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Gareth's Sword Collection. 4003

Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Gareth's Sword Collection.
« on: August 09, 2020, 05:40:12 PM »
So I've been posting some shots of my more standard gear using some of my antique swords as a background.  The subject has been popular enough that I've decided/been nudged to make a thread of their own.  I'll put up a new post for each sword so as to try and keep things in some kind of order and give a little background information as best I can.  :hatsoff:

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2020, 06:02:29 PM »
First up is what is likely to be my oldest piece; a colichmarde smallsword.  A very recognisable blade shape that starts off very broad and has a notable stepped shoulder down to a thinner section.  It was a blade that lacked any sharp edges and to was only offensive with a very sharp point.  The wider section near the hand was likely intended to be more durable and able to receive a cutting blow from a heavier sword but this is a matter of some debate.  Given mine's very plain steel hilt and overall shape I tentatively date it to around 1700 give or take, but fashions came and went so this isn't a hard fact.  Sadly mine isn't in the best shape as it came to me very rusty and missing a few inches off the tip.  However if it was in better condition it'd be worth a lot more than I could afford.  :D






Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,692 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 06:48:19 PM »
This is going to be exciting.  :popcorn:

I think I read somewhere that George Washington was partial to such a blade during his time of service.

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 52,601
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2020, 06:59:30 PM »
Great thread !     Look forward to seeing them all !     :like: :tu:
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2020, 07:18:52 PM »
This is going to be exciting.  :popcorn:

I think I read somewhere that George Washington was partial to such a blade during his time of service.

He did indeed have one in his collection too.  https://www.mountvernon.org/preservation/collections-holdings/washingtons-swords/the-1767-silver-hilted-smallsword/  Washington seems to have been a bit of a sword collector.  Much more so that was usual in his day.  I think the swords in the Mount Vernon group are only a few of the one's he is supposed to have owned.  I'd have to refresh my memory but I think this wasn't the sword he carried on active service but rather he used a wide blade smallsword or a cuttoe.  More on that subject later.  ;)

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,692 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 08:08:13 PM »
Can't wait. I do not have any older swords in my collection. I have a thing about having a sword in my house that may have possibly been used on someone. One of my idiosyncrasies.

Nothing wrong with collecting swords. I heartily recommend it.  :hatsoff:

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Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2020, 10:31:09 PM »
One more for tonight.  Another smallsword that likely dates from the first half of the 18th Century.  While most smallswords have a triangular section blade and no edges, this one is a robust lozenge cross section and has very definitely sharp edges.  However when holding this sword it's very clearly balanced for thrusting work and feels awkward when cutting.  They may simply have been sharpened in order to discourage your opponent from grabbing the blade (or punishing them if they did).  The somewhat martial motifs and stout blade suggest it was carried by a serving officer there's no way to be certain.  The deep chiseling on the blade decoration is superbly crisp and still carries some of the gold highlights.







« Last Edit: August 09, 2020, 10:45:14 PM by Gareth »

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,692 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2020, 10:39:44 PM »
That is a beautiful piece.

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Just Bananas Posts: 75,765
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2020, 10:52:21 PM »
 :iagree: :like: :tu:

fail to prepare prepare to fail
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2020, 10:54:22 PM »
That is a beautiful piece.

:iagree: :like: :tu:

Cheers gents.  :cheers:  Yeah, it's a bit special and a very good survivor.  It's a shame it's missing it's wire grip wrap and has some staining on the blade but otherwise it's in excellent condition. 

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,575
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 06:20:29 AM »
 :woohoo: super happy you made this thread.  I don't know anything about swords so this will be educational and awesome eye candy.  That last one you posted is a beauty.  The work that went into it, wonder what it cost when purchased by the original owner?   

Esse Quam Videri
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 10:15:29 AM »
:woohoo: super happy you made this thread.  I don't know anything about swords so this will be educational and awesome eye candy.  That last one you posted is a beauty.  The work that went into it, wonder what it cost when purchased by the original owner?

No worries mate.  It's a sword that would have definitely cost a penny or two that's for sure.  I remember reading a piece that suggested that what people would do is re-hilt a blade several times in order to keep up with the latest fashions.  Cheaper than buying a new blade every time. 

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2020, 12:52:36 PM »
Moving forward in the 18th Century we come to this sword from sometime around the 1770s, apparently quite a significant period for my colonial chums. ;)  Unlike the two smallswords we've looked at already this is a blade intended for a cut-and-thrust style of fighting rather than the thrust only.  This single edged blade is known as a "backsword" to signify it has a thick spine rather than being a double edged blade.  Also this may have been known as a spadroon; a term for a lighter sword than basket-hilted claymores or cavalry swords that were around at the same time.  This one is incredibly light at almost exactly 1 lb or 460g.  This is in part due to it's very simple guard and bone grip but also a very slim blade.  This light weight and unobtrusive guard would have made for a very convenient sword to carry on campaign.  The guard still shows some trace of the gilt that would have had it nice and shiny when new.






Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,575
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2020, 02:36:57 PM »
That one has a great look to it.  Looks fast and light even in the pics. 

Esse Quam Videri
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,692 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2020, 02:51:11 PM »
Another nice piece Gareth. I hope you don't mind if I post an older thread showing some of what I have currently.

https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,49852.0.html

Keep em coming.  :cheers:

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Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2020, 03:37:03 PM »
Another nice piece Gareth. I hope you don't mind if I post an older thread showing some of what I have currently.

https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,49852.0.html

Keep em coming.  :cheers:

Of course not Dan.  :tu:  You've got some good quality reproductions there. I'm going to keep this thread strictly to my antique collection but I do have modern reproductions as well from my western martial arts days.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,692 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2020, 05:02:17 PM »
You should include them here afterwards Gareth. I for one would love to see them.

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Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2020, 09:06:03 PM »
This is a sword style that should be fairly well know to fans of American History.  Generically now known as "hunting sword" to modern collectors these had a far wider scope of usage in the 18th Century.  Contemporary terms might include; hanger, falchion or cuttoe.  All seem to be used fairly indiscriminately to describe shortish, light curved blades for situations where the more elegant smallsword wasn't deemed appropriate.  This style of hilt dates back to the very end of the 17th Century and a very similar example is the only sword to have been found on the wreak of the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of Blackbeard. 

For some reason modern collectors and museums have decided, against all period evidence, that these weren't intended for combat. :shrug:  For what has to be one of the most famous examples we can go back to our old friend George Washington and the Bailey Cuttoe, supposedly his favourite sidearm.  It's the green stained grip on mine that very helpfully dates it as it was a very popular look in the 1770s.  Washington was certainly not alone in liking this style of sword and it was carried by many Army and Naval officers.  While you can certainly make a case that these aren't the BEST fighting blade, these men were surely not foolish enough think that they would never have to use their swords and decided the balance between convenience of carry and effectiveness was worth it. 




Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,614 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2020, 10:43:09 PM »
Very cool thread and pics, mate. I like the last one the best. Never heard of these cuttoes and I like the shape of it quite a bit, reminds me of the Messer. Very minimal guard though, is there a reason for it?
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2020, 11:06:57 PM »
Very cool thread and pics, mate. I like the last one the best. Never heard of these cuttoes and I like the shape of it quite a bit, reminds me of the Messer. Very minimal guard though, is there a reason for it?

Yeah, this and the messer are from the same lineage.  The residual guard is part of why some see it as a poor choice for fighting and, while I utterly take the point, guards are somewhat secondary to good technique in parrying with the blade.  The viewpoint gets skewed when modern martial artist fence over and over and get struck in the hand, so they understandably think less of a sword with poor hand protection.  However a genuine life and death struggle is either going to be very short and bloody or very nervous and protracted.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2020, 04:12:33 PM »
Today we are going to have a look at this infantry sabre.  As mentioned above, civilians (in Western Europe) tended to either carry smallswords or light cuttoes/hangers and full on sabres were normally the preserve of the military.  Even in this context though there is a distinction between the cavalry sabre and the infantry sabre.  With cavalry swords tending towards the heavier and longer, infantry lighter and shorter and a grey area somewhere in the middle.  So this particular sabre is definitely of a infantry proportion and is much lighter than it might at first appear at just 1 lb 8oz or 680g and with a blade length is 30" or 765mm.  It's of a style that just pre-dates the more regulated sabre of 1803 so most likely dates from the 1790s.  In general curved sabres were the normal choice for the officers of the "flank" companies; the Light and the Grenadier.  The straight sword was intended for the "line" companies.   What no photograph of mine can convey is just what a joy this sabre is to pick up and swing.  The weight and balance is perfect.  Nimble but strikes with authority.  If I ever ended up in some weird Highlander-esque duel for my life this really would be the blade I'd pick.




Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,014 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2020, 05:25:53 PM »
This one remimded me of a Shashka (russian sabre). Do you have any kind of experience, yelding or using those swords?

I think some folks here in MTo are into historical fencing.

Here, this might inspire you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjjrogTsMxE

 :salute: :tu:

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

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Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2020, 09:56:16 PM »
This one remimded me of a Shashka (russian sabre). Do you have any kind of experience, yelding or using those swords?

I think some folks here in MTo are into historical fencing.

Here, this might inspire you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjjrogTsMxE

 :salute: :tu:

Never studied any Russian systems but I did spend a good few years studying and teaching various other European sword systems.  Mostly 19th century British sabre and 16-17th century Italian rapier and a few other things along the way :).

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Just Bananas Posts: 75,765
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2020, 11:09:03 PM »
Nice  :dd:

fail to prepare prepare to fail
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,014 Oxygen and magnesium toghether?! OMg!
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2020, 12:44:28 PM »
Never studied any Russian systems but I did spend a good few years studying and teaching various other European sword systems.  Mostly 19th century British sabre and 16-17th century Italian rapier and a few other things along the way :).

Some time ago, I looked for a place to learn/practice historical fencing. Found one, but they couldn't tell me how the classes worked, who would be teaching, what variants were available, would I need to buy any (and what) equipment/weapons... I just didn't like how disorganized it seemed, so I never tried it.

 :P :-\

________________________________
It is just a matter of time before they add the word “Syndrome” after my last name.

I don't have OCD, I have OCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.

Eff the ineffable, scrut the inscrutable.

IYCRTYSWTMTFOT

Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 52,601
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2020, 01:29:13 PM »
Today we are going to have a look at this infantry sabre.  As mentioned above, civilians (in Western Europe) tended to either carry smallswords or light cuttoes/hangers and full on sabres were normally the preserve of the military.  Even in this context though there is a distinction between the cavalry sabre and the infantry sabre.  With cavalry swords tending towards the heavier and longer, infantry lighter and shorter and a grey area somewhere in the middle.  So this particular sabre is definitely of a infantry proportion and is much lighter than it might at first appear at just 1 lb 8oz or 680g and with a blade length is 30" or 765mm.  It's of a style that just pre-dates the more regulated sabre of 1803 so most likely dates from the 1790s.  In general curved sabres were the normal choice for the officers of the "flank" companies; the Light and the Grenadier.  The straight sword was intended for the "line" companies.   What no photograph of mine can convey is just what a joy this sabre is to pick up and swing.  The weight and balance is perfect.  Nimble but strikes with authority.  If I ever ended up in some weird Highlander-esque duel for my life this really would be the blade I'd pick.

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

I really like this one , very cool   :like: :tu:
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2020, 06:38:05 PM »
Some time ago, I looked for a place to learn/practice historical fencing. Found one, but they couldn't tell me how the classes worked, who would be teaching, what variants were available, would I need to buy any (and what) equipment/weapons... I just didn't like how disorganized it seemed, so I never tried it.

 :P :-\

Unfortunately the only instructor I've ever heard of in Portugal has been accused of being abusive to his students and claiming all kinds of qualifications and affiliations that he has no right to.  I'd not recommend him.  ;)

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2020, 06:39:57 PM »
I really like this one , very cool   :like: :tu:

It's not the most unusual or valuable piece in my collection but it is one I've owned for may years and definitely one of my favourites.  :)

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,943
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2020, 08:23:41 PM »
So next we come to the 1796 Infantry Officer's Sword.  As with the bone handled sword from the 1770s we've already looked at this is of a type known as a spadroon.  The British Army first brought in a set of regulations in 1786 and then updated them in 1796 to roughly standardise on a hilt and blade type that was already proving popular, so while these sword are universally know as 1796 swords the truth is that some of them will be a few years older.  As we will see with our next sword there was still a huge amount of room for interpretation, though this example is quite typical.  Sadly what was not standardised was any form of quality control...

This is a period when officers were required to purchase all their own equipment; uniforms, horse, campaign furniture and arms etc etc.  How much time and money they spent on choosing their swords seems to have varied hugely.  Some are perfectly good fighting weapons and others are, most definitely, not.  The poor examples have blades of such inferior execution that they will all but droop under their own weight when held out horizontally.  You would have about as much luck stabbing someone to death with a pool noodle.  ;)  This may be part of the reason Captain Mercer of the Royal Artillery said:

"Nothing could be more useless or more ridiculous than the old Infantry regulation [sword]; it was good neither for cut nor thrust and was the perfect encumbrance. In the Foot Artillery, when away from headquarters, we generally wore dirks instead of it."


However not all of these swords were anything like as bad as Capt Mercer claims and also I think it reliant that he was an Artillery officer and I can easily believe that a sword would indeed get in his way while trying to execute his duties, especially as he was even less likely to use it than was an officer of a regular line infantry.  I'm happy to say that this example is IMO much better than Capt Mercer would have you believe. 






Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 24,575
Re: Gareth's Sword Collection.
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2020, 12:52:09 AM »
Yeah, this and the messer are from the same lineage.  The residual guard is part of why some see it as a poor choice for fighting and, while I utterly take the point, guards are somewhat secondary to good technique in parrying with the blade.  The viewpoint gets skewed when modern martial artist fence over and over and get struck in the hand, so they understandably think less of a sword with poor hand protection. However a genuine life and death struggle is either going to be very short and bloody or very nervous and protracted.
Exactly. 
Gorgeous sword btw. 

Esse Quam Videri

 

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