Swanhilde: a Type X by Vladimir Cervenka

Marketplace and reviews. Open to public view.

Swanhilde: a Type X by Vladimir Cervenka

Postby Paul » 07 Aug 2006 23:38

A month ago, I had the pleasure of recieving a sword made by Vladimir Cervenka. It's an Oakeshott Type X of my own design.

I wanted to have an early medieval sword, which would have been fairly typical for the early Crusades. I also wanted a sword which would be very quick and agile for it's type.

I decided on a type X blade with brazil-nut pommel and spike crossguard, because of it's robust appearance, which should contrast nicely with the intended handling characteristics.

The blade is rather wide at the base, and tapers to a fairly sharp point. The fuller also starts very wide and tapers parallel to the edge. Although the blade has a relatively narrow point, it's not well suited to thrusting due to the flexibility of the blade. However, this configuration does bring the POB back.

Although most reproductions/reinterpretations of type X feature a blade with parallel edges, this is not a defining characteristic of the type. One of the originals that inspired my design was Oakeshott's X.5, currently in the Glasgow Museum:

Image

Another design characteristic, and the one that non-sword people notice most, is the cross engraved in the pommel. This shape, the cross pattée, was initially used by all the military orders and can, in my opinion, be considered the prototype of the crusader heraldry. It also features rather regularly in Dutch heraldry, most prominently in the arms of the city of Haarlem (where I studied), which was awarded the cross for bravery in the taking of Damiate, during the Fifth Crusade. The engraving pinpoints this sword to the end of the period in which type X was popular, not only by choice of design, but also by method, as engraving wasn't generally done earlier. Interestingly, Oakeshott's Records show sword X.14 which has very different hilt furniture, but the exact same cross. This was unknown to me until a few days ago, but it's certainly pleasing. The cross-theme is continued in the ends of the guard, which is as far as I know, not documented on historical swords of this period, but a very nice detail nonetheless.

The statistics of this sword are as follows:
Weight: 1102 grams
Overall length: 90 cm
Blade length: 75 cm
Blade width: 55 mm at base
Grip length: 10.5 cm
Guard width: 18.5 cm
Point of Balance: 10 cm from guard
Center of Percussion: ~55 cm from guard

These dimensions make for a sword which is very fast and agile for the type. It moves quickly between the various wards, and I think it would be excellent (if not a bit early) for I.33.

The dimensions and general layout (except for the style of fittings) are remarkably similar to sword NM 18402:1 in the Suomen kansllimus in Helsinki. This is an Ulfbehrt sword featured in Peirce's "Swords of the Viking Age". Mr. Peirce speaks rather highly of it's handling.

The sword is very well made. The grip is very tight, and the leather is very comfortable and secure. The blade displays a good amount of distal taper, is very flexible, but not whippy, and rings like a bell when struck. Very pleasing to say the least. The sword is sharp, and has a nice convex grind with no secondary bevel. I have not cut with it much, but it handles milk jugs, pool noodles and the standard paper cutting test with ease. The sword has a satin finish all over, which I find rather nice and authentic looking. The fuller shows some slight undulations, but to me, that is a sign that it's handmade, and it doesn't worry me in the least.

I'm very pleased with this sword, as well as with it's maker.

Due to it's responsive nature, I have named this sword "SWANHILDE", which is a Germanic name meaning "Battle-Swan". The swan because the sword moves as gracefully as a swan, and is as controllable as a goosequill. The battle because this is very much a no-frills working sword.

Update: I'm still very happy with my sword, although I have discovered it falls slightly outside Geibig's parameters, making this sword a bit of an outlier (or fantasy, if you will :wink: ) This is purely my fault, since it was my design, but anyway it's not noticable to anyone except to a very small group of specialised people with a measuring tape. :P
Last edited by Paul on 07 Apr 2008 23:08, edited 1 time in total.
The Dutch now have a better navy than us. - an unnamed senior officer in the Royal (UK) Navy, January 2007
User avatar
Paul
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 4746
Joined: 16 Mar 2006 09:05
Location: Below sea level, again.

Postby Monster Zero » 07 Aug 2006 23:44

I like it a lot.

Would be better with Ravens or naked viking wenches on the pommel, but I digress.
Image
MC-Stats (Won/Lost/Fought/Open: 1/4/5/?)
Mostly Harmless...
User avatar
Monster Zero
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 16618
Joined: 17 Mar 2006 17:53
Location: Hamilton, NJ

Postby Alina » 07 Aug 2006 23:49

Very pretty! You've captured pretty much my favorite type X right there.
So men who are free
Love the old yew tree
And the land where the yew tree grows.
User avatar
Alina
Concubine
 
Posts: 10186
Joined: 16 Mar 2006 16:03
Location: Paleolithic

Postby Alex » 07 Aug 2006 23:53

Awesome. Just awesome.
Alex
Major General
 
Posts: 2234
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 19:23
Location: Airstrip One

Postby the_last_alive » 07 Aug 2006 23:57

tis very pretty.

does the pommel get in your way at all?
Martin Wilkinson
King Slayer
Intelligent Belligerent - I'll throw a jug of ale in your face, and kick you in the testicles.
"Short, broad, lots of hair, disturbingly keen on violence."
User avatar
the_last_alive
General
 
Posts: 3415
Joined: 20 Jun 2006 13:58
Location: london.

Postby admin » 08 Aug 2006 00:11

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

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35043
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Postby swordflasher » 08 Aug 2006 01:12

Thanks for posting this here, Paul. The first full sword review on this forum, perhaps?
I'm glad it's a custom - personally I think it's great to design your own according to your preferences.
Perhaps you'll consider bringing it to Dijon next year?

How about a review for MyArmoury too?
There is a world elsewhere
User avatar
swordflasher
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 9098
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 21:56
Location: Stepping back from the edge

Postby Fab » 08 Aug 2006 02:18

Nice.
User avatar
Fab
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 7915
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 14:54
Location: Under the Hat of Awesomeness.

Postby Paul » 08 Aug 2006 07:40

Thanks for the nice comments! :)

the_last_alive wrote:does the pommel get in your way at all?
Not at all. In fact, if I were to redesign it, I would make the grip a cm shorter.

swordflasher wrote:Thanks for posting this here, Paul. The first full sword review on this forum, perhaps?
I'm glad it's a custom - personally I think it's great to design your own according to your preferences.
Perhaps you'll consider bringing it to Dijon next year?
No problem. :)

Hopefully I've made a scabbard by then. Transporting it is a pain now.

swordflasher wrote:How about a review for MyArmoury too?
Maybe. Still thinking about that. I would like to keep this design a one-off, and if I posted it on MyArmoury (or SFI for that matter) then I suspect some people would want to order a similar one.
The Dutch now have a better navy than us. - an unnamed senior officer in the Royal (UK) Navy, January 2007
User avatar
Paul
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 4746
Joined: 16 Mar 2006 09:05
Location: Below sea level, again.

Postby J Marwood » 08 Aug 2006 10:25

Very nice Paul - I do like the engraving work on the tips of the quillons.
User avatar
J Marwood
Field Marshal
 
Posts: 10560
Joined: 14 Mar 2006 15:45
Location: Laahndan

Postby the_last_alive » 08 Aug 2006 10:58

J Marwood wrote:Very nice Paul - I do like the engraving work on the tips of the quillons.


I hadn't noticed that, that's cool.
Martin Wilkinson
King Slayer
Intelligent Belligerent - I'll throw a jug of ale in your face, and kick you in the testicles.
"Short, broad, lots of hair, disturbingly keen on violence."
User avatar
the_last_alive
General
 
Posts: 3415
Joined: 20 Jun 2006 13:58
Location: london.

Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 08 Aug 2006 18:13

the_last_alive wrote:
J Marwood wrote:Very nice Paul - I do like the engraving work on the tips of the quillons.


I hadn't noticed that, that's cool.

Yep, nice detail!
Great design and you got to bring it to Dijon next year!
Oh, and don't forget to post pics of the scabbard once you've done it!
Wolfgang
Wolfgang Ritter
Captain
 
Posts: 677
Joined: 17 Mar 2006 12:23
Location: hovering in nirvana


Return to Market & Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests