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Greg Thomas Obach
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Location: Elliot lake
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 7:03 am    Post subject: Grosse Messer         Reply with quote

Hi all

I finished hammering up a messer based on some of the pic's I've seen posted on herman historica...
http://dark.unitz.ca/~gthomas/myweb/myweb/new_page_1.htm

but I have a few questions...
- some of these swords had a circular part attached to the hilt... and some didn't ... is the circular part purposeful or is it just for looks?

- another question.... is the messer a military weapon.... ? I've heard many people mention that it was a civilian weapon..

thank you
Greg
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Einar Drønnesund





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: Gross Messer         Reply with quote

Greg Thomas wrote:
Hi all

I finished hammering up a messer based on some of the pic's I've seen posted on herman historica...
http://dark.unitz.ca/~gthomas/myweb/myweb/new_page_1.htm

but I have a few questions...
- some of these swords had a circular part attached to the hilt... and some didn't ... is the circular part purposeful or is it just for looks?

- another question.... is the messer a military weapon.... ? I've heard many people mention that it was a civilian weapon..

thank you
Greg


Cool. I want to get into forging myself. I like that piece.

The ring on the hilt of the messer helps protect the hand, especially during binding movements, where the blades are in contact with each other, and both fighters are trying to get the advantage. Many double edged swords had one or two rings as well. They are fairly common on bastard swords and two handed swords. I THINK they tend to be bigger than the ring on the messer though.
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Bart Walczak





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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg,

Messer often had "nagel", which was an orthogonal piece of hilt which protected the outside of the hand. There are two techniques in Codex Wallerstein which use the nagel. And I believe there are quite a few in Lebkuchner.

Messer was mainly a civilian weapon, which means that it was also used in battles by the common people.

Best regards
Bart
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 1:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm with Einar on this one. The ring (or "shell" in some cases) is to protect the hand. The sword was used in military roles; I don't know whether it was used in the fencing guilds. Greg, don't be afraid to put some more curve in it.


 Attachment: 47.89 KB
1500fence.jpg
Early 16th century Landsknechts fencing.

 Attachment: 5.59 KB
1520_repro.jpg
19th century reproduction Messer.

My sword site
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Greg Thomas Obach
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Location: Elliot lake
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Posts: 59

PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 9:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for your responses.... this is exactly what I was looking for..

great picture !!
I will try to include a " nagel " on the next one
- a wider blade and more curvature....

otherwise I find this kind of sword very nice to cut with... plus the meter long blade does help Big Grin

Einar, you would love it...... forging steel is something you can be prowd of... it seems to be much more than a hobby or specialty.... it can grow with you..

Greg
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Einar Drønnesund





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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Thomas wrote:
thank you for your responses.... this is exactly what I was looking for..

great picture !!
I will try to include a " nagel " on the next one
- a wider blade and more curvature....

otherwise I find this kind of sword very nice to cut with... plus the meter long blade does help Big Grin

Einar, you would love it...... forging steel is something you can be prowd of... it seems to be much more than a hobby or specialty.... it can grow with you..

Greg


I have forged a couple of daggers and arrowheads, but access to the forge is very limited, so it'll be a while until I'll be able to try a sword.
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Scott Byler




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PostPosted: Tue 03 Feb, 2004 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:
I'm with Einar on this one. The ring (or "shell" in some cases) is to protect the hand. The sword was used in military roles; I don't know whether it was used in the fencing guilds. Greg, don't be afraid to put some more curve in it.


You know, at the risk of anybody thinking me a little weird, I had a dream a few months back that had a messer very much like that 19th century recreation (I only have had a handful of dreams with swords in them, honest... Wink ). Just a pointier blade and maybe a bit wider at the cross. I think it may have lacked the twists in the guard but flared more at the tips, but otherwise, that is the sword I dreamed of. Decided I wanted on, too, when I woke up.
But where to get the money for it... That is the real question. lol
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Greg Thomas Obach
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 8:42 am    Post subject: Hi         Reply with quote

Hi Scott

there is hope !! let me explain a little bout my situation... for many years i've wanted to collect knives and swords when I was a teen... and afterwards it just seemed like I would never have the extra bucks to do such...
- one day I visited a crazy hippy friend who was into blacksmithing.. after seeing him do it, I decided that if this dude could make cool knives, so could I..... now a sword for my collection is usually the cost of a bag o coal... (unless its crucible steel)
(its a great experience to reproduce similar cutting weapons to real antiques )

however it takes awhile to make decent swords of long length such as great swords.... but be patient....

If God had only given me piles of money instead of making me so darned handsome... Razz

Greg
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Scott Byler




Location: New Mexico
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Hi         Reply with quote

Greg Thomas wrote:
Hi Scott

there is hope !! let me explain a little bout my situation... for many years i've wanted to collect knives and swords when I was a teen... and afterwards it just seemed like I would never have the extra bucks to do such...
- one day I visited a crazy hippy friend who was into blacksmithing.. after seeing him do it, I decided that if this dude could make cool knives, so could I..... now a sword for my collection is usually the cost of a bag o coal... (unless its crucible steel)
(its a great experience to reproduce similar cutting weapons to real antiques )

however it takes awhile to make decent swords of long length such as great swords.... but be patient....

If God had only given me piles of money instead of making me so darned handsome... Razz

Greg


Yes, I think you are on to something there. It has been coming more and more apparent to me that the only way I'm going to get ahead on the sword collecting game is to make my own. Can't do that just yet, at least not is sword length. Have been doing a few knives though, and as you say, it is very much fun.... Swords won't be far off, though... not if I have anything to say about it. Wish I were in a position to study some of the antiques of old like some folks are, but since I'm not, guess I'll have to fake it til I get it right. lol

Btw, did I forget to mention that I like your messer? Bet I did, so I'll mention it now. I'd be interested in seeing how a straighter version like the one you did compares to a more curved version in cutting power. If you ever do a curvy one, let me know... Happy
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Bart Walczak





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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Björn Hellqvist wrote:
I'm with Einar on this one. The ring (or "shell" in some cases) is to protect the hand. The sword was used in military roles; I don't know whether it was used in the fencing guilds. Greg, don't be afraid to put some more curve in it.


Björn,

There is a 16th century picture (which I can't find it right now) which shows two fencers practicing with a messer lying near them.

Also, German fechtschule employed "dusack", which was something like a "toy" version of a real messer made of wood or leather.

There is a lot of depictions of battles with people using what seems as messers, sabres or similar stuff.

Best regards
Bart
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Björn Hellqvist
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bart Walczak wrote:
There is a 16th century picture (which I can't find it right now) which shows two fencers practicing with a messer lying near them.


You mean this one?



It can be found on my site (and Amberger's as well). It is an Italian woodcut from c. 1555, showing Swedes training with swords.

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Jeff Johnson





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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

'At's not a messer - 'at's a falchion...
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeff Johnson wrote:
'At's not a messer - 'at's a falchion...


Shrug. Grosse Messer means "Great Knife" and overlaps the falchion. Many authentic Grosse Messers are, in fact, quite short. There's a great variety in the length and style of these weapons.

I think the one illustrated above could certainly be accurately called a Grosse Messers as much as a falchion. The slab tang construction with riveted grip pieces is one thing often used as a means of identification by some. I think it's a fairly gray area of distinction, IMO.

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2004 11:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Jeff Johnson wrote:
'At's not a messer - 'at's a falchion...


Shrug. Grosse Messer means "Great Knife" and overlaps the falchion. Many authentic Grosse Messers are, in fact, quite short. There's a great variety in the length and style of these weapons.

I think the one illustrated above could certainly be accurately called a Grosse Messers as much as a falchion. The slab tang construction with riveted grip pieces is one thing often used as a means of identification by some. I think it's a fairly gray area of distinction, IMO.


Just some further details,
A Messer is defined from the construction of its grip rather than outline, size or type of its blade. They come in many shapes and sizes. Short and pointy, short and broad, straight , curved long and slim or long and broad.
Some are long two hand weapons and are usually refered to as war knives (Kriegsmesser) shorter ones are called "big knives" (Grosse messer)
Grips are made like (surprise!) knife grips: two slabs riveted on a wide flat tang. It is worth noting that the grip construction is sometimes hidden as the grip might have a leather covering wrapped around completely. This I have seen on a few of the big war knives in the Wienna armoury. I do not know how common that feature was, but I think the norm was visible grip scales (wood, horn or bone) and exposed tang. (The grip scales can have separate leather cover as well).
Pommel is a cap or curved plate adding very little weight in the way of counter balance. It is the distribution of weight in the blade and tang that induces the handling and performance of these weapons.
Normally they are not that heavy. There are monster versions of huge size and weight, but most have nimble and quck blades, despite being broad and impressive in profile.
A feature often found on the hilts is the protective lug or ring that has been commented on earlier in this thread. When it is a lug it often doubles as a rivet to secure the cross guard in place.

If you mount a blade of messer type in a sword type hilt, you get a Falchion.
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Bart Walczak





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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 12:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter is right.

The distinction between falchion and messer lies in the grip. In fact, in Poland there was a conflict between swordmakers and knifemakers guilds which one could sell singe-edged weapons. They were each given permissions for their own "style" of the same weapon. Thus, if you encounter a sword grip, it was made by the swordmakers and is a falchion. If a knife grip - messer (lit. knife) by the knifemakers.

This conflict escalated when they each wanted to make and sell sabres Happy

Hope this helps

Bart
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Bart Walczak





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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 12:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn,

This is the picture, yes. I knew I saw it somewhere recently.

Best regards
Bart
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Greg Thomas Obach
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

very interesting

the handle seems to be the focal point for the messer or falchion catagory ... .. even telling of the makers background
there is more to these blades than meets the eye...

would anyone by chance have a pic of a Kriegsmesser?

perhaps this is where the distinction between a military and civilian blade is made also..... one made by swordsmith and the other is made by cutlers/knifemakers

Greg
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J. Padgett




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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually there are a few pictures of Nathan's own Lutel reproduction kriegmesser on this very site, but of course if you go be the technical handle specification set down in this thread it looks like this would qualify more as a falchion... It appears to have a sword style grip instead of two scales riveted to the tang although the leather wrapping keeps us for knowing for sure from just the picture.

http://www.myArmoury.com/swor_lutel_10006.html
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Padgett wrote:
Actually there are a few pictures of Nathan's own Lutel reproduction kriegmesser on this very site, but of course if you go be the technical handle specification set down in this thread it looks like this would qualify more as a falchion... It appears to have a sword style grip instead of two scales riveted to the tang although the leather wrapping keeps us for knowing for sure from just the picture.

http://www.myArmoury.com/swor_lutel_10006.html


Probably better called a saber based on grip contstruction. This is what Lutel calls it, afterall. I call it a kriegmesser because of the general form of guard and blade, but I think Lutel would have done better with a different grip and everything else exactly as it is. Basically, I still find these definitions often stumbling on eachother. Lutel's piece is sort of a combination of a few historic styles, as far as I'm concerned. It's a great piece and I'm very fond of it, but it confuses me how to classify it.

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Greg Thomas Obach
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Location: Elliot lake
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PostPosted: Thu 05 Feb, 2004 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that is a very nice blade
the blade and hilt are a good combination...

thank you for the pic
Greg
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