Smallsword characteristics

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Smallsword characteristics

Postby Thearos » 05 Mar 2014 22:45

I know many here have handled antique smallswords and spadroons. I once held a 1786 spadroon, and gawped at smallswords in museums. Many comments have I read--about the diverse weights of smallswords, about how the Cold Steel model is too heavy, about how light many are, etc

Is there any easy online source with data on historical smallswords and their handling ? E.g. length, weight, POB ?
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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Turmine » 06 Mar 2014 01:25

I would like such data also ... eagerly awaiting with bated blade. :D

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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Dave B » 06 Mar 2014 12:35

I'm not aware of any, and I went looking a while back. The only decent analysis of surviving smallswords I know of, A.V. Norman's 'rapier and smallsword' only really looks at the hilt details, and talks about the blades only in generalities.

I spoke to the relevant curator at Leeds Armouries, who have a huge collection of smallswords backstage, but he wasn't able to suggest any scholarly papers at the time, though he did say that if I wanted to write one I could apply to them in writing and they'd probably let me come in, put on white gloves and measure the couple of hundred swords they have - but sadly I don't have the time.

I think the best bet would be to write to the curators of edged weapons at various high profile museums and see if they can suggest any research papers that are out there. I did the same when I was trying to find had data on the measurements of 14thC 'lake constance' style medieval guns. Sent out a bunch of emails and many months later got a great wodge of PDF's back from the curator of the Historiches museum in Berne, with all the data I wanted and more. It seems that most museums will have some poor graduate who's job it is to answer silly questions.
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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Thearos » 07 Mar 2014 00:44

So, please, someone do the following:

1. Gather a lot of data: length of blade, hilt, size and type of shell, weight, POB, shape of blade, general shape (pas d'âne ? rings ?)-- and plot them in time.

2. Publish papers and data

3. Write a book.

Anyone here own an antique smallsword ? If so, can you post data and details
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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Turmine » 07 Mar 2014 01:04

I can graft a few small details from one or two books I have to add to the fledgling data stream ... I'll be back with that.

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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Phil C » 07 Mar 2014 10:43

Thearos wrote:So, please, someone do the following:

1. Gather a lot of data: length of blade, hilt, size and type of shell, weight, POB, shape of blade, general shape (pas d'âne ? rings ?)-- and plot them in time.

2. Publish papers and data

3. Write a book.

Anyone here own an antique smallsword ? If so, can you post data and details

I'm working on it- I'm coming up for a period of underemployment this summer and should have a day or two spare each week to make some visits and call in favours.
--Effete Snob--
"I have a sword to defend my honour. I have a stick to answer those without honour."

http://www.blackboarswordsmanship.co.uk/
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Re: Smallsword characteristics

Postby Jonathan » 07 Mar 2014 21:17

For weights and lengths you should try Swords and Blades of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann. He lists weight and basic measurements for almost every item listed. Most books never consider PoB, so that sort of data may be difficult to find. Although it does not contains weights and measurements, I also recommend The Small-Sword in England by J.D. Aylward.
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