6th century AS sword guard and pommels

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WorkMonkey
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Postby WorkMonkey » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:48 pm

Aa, yes dojo master, *bows*


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Postby chrisanson » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:49 pm

WorkMonkey wrote:
Medicus Matt wrote:
Gimli's getting on a bit and Monkeyboy tires quickly.


huzzah, not anymore, monkeyboy kept going when all the other energizer bunnies had gone in for tea this week.




who took you out on no less than ....loadsa times on Wednesday night? The old man that’s who!!!

Should have put more dents in that hat

Oh and yes Mr Medicus I think we have a training session coming up soon??? Then we will see ………………..how many times you can knock an old git over :wink:



Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:44 am

Medicus Matt wrote:What the monkey said.
What's the problem with getting a combat blade with organic hilt components? Having run a society for 8 years where EVERYONE had a sword with organic hilt components I'm happy to say that they're fine for fighting.

Why?

1) Firstly because the organic elements in a metal/organic/metal hilt fitting absorbs the energy from the blow quite nicely...less of it is transmitted to your hand/arm than you get with all metal hilts.

2) They don't take that much damage anyway because YOU BLOCK YOUR OPPONENTS WEAPON WITH YOUR SHIELD, NOT YOUR SWORD. YOU'RE NOT IN A BLOODY FILM YOU KNOW?

'Scuse the shouting. :wink:


1) Which is why they kept the organic hilts (beyond the grip) into the second millenium AD... 'cause they were so good?

2) It is not my intention to block with my sword intially, but when the chips are down (or in the UK,when they've gone soggy), you use your sword as body is even more easily damaged. And should it land on my riveted organic guard, I do not want to have to try and repair the thing (obviously my friends hit a little more enthusiastically).



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Medicus Matt
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Postby Medicus Matt » Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:59 am

Harlequin wrote:
1) Which is why they kept the organic hilts (beyond the grip) into the second millenium AD... 'cause they were so good?

2) It is not my intention to block with my sword intially, but when the chips are down (or in the UK,when they've gone soggy), you use your sword as body is even more easily damaged. And should it land on my riveted organic guard, I do not want to have to try and repair the thing (obviously my friends hit a little more enthusiastically).


Or possibly because the later you go, the less ornate sword furniture becomes. If you can forge a sword blade then you certainly have the ability to make solid metal hilts.
Or because fighting styles change. The majority of shields in the earlier period are smaller than the coffee tables of the later A/S period and must have been used more dynamically. We found that with a smaller, lighter shield you use it offensively and defensively and it's rare that you find yourself having to parry with your blade.

Bigger, heavier shields cover more and are better suited to formation fighting and the fact that sword quillions increase in length at the same time as shield sizes grow are a pretty good indication that more hand protection was needed, ergo there must have been more blade on blade contact.


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Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:37 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:
Harlequin wrote:
1) Which is why they kept the organic hilts (beyond the grip) into the second millenium AD... 'cause they were so good?

2) It is not my intention to block with my sword intially, but when the chips are down (or in the UK,when they've gone soggy), you use your sword as body is even more easily damaged. And should it land on my riveted organic guard, I do not want to have to try and repair the thing (obviously my friends hit a little more enthusiastically).


Or possibly because the later you go, the less ornate sword furniture becomes. If you can forge a sword blade then you certainly have the ability to make solid metal hilts.
Or because fighting styles change. The majority of shields in the earlier period are smaller than the coffee tables of the later A/S period and must have been used more dynamically. We found that with a smaller, lighter shield you use it offensively and defensively and it's rare that you find yourself having to parry with your blade.

Bigger, heavier shields cover more and are better suited to formation fighting and the fact that sword quillions increase in length at the same time as shield sizes grow are a pretty good indication that more hand protection was needed, ergo there must have been more blade on blade contact.

You are of course assuming that the blade and hilt were made together which according to Davidson was such in the minority of cases. If it is so rare to have to parry the blade when why both with any metal in the guard at all or even have a guard?

Since I am looking for a sword for the 7th C (which has also just pointed out my error in the title of this thread) the only solid evidence for shield width in this era is, to the best of my knowledge, of a shield between 33 and 38 inches in diameter.

That would mean to me that the shield is fairly static for a shield wall although not necessary so in a more open context. I don't think shields really got too much bigger than that.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:25 pm

Harlequin wrote:You are of course assuming that the blade and hilt were made together which according to Davidson was such in the minority of cases.


No, you're assuming that's what I meant. :wink: I could have been clearer though, so apologies for that.
I'm well aware that blades were frequently imported and then fitted out locally with suitably 'ethnic' furniture. I've just finished going through the Illerup Adal sword finds; before I started looking into the finds from the late Iron-Age/Pre-Migration era Barbaricum I had no idea quite how extensively weaponry was being imported into those areas of NE Europe outside of Imperial control.

Regardless, the fact remains that the technology to create solid iron hilts was available if demanded. If the sword-bearing warriors of the warband kept coming home with their fingers in a bucket, I think that we'd have seen a much more rapid implementation of a more solid set of lower guards.

Harlequin wrote:If it is so rare to have to parry the blade when why both with any metal in the guard at all or even have a guard?


Why have guards at all? Upper guard stops the sword flying out of your hand, lower one stops your hand from slipping up the blade.

Why bother with any metal at all? For the same reason that they cluttered up the fronts of some of their shields with all that crap. Because it's shiny and pretty.
Looking at Migration period swords, what's the first bit to start being sheathed in metal? Is it the lower guard as you'd expect if damage prevention was the primary concern? No, it's the pommel cap, the top bit, the most noteable bit when it's in the scabbard at your hip. Then you start to get thin sheets of copper alloy on the upper and lower guards, an outer facing but very thin...it's not there primarily to prevent damage (or else why put it on the upper guard?) it's there because it's shiny.


Harlequin wrote:Since I am looking for a sword for the 7th C (which has also just pointed out my error in the title of this thread) the only solid evidence for shield width in this era is, to the best of my knowledge, of a shield between 33 and 38 inches in diameter.


Depends on whether you follow Stevenson's argument that we should discount the pictorial and archaeological evidence (so, everything that Dickinson and Harke thought worthy of consideration) with the exception of the Mound 1 Sutton Hoo shield. I'll openly admit to not liking Stephenson's book for a number of reasons and this issue is one of the main ones and one where I believe that deciding to reject all of the other evidence satisfied his personal agenda as a re-enactor. I'm not going to go into more details here but would happily discuss it over a pint.

Suffice to say that the shield from the 7th century Grave 8 at Holborough was placed verticallly in the grave cut, which meant that the boss was held in the soil at the correct height above the grave floor once the board had rotted and that would have had a diameter of 26 inches. Good enough for me to say that Stephenson's talking out of his *rse again.

The whole issue of whether or not grave deposition is an accurate representation of actuality is a much wider one and one that, again, requires beer.


Harlequin wrote:That would mean to me that the shield is fairly static for a shield wall although not necessary so in a more open context. I don't think shields really got too much bigger than that.


Oh I agree. The biggest known shield of the period is the Vendel 1 at 45inches but I think that the Sutton Hoo is certainly the largest....but then it is probably a kings shield...and quite possibly purely for ceremonial purposes as are the other huge shields from Vendel and Valsgarde...not that I'm saying that the hearth troop of a kings warband, the doughty centre-men, wouldn't have carried shields that big. After all, they're there primarily to stand front and centre and to deal out and soak up punishment. Again, this is one of those areas where the accurate reconstructions I've made of planked shields has shown me how different they were to the plywod boards that we use as re-enactors.. just as the flattened crowbars we use as swords are miles from the real thing.

Once again....more beer. :wink:

Anyway...why 7th rather than 6th? Less to choose from as Christianity spreads its talons and grave depositions become more meagre....mind you, what there is is pretty stunning. You could go for one based on the furniture they found at Market Rasen in 2002...very nice. 8)


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Postby Gyrthofhwicce » Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:49 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:
Sir Fletcher Phelps wrote:
Yeah, like that's gonna encourage him :roll: :lol:


We'll just have to send the 'snatch' squad in. :wink:


Katy?


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Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Why 7th ? Helmet to match.

I'm not familiar with the Market Rasen sword. Do you have a reference I might chase up?

Cheers.
H



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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:26 pm

Harlequin wrote:Why 7th ? Helmet to match.

I'm not familiar with the Market Rasen sword. Do you have a reference I might chase up?

Cheers.
H


Here y'are.

Market Rasen sword

Which particular 7th C shiny hat?


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Postby Birka Traders UK » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:43 pm

Ooo very pretty.



Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:59 pm

Very nice. Quite a find there.

Pioneer hat and justtrying to acquire a bit of mail for the aventail.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:25 pm

Harlequin wrote:
Pioneer hat and justtrying to acquire a bit of mail for the aventail.


Ahh, hence the search, no hilt fittings left at all with that sword were there?


The Pioneer/Wollaston helmet didn't have a mail neck guard did it? I know that there's almost nothing of the lower rim left but if you look on this photo I took of it at the RA, you'll see that there's no evidence of piercing for mail.
Attachments
wollaston.jpg
Pioneer/Wollaston helmet
wollaston2.jpg
Close up detail


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Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:04 pm

That is the best image that I have seen of the back of that helmet. It's a pity that the back is not more intact as the hinge for the cheek pieces are indistinct and don't appear to be the same as appear on my (wife's) helmet.

The helmet already has mail on the back and I was just going to replace it with something a little more... rivetted.



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Postby WorkMonkey » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:20 am

The hinges were a rectangular piece of wire with rounded ends going through two U shaped loops one on the brow band, and one on the top of the cheek plate, spose it's an easier type of hinge than the coppergates.


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Postby Birka Traders UK » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:49 am

Mis-post



Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:51 am

Well that's good. As least the armourer got that bit right on the repro.

I wonder then why he was so keen on the mail aventail.

Well Monkey since you seem to be a font of knowledge at the moment, are you aware of an any similar helmets to the Pioneer that had aventails? When did aventails start being added to helmets?

I'm just trying to decide exactly how poor a form it is to have the aventail since the holes are already there. Since the Coppergate seems to have had the mail attached to separate gutter of thin copper alloy metal that was then attached to the helmet rim (unless I have my info wong) and then riveted in just three (?) places of which none of these places onthe rim survive in this helmet.

Honestly you'd think those AS would have the decently bury their stuff in chemically stable and microbe free environments so that later tomb robbers can pinch their stuff ...



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Postby WorkMonkey » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:58 pm

mail aventails occur both before and after the Pioneer helm so there's no reason why it wouldn't have had it, it just seems it didn't. Pioneers 7th C? If so you've also got the Benty Grange and Sutton Hoo helm as contempary pieces, neither of them have mail aventails, but a rigid neck plate instead.


WORKMONKEY: The Wilderness Years.

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Look at the monkey, funny monkey

Little red monkey, acting so fidgety

Harlequin

Postby Harlequin » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:23 pm

Hmm I shall have to ponder the in and outs of what to do with it now.

Maybe it'll have to be just 'inspired by the Pioneer helmet now'.

I have decided to go for a spear instead and get a new sword for another era.




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