give you an idea of the kind of product you are looking into.

Second, on the SM, do a search of these forums as a couple of folks recently purchased one and have offered some insight as to what the sword is all about. Also look for Howy's thread about the sword as it goes into even more detail. Not a formal "review" but pretty darn close.

In my humble opinion (having had the Solingen in hand and seen the SM in parts spread out on the workbench) if you are looking for the most accurate recreation of either of these two swords that could possibly be made in the market today, you would be very hard pressed (if at all possible) to find better. Peter and Albion take pride in research and "getting it right" and the Museum Line is that philosophy taken to the highest degree. Do a search on the Svante in the forums to get an idea of how passionate they are in setting the bar in the details for the Museum Line.

Buying either of these swords, you may be surprised by them, but I can't believe you would be disappointed.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=maurice

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=maurice
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Allen W





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 4:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have never seen either of the originals in person but have handled both and can testify to the quality of manufacture. I have to take the particular authenticity on faith. That said the Solingen is one of the finest handling swords I've ever picked up and my favorite "Age of Mail" sword from Albion's line, however I think its about a hundred and fifty years later than your stated period of interest. The Sword of Saint Maurice better fits your time frame and I looks faithful but is one of the few Albions I just don't like owing strictly to its handling properties. If you are set on this period but not a specific reproduction then I would look more closely at the Reeve, Gaddhjalt, Bayeux, Norman, and Senlac all of which I would much rather fight with (hypothetically of course). This may not matter to you but it forms my main interest in any given sword.
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John Oliver





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

MANY thanks for the feedback so far chaps - *most* helpful...

My instincts tell me that I am probably looking in the right place and I guess I just want to make sure I make an *informed choice* when I decide on either the St Maurice or the Solingen (both of which I like the look of)...

Allen: Can you tell me MORE about your impressions of the handling properties of the Saint Maurice when compared with the Solingen? I know the SM is a bigger/heavier sword but even taking the difference in size/weight into account you're basically saying that the Solingen is miles ahead in terms of its handling properties... (?)

I guess I should have entitled this thread "Solingen versus Saint Maurice":-)

Anyway - I'm on my lunchbreak (8:30pm here:-) - I'll finish my lunch and have a quick read through those links kindly supplied by Patrick and see if they shed further light on things for me...

Bottom line: I have studied several different forms of Western and Eastern swordsmanship (although I am *far* from being expert in any of them) and the handling properties of the sword ARE *extremely* important to me - I want these to be exactly right...

John.
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John Oliver





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick,

VERY interesting pictures/descriptions of your cutting experience with the Saint Maurice - thanks for that!:-)

I'm getting the impression that the Saint Maurice is probably one of the best cutters - but at the same time very *demanding* (?) in terms of the technique/mastery it requires...

I guess what I'm picking up so far (reading between the lines) is that the Solingen is going to be a very intuitive/easy sword to master but that the Saint Maurice is going to take a lot more time and effort to achieve mastery?

John.
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Allen W





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its hard to put into words. Some of it is ergonomics, some weight, and some of it balance. They all come together beautifully in the Solingen. The sword feels very responsive and it is miles ahead of the SoSMT in that respect. The SoSMT is just under three pounds which is a little heavy but lighter than the three pounds six ounces of the Tritonia which also feels much better to me than the SoSMT. The nine inch Balance point on the SoSMT is the main culprit but one which is made worse when combined with a brazil nut pommel which seems to invite palming the pommel and carrying the inertia that much further from your hand. The Tritonia earns some leeway for its weight with both closer balance point and the spherical pommel that stops against the hand all the way around allowing a little more security with a slightly looser grip. The Solingen by weight and grip shape is the best of the three.

I have only handled these at the Atlanta Blade Shows. It is an eye opening experience. If you can get to a show where Albion has a booth or to one of the round table events you will be in a much better position to judge.
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi John,

I don't know if I'd say the St. Maurice is a 'better' cutter neccessarily, as all of the swords pictured in the attached thread cut very well. The Solingen and the St. Maurice will both do the job in excellent fashion but they have distinctly different characters. The Solingen is a more versatile and dynamic sword in its handling qualities. It will do more things easily than the St. Maurice. The StM was designed to do one principle thing: to deliver huge shearing blows from horseback against mail-clad opponents and I believe it would do that very well indeed. I don't know if I'd say the Solingen would be easier to master either. The fact that it's more versatile might in fact make its use more complex. For a crusades era sword I'd say either one would make a good example but the Solingen might serve as a better example of a archetypal 'knightly' sword of the period. Whereas the St. Maurice is a fascinating sword simply because of its design parameters. I say "might" because we really don't know how common swords like the St. Maurice were.

I would echo the advice given about the other Albions mentioned. If a classic 1066/Norman era sword is desired swords like the Reeve, Senlac, Bayeaux, etc. would be good choices too.
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Greg Griggs




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John,
Hard choice isn't it? To put it bluntly, I don't think you could go wrong with any of the swords mentioned for the era. It really will boil down to what you want in your stable - the lightning fast Arabian (Solingen, Reeve, Bayeaux, etc), or the size and power of the clydesdale (St. Maurice). Both are great animals and do the job they are breed for, yet both do spectacularly different things. Each will take learning and practice to handle well. As Allen said, if you could go to a show, or even a quick trip to Albion in New Glarius to see and feel both blades, then you would know which one fits you better.
Personally I'm not really familiar with the Solingen, but from all the Albion swords I have handled it could only be an excellent sword. The St. Maurice is my baby and I've handled it quite a bit. Yes, it's big, it's bad, it will cut through just about anything standing in it's way when used properly, it's a beautiful blade with some of the most impressive markings and workmanship I've ever seen, and I love the heck out of swinging the silly thing. Laughing Out Loud It is a sword I feel anyone would be proud to own, but it is NOT the sword for everyone if you want something more than a mere wallhanger, because it does represent a fringe end of the spectrum and is definitely a horseman's weapon and you must be prepared to accept the different feel versus the other swords mentioned. Phew: that was longwinded, HA!
Best of luck with your choice, and welcome to these forums. Sounds like you have quite the collection and I hope you post some pictures for us sometime.

Greg

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
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John Oliver





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay chaps,

Here's an update:-)

I've gone for the Solingen:-) Have just put my order in with Mike for the Solingen with a campaign scabbard and baldrick:-)

BUT - based on what you've all said I've got a funny feeling I will *have* to satisfy my curiousity about the St Maurice AS WELL - and although finances won't permit it right away I probably WILL be getting one of those too:-) It just sounds like such an AMAZING weapon:-)

So - I have a new toy to play with soon - not to mention a new set of skills to master:-) Time to download some suitable 'fechtbuchen' from the Net and start studying while waiting for my new baby to arrive:-)

Should be interesting because I've also got to get my head around traditional highland broadsword before my Armourclass baskethilt arrives - not that I'm complaining - I'm *very* excited about both:-)

25 years after I first became interested in the sword I am still as excited by these amazing objects as I was at the beginning:-)

Thats for your feedback there Greg - I now have a MUCH clearer idea of what the St Maurice is - a *specialised* cavalry weapon - a 'one handed claymore' if you will:-)

John.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Griggs wrote:
John,
Hard choice isn't it? To put it bluntly, I don't think you could go wrong with any of the swords mentioned for the era. It really will boil down to what you want in your stable - the lightning fast Arabian (Solingen, Reeve, Bayeaux, etc), or the size and power of the clydesdale (St. Maurice). Both are great animals and do the job they are breed for, yet both do spectacularly different things. Each will take learning and practice to handle well. As Allen said, if you could go to a show, or even a quick trip to Albion in New Glarius to see and feel both blades, then you would know which one fits you better.
Personally I'm not really familiar with the Solingen, but from all the Albion swords I have handled it could only be an excellent sword. The St. Maurice is my baby and I've handled it quite a bit. Yes, it's big, it's bad, it will cut through just about anything standing in it's way when used properly, it's a beautiful blade with some of the most impressive markings and workmanship I've ever seen, and I love the heck out of swinging the silly thing. Laughing Out Loud It is a sword I feel anyone would be proud to own, but it is NOT the sword for everyone if you want something more than a mere wallhanger, because it does represent a fringe end of the spectrum and is definitely a horseman's weapon and you must be prepared to accept the different feel versus the other swords mentioned. Phew: that was longwinded, HA!
Best of luck with your choice, and welcome to these forums. Sounds like you have quite the collection and I hope you post some pictures for us sometime.

Greg


Greg will you shut up already? Happy You have just about talked me into ordering one and I do NOT have the money right now...

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Steve Maly




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Greg will you shut up already? Happy You have just about talked me into ordering one and I do NOT have the money right now...


Since I'm not Greg...

I have to agree with everything said about the St. Maurice, but I'm in the same boat in that I haven't handled the Solingen. I do have a Museum Line Tritonia that is a mean cutter as well but well balanced as such. I would expect the same of the Solingen.

SOSMT: Russ....Russ....buy me....buy me....you'll only spend that money on something useful like food...or gas...or bills....
Razz

"When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail." ~A. Maslow
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John Oliver





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 1:51 pm    Post subject: Albion Swords SOLINGEN versus the SAINT MAURICE:-)         Reply with quote

I have to say guys...

Everything I've read/all of your info and feedback has *not* helped me to decide WHICH SWORD to buy - its basically only helped me to decide WHICH SWORD TO BUY *FIRST* :-)

I've come to the conclusion that I just have to have the SOLINGEN (which I'm now buying FIRST:-) *and* the SAINT MAURICE - simply because it sounds like it will be the most amazing weapon to try and master (not that we *ever* really master *any* weapon perfectly:-)

I guess the closest comparison I can make is this: I love my handgun shooting and my favourite handgun is the HK USP 9mm 'Expert' - BUT as fast/versatile/serviceable as my 9mm may be its still not quite the same as my S&W .357 magnum with 6 inch barrel:-)

Anyway - its nearly 5am, I'm onto my 5th (6th?:-) Scotch (single malt of course) and looking at online sword references/manuals/etc...

Lets see - 27 days, 21 hours and 15 minutes till I receive my SOLINGEN:-)))

John.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Maly wrote:
Russ Ellis wrote:
Greg will you shut up already? Happy You have just about talked me into ordering one and I do NOT have the money right now...


Since I'm not Greg...

I have to agree with everything said about the St. Maurice, but I'm in the same boat in that I haven't handled the Solingen. I do have a Museum Line Tritonia that is a mean cutter as well but well balanced as such. I would expect the same of the Solingen.

SOSMT: Russ....Russ....buy me....buy me....you'll only spend that money on something useful like food...or gas...or bills....
Razz


LOL. Wiseacre. I've got a Tritonia too and it's a great sword as well. Here I tell Greg to quit walking me toward the cliff and there you go giving me a friendly shove from behind. Now I'm off to Albion's site to see what their wait time is and figure out if I can really afford it or not...

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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion Swords SOLINGEN versus the SAINT MAURICE:-)         Reply with quote

John Oliver wrote:
I have to say guys...

Everything I've read/all of your info and feedback has *not* helped me to decide WHICH SWORD to buy - its basically only helped me to decide WHICH SWORD TO BUY *FIRST* :-)

I've come to the conclusion that I just have to have the SOLINGEN (which I'm now buying FIRST:-) *and* the SAINT MAURICE - simply because it sounds like it will be the most amazing weapon to try and master (not that we *ever* really master *any* weapon perfectly:-)

I guess the closest comparison I can make is this: I love my handgun shooting and my favourite handgun is the HK USP 9mm 'Expert' - BUT as fast/versatile/serviceable as my 9mm may be its still not quite the same as my S&W .357 magnum with 6 inch barrel:-)

Anyway - its nearly 5am, I'm onto my 5th (6th?:-) Scotch (single malt of course) and looking at online sword references/manuals/etc...

Lets see - 27 days, 21 hours and 15 minutes till I receive my SOLINGEN:-)))John.


Congratulations! I can't remember the Soligen ever getting much press. I'm looking forward to you changing that in about a month.

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Greg Griggs




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glad to of been some help selling you both swords, John. Russ: go ahead, you know you want it. Like that itch you just can't get rid of. Wink Laughing Out Loud (Mike and Howy - you ARE reading this aren't you? I will receive some sort of compensation, I'm sure....ummmm.....errrr.....<cough, cough>.)

BTW - I'm planning on chopping up some more tatami mats this weekend with the SoSM. Ahhhh, feel the burn.

-Greg

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ, you're not man enough to handle that sword.

Just thought I'd practice a little reverse psychology. Wink
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Griggs wrote:
I'm planning on chopping up some more tatami mats this weekend with the SoSM. Ahhhh, feel the burn.
-Greg


Just don't drop it, again. Razz
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Surrounded by evil tempters what's a poor guy to do??? Eek!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Oct, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Surrounded by evil tempters what's a poor guy to do??? Eek!


Russ: What we all do I'm afraid: Buy, Buy, Buy ......... and Bye Bye cash. Razz

Still, there is a difference and fine line between overspending that ultimately you can afford and spending that will come back to bite you in the ................ Eek!

Getting back to swords: When comparing the Tritonia and the Gaddhjalt the lighter Gaddhjalt has more presence with a more forward or the guard point of balance but the Tritonia has more mass. The Gaddhjalt is a bit narrower and has greater profile taper and would be better in the thrust although both of these swords are very much cutting swords.

The Solingen I haven't handled but it seems like a good jack of all trades kind of sword and more agile in handling.

The Saint Maurice sword is a very attractive sword in many ways and handling is also a personal thing in the sense that one could own a very historical sword that one hasn't the skill or strength to personally handle well without a lot of serious practice. In other words a Knight in period who could use a sword effectively that without years of training seems very challenging to us. This doesn't mean that other swords with different qualities wouldn't be chosen by the same Knight for a different situation if he had the choice, the opportunity and the money to afford owning more than one sword: A bit like choosing a different club from one's golf bag.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Fri 06 Oct, 2006 8:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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