Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Open to public view.

Is the length of your sword correct for your time period?

Yes - because I care for it
23
88%
No - because I don't care
0
No votes
I simply don't care
1
4%
Yes - but it is pure coincidence
1
4%
No - but it is pure coincidence
1
4%
 
Total votes : 26

Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Herbert » 19 Feb 2014 16:15

I want to ask you something that keeps grabbing my attention: the fact that a lot of us use weapons which are not really accurate to the time period of the source we are reconstructing.

Generally speaking the swords got longer in later centuries, especially the handles.
A lot of us still prefer longer handles (for obvious reasons) yet fight according to early sources.
This might be not correct.

I don't necessarily want to start a discussion wether this is something to avoid, I merely would like to ask wether you care and try to use hilt lengths that are in accordance with the time frame you are working in.

Thanks for your input!

all the best

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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Reinier » 19 Feb 2014 16:40

I had my Darkwood rapier made according to the images in my main source (Bruchius) along with some images of similar originals that I liked as inspiration.

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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby knirirr » 19 Feb 2014 17:32

My source says that I may use whatever size handle I please:

Sir William Hope wrote:The weight and length of every sword, ought to be proportioned to the strength and stature of the person who is to make use of it, but the length and largeness of the handle according to every man's fancy. Because a big or small handle can never endanger a man's life, when he chuses that which is most agreeable to his hand; but if he have too great a weight to manage, occasioned by the length of his sword, his defensive motions are thereby retarded, and rendered more slow, and consequently the person more exposed to the quick blows and thrusts of his adversary.


Luckily, 32" blades are available even though 35" is the more common size these days, so we're OK on that score as well.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby admin » 19 Feb 2014 17:55

Yes, with a caveat:

Our sabres are regulation size and weight, matching the original gymnasium and real infantry sabres.

Our blunt longswords are all of suitable proportions for Fiore's longswords.... However, many of us are using federschwerten for sparring which are probably too long in the hilt. However, in Fiore's treatises there are a wide variety of hilt and blade lengths shown, and even in the text he states that certain guard positions are better or worse with a longer or shorter sword. So he does not seem to have limited himself to a certain size, accepting that students would have their own preferences. Having said this, some of us have endeavoured to get feders made with more 'Fiore-like' proportions, which more closely match the sharp and blunt longswords that we also use (examples being the Albion Agincourt, Crecy and Ringeck, which could all comfortably fit in Fiore's system).
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby admin » 19 Feb 2014 17:59

http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Inthe Meantime » 19 Feb 2014 18:46

Yeah, though probably by luck more than judgement. When I talked my club into upgrading to Regenyei feder's from Rawling's plastic I went looking for length guides and used Silver. And have now convinced them to use Meyer as our core treatise as we were working from a German perspective.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Herbert » 19 Feb 2014 19:38

Wow - so far this is not what I expected - it is a lot better!
Keep the information going, please.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Mink » 19 Feb 2014 20:23

My Danelli sidesword is plausible according to the stats I have for period originals, not just for length but for weight and balance as well. I consider that it is something very important, but that's also because the swords themselves are of interest to me.

My rapiers are just a bit too short for Thibault who gives us the shortest length, so definitely too short in my opinion. But then they are sort of manageable in my flat, a proper blade length might not :)

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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby MugginsToadwort » 19 Feb 2014 22:16

42' rapier for a 5'10 man, longsword feder of the same length for the same man. Good for late 16th, early 17th period play. Oh, and a 36' sidesword for early 16th stuff. Don't do mediaeval sword stuff any more...
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Dave B » 20 Feb 2014 13:44

knirirr wrote:My source says that I may use whatever size handle I please:

Sir William Hope wrote:The weight and length of every sword, ought to be proportioned to the strength and stature of the person who is to make use of it, but the length and largeness of the handle according to every man's fancy. Because a big or small handle can never endanger a man's life, when he chuses that which is most agreeable to his hand; but if he have too great a weight to manage, occasioned by the length of his sword, his defensive motions are thereby retarded, and rendered more slow, and consequently the person more exposed to the quick blows and thrusts of his adversary.


Luckily, 32" blades are available even though 35" is the more common size these days, so we're OK on that score as well.


I'm aware that SWH leaves it to the fencer to choose, but I'm interested in why you've gone with 32".
Certainly that's reasonable for later smallsword, but Liancour (who is a relatively near contemporary) suggests two and a half to three feet. As he's writing for posh chaps, I'd assume that he's using the Pied de roi which is 13 of your modern inches, not some hick country version of the foot. This would make 32" very much a lower limit and 35 much more likely. I've tried to scale from the pictures in several sources, assuming that the fencers shown are niether short not tall, and it tends to suggest longer rather than shorter for early smallsword.

I'm also using a 32" blade, for a variety of reasons, but have considered a longer one for early stuff.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Phil C » 20 Feb 2014 13:58

Dave B wrote:This would make 32" very much a lower limit and 35 much more likely.

As does his recommendation for foil length being, IIRC, 35" (or even longer if you are a teacher so you don't tire yourself)

I'm also using a 32" blade, for a variety of reasons, but have considered a longer one for early stuff.

Liancourt is still very rapier-like so a longer blade is still reasonable, and also justifies his tactic of starting out of measure, entering to test responses, retreating to then going back in a again with a plan.

32" is a fine compromise for all the variations possible, especially when you consider that 30" is just as plausible as 35".
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby knirirr » 20 Feb 2014 14:22

Dave B wrote:I'm aware that SWH leaves it to the fencer to choose, but I'm interested in why you've gone with 32".


My experience has been that the system works effectively if one chooses blade length by holding the sword in the hand as if it were a walking stick by one's side; if it touches the ground when held vertically then it's about right. For me, the longest I can typically get away with is about 34-35", but 32" works acceptably. Students who are shorter than me have, in my experience, got on much better when we switched from 35" to 32". The very shortest students would probably find 30" suitable but we've never got any in yet as the 32" seems good enough. Having said that, I'm tempted to get one for Bethan to try.

If the blade is much longer than that then it becomes difficult to disengage effectively with it and it's harder to handle when enclosing &c.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby KeithFarrell » 20 Feb 2014 15:00

Herbert wrote:Wow - so far this is not what I expected - it is a lot better!
Keep the information going, please.


Definitely not what I was expecting either!

In terms of longsword, I have an Albion Meyer that I use for 15th century systems (mainly Ringeck) and a Regenyei feder that I use for 16th century systems (Mair and the Kölner Fechtbuch). I find that the Albion is simply too short for the 16th century stuff, and the Regenyei feder likes to move in a different fashion from how I think the 15th century stuff should be done.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Turmine » 20 Feb 2014 15:10

looking around, our club is pretty particular about sticking to Silvers guide on length - it generally pays to adhere to the requirements of the length and style that underpin the systems we study, as you quickly find things don't work quite as well otherwise. In cases where students are prohibited by cash flow, people make do until the proper weapon can be purchased but I have yet to see anybody trying to wield a banana against a Hutton out of sheer obstinacy. :D

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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby tabiris » 20 Feb 2014 15:28

I do mostly late 15th/16th century LS, and use appropriate feders. But the reason I'd put down is because it works best that way. :)
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Herbert » 20 Feb 2014 18:17

KeithFarrell wrote:I find that the Albion is simply too short for the 16th century stuff, and the Regenyei feder likes to move in a different fashion from how I think the 15th century stuff should be done.

I totally agree!
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby Gordon H » 21 Feb 2014 15:50

Cavendish in Truth of the Sorde speaks more about the weight in your hand as oppose to length

I never care whatt length the sordes are on so they bee off equall length for this playe will make youre the longer by thre handfulls and alwayes withoute his sorde when you hitt hime which you can nott bee with a shorte sorde though i will shewe you easeleye how to beate a longe sorde with a shorte one. Itt is a ridiculus thinge to take off mountin a sorde to make itt lighte with makinge itt heavier with more iron and a pumell as bigg as ones fist tis verye trewe hange the sworde in the midle of the blade with a stringe and a hevie hilte will make the poynte goo upp inded but when the poynte is downe then you feel all the wayghte and when you are wearye then thatt which you thaughte made itt lighte will make itt heavye, for i would aske you wether you have nott all thatt wayght in your hande or noe and sertenlye iff you had less wayghte itt woulde bee lighter - Therfore I conclude the lighteste you can make your hilt and your sorde to holde and bee stiff is the beste.
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Re: Poll: Are you using a weapon according to your source

Postby admin » 21 Feb 2014 15:55

Hmm, that's a tricky supposition to support though. There are plenty of 16thC longswords with identical sorts of measurements, weights and balances to 15thC examples. That's not to say that some systems may be suited to certain types of sword, but you can find a longsword with a 38 inch blade, balancing 4 inches from the cross, weighing 3.5lbs in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
Sure the spadone/greatsword/bidenhander/montante got more popularity in the 16th-17th centuries, but the treatises dealing with them, such as Alfieri etc, show quite a different method of use to the typical longsword stuff.
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