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Thread: Cult of the Small-Sword

  1. #26
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    Blade of above small-sword...

    Oval-to-hexegon form with etched motifs (30" long with edges).
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Tom Donoho

  2. #27
    Great! I can see why you love it so much

    Thanks for the pictures.

  3. #28
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    Photos of small-swords of various periods (with some other swords) as well as hunting swords:

    http://www.myarmoury.com/albums/thumbnails.php?album=55
    Tom Donoho

  4. #29
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    Hogarth...

    His prints provide some nice representations of the SS in England. These are often satirical in nature so bear that in mind when viewing.
    Tom Donoho

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    While the SS in France was very popular (being worn "in the streets" and at court) well into the 18th century, it was also quite popular in England as well (and was not simply disgarded as an item of everyday wear c. 1750 as some would think). Look to the Sheridan-Matthews encounter c. 1772 or the one between Chatworth and Byron c. 1765 where swords were drawn on the spot (not fetched from the cabinet in anticipation of a pre-arranged affair, but drawn from the scabbard hanging at the side) in the heat of the moment. Also, the fact that Nash "prohibited" the wearing of the SS in his domain of Bath gives evidence as well that the SS in England was worn as an article of everday dress well into the 18th century. (Why prohibit or otherwise take issue with something that wasn't, in fact, being done?) And, Boulton's manufacture of the SS well into the 18th century speaks as well as to the wearing of the SS in England, as a keen businessman such as Boulton would not have engaged in the production of an article for which their was no customers.
    Tom Donoho

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    Unfortunately this is like suggseting that because brocaded waistcoats are being produced today that it is evidence that people wear them frequently and regularly in daily habit.

    First, chronological distinction.
    Beau Nash's ban of swords from the Assembly Rooms was done *early* in the century when the legacy of French influenced Stuarts was still in force. What held true in 1706 was far from the case decades later.
    Fashion in Queen Anne's reign was fairly static (that woman had no inclination for setting new styles) and stil held traces of French Court culture. By the second dacade of the century, a very different picture can be seen of England....

    The (gradual) abandonment of the sword from English civil life was already well under way by c.1720. The of-quoted letters of Ceasar de Sassure (published in 1902 and recently republished in "A Foreign View of England in 1725-29") notes time and again how Englishmen whent without swords (something a status-concious Frenchman would find remarkable) and subtituted walking sticks. Later in the century umbrellas where employed as a quasi-phallic ornament.

    Nevertheless, De Sassure could be seen as speaking generally as he does mention how he had witnessed English gentry "throw off their swords, coats and wigs" in order to chastise with fists a person from the lower orders in the market place. He also writes that for the gentleman to draw his sword would see the on lookers turn on him for breeching the unwritten code of fair play.

    Swords were required articles of dress not only at court but at the opera. The opera was a place of hyper-display (and unruly to boot) one more acessory is only proper. Yet these full dress social functions were seasonal and the presence of swords as part of required formal attire only confirms that formal fashions are subject to fossilization (why men's formal dress of today is very close in appearance to men's formal dress 100 yrs ago.) Even in sword-saturated Paris, palace concierges could make money on the side renting out swords to the bourgoise members who had simply not purchased this item of consipicous display (taking greater stock in servants, fine fabrics and carriages, a sword can be bought second hand and thus is of lesser display value)

    The Sheridan-Matthews & Chatworth-Byron duels are anomalies in the history of English duelling. At the time both duels were fought the pistol and its accompanying ritual were the tool of choice for the Englsih duellist. What is noteworth and insightful about both these encounters is that they were fought towards night fall. Sherridan proclaimed he would not sleep and searched the darkening streets for Matthews who tried to escape in the dark.
    The Byron-Chatworth affair was even more irregular (and was criticised in the days following for its irregularity) in that it took place indoors by the light of a tallow candel without seconds or any other witnesses. It is oddly similar in situation to Hogarth's "Death of the Earl", which is also set at night.
    These two duelling examples (remembered for their uniqueness and not because they are examples of the common) illustrate the margins the sword was pushed to in the Georgian period - full dress, night places, traveling the roads and walking the streets after dark.

    The opera has already been mentioned as a "night place".
    John Prebble in his book "Culloden" relates an excerpt from the diary of a Scotsman living in London. During the celebrations of Cumberland's victory he writes that he and another Scot, fearing for their saftey after nightfall when the party descended into riot, "walked with our swords in our hands". A young medical student, John Knyveton about to travel in 1751 is advised "that if I am to be much abroad it will be as well to buy myself a cudgel or better smallsword, as to the West of us beyond Marylebone Garden theives and gentlemen of the road do swam in abundance". Note that it is not an issue for the young gentleman to own a sword until presented with the hazards of highwaymen.
    Later, he is tasked with digging up a freshly dead corpse for dissection, which was technically a crime and it carried the dissaproval of the common people would would retaliate violently aginst this breaking of a taboo. Knyveton takes up his sword and finds his fellow students "before a fire smoking and discussing a flask of wine and they very merry at my sword. In this case a sword makes John the butt of gentle mockery. His choice to bring it allong on a late-night criminal venture illustrates that the display of swords at this period (mid-century)was associated with the danger that came with nightfall when not set in the context of full formal dress.

    The most frequent depiction of civilian sword wearers in England post 1750 are the Macaronis who were apeing continental fashions. These fashion-victims fell into the broad Anglo sterotype of the fop and thus of suspect masculinity, the incorporation of a sword on these outsider-fashions can be seen as assertaion of tradional masculinty in the face of public condemnation for excessively "female" manners.
    This brings us back to Nash and the motivation for the banning of swords. The 18th century was one that witnessed a rise in mixed gender socialising. To the horror of many contemporary social critics this meant that men, in order to gain access to female company would refrain from traditional male activities, spaces, manners and displays. The 18th century man had the unenviable task of navigating between brutishness and effeminate behaviour. Too much in either direction would provoke censure. The Chevalier D'Eon is an extreme case. On one hand s/he dresses and presents him/herself publically as a women and on the other takes part in the traditional male activity of swordplay, possibly as a counterpoint to his choice of habit and any mistaken or degrading inferrals it might have inspired.

    Male spaces still existed but had changed in character. D.Angelo reinvented the fencing salle from it's riougher stage-gladiator association (James Figg, D. McBane) into something more akin to a dancing master. His "academic" style of swordplay, catering to elite personages and the introduction to his book are evidence of this refiniment in line with sensibility culture. Angelo stresses fencing for it's ability to instill grace, agility, adress and disposition mentioning nothing of practical defense concerns or street encounters (contrast this to Hope *early* in the century who states up front the utility of his system for crowds, battles and sudden assaults). Simliar language is found in the Gentlemen's Magazine extolling the beifits of dancing.

    Swords will crop up time to time in period accounts, one of the latest I've found was a reference to a mourning sword worn in London in the 1780s. But once again, mourning is a highly ritualised state and subject to the same fashion stagnation as formal wear. The sword was noted as excptional as well until placed in the context of mounring.

    That Boulton continued to produce swords throughout the century is simply evidence of fashion's "built-in-obsolescence". Change the style every so often and you ensure continued buisness. Wigmakers continued to churn out wigs until centurie's end and beyond. This does not negate the affect of an anti-cosmetic movement in English fashion. The wigmakers even pettitioned the King to enforce the wearing of wigs when men no longer wore them with the same regularity in 1765 (many of the wigmakers were even wearing their own hair at the time). So long as a new opera/ball season is on the horizon and the fashions change, so long Boulton and his ilk will take advantage and peddle the "latest thing" to the next generation.

    In conclusion, the republican character of the English intellectual landscape must be taken into account. The display of the aristocratic sword was at odds with the English taste which anticpated the acendance of values derived from the middle classes. Hollow display of privilege and rank was vulgar and smacked of the machinations of tyranny (French court culture). As far as stymbols of stauts whent the sword was by 1700 a degraded one.
    Tradition is a powerful force and it is partly to tradition and partly due to practicality (criminal violence after dark and on the margins) that ensured the sword survived as long as it did in England in the face of mounting social pressure for men to conform to sociable, sensible, expectations condusive to mixed sex socialising. To suggest that the swords was worn to any similar degree as on the continent is to ignore the bulk of contemporary period observations both foriegn and indigenous as well as recent social history research. To do so on the strength of a mere two exceptional incidents or implying that a ban passed at the opening of the century has relevance into the second half of the period is misktaken.

    Of course if you can produce something else in the way of evidence to the sword's place in Georgian England both culturaly and in the context of the larger social changes I'd be very interested to read
    Last edited by Ian Brackley; 11-30-2005 at 09:14 AM.
    How may I confuse you further?

  7. #32
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    Re: New Smallsword on the way:-)

    Hello Chaps,

    A belated Merry Christmas to all from the land down under!

    This thread is looking a tad on the quiet side right now so thought I would resurrect it with the news that I have another smallsword on its way

    Nice little English cut steel court sword - but still nonetheless a smallsword as well (it has those atrophied pas d'ane rings so typical of late C18th smallswords but also found on smallsword patterned court swords).

    a nice piece - decorated with faceted steel studs on the highly polished steel hilt - either late Victorian or Edward VIIth - will have to post some piccys when she arrives...

    Having said that I think I still owe everyone pictures of my Louis XVth cut steel smallsword and English silver hiltered smallsword too...

    Once again, a belated Merry Christmas to all and a happy and blessed new year...

    John in Oz.

  8. #33
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    The benefits of working day shift:-)

    Hello again all,

    At present I'm enjoying my second day of day-shifts in several months - one of the nice things about this is that I have the time (on a quiet day like today) to catch up on threads/emails and do some reading...

    Towards the end of this thread the theory is posited (theory or conjecture it can only be because none of those alive at the time is presently still with us or able to directly confirm or deny it) that the wearing of the smallsword in England was something of an 'anomily' from the 1720s onwards...

    I would suggest that any such theory is instantly refutable on the basis of the staggering amount of evidence to the contrary (am I stating the obvious here?) To start with, the commplace occurrence of gentlemen leaving their smallswords behind in coffee shops and places of entertainment and then posting quite lengthy adverts in the papers of the day (in many cases offering rewards even) for the return of the aforementioned swords...

    In the case of particularly fine silver hilted/other more elaborate swords the highly emotional tone of these cries for help is unmistakeable

    The most OBVIOUS body of evidence of course is the SWORDS THEMSELVES - bearing in mind that English silver is, for the most part, HALLMARKED - and therefore able to be dated with considerable precision, a visit to the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum - and various others - or simply examining the massive number of such weapons still on offer today through various auction houses/etc. - the majority of them manufactured AFTER the 1720s - well, I daresay this is the most irrefutable evidence of all that Georgian England was very much the time of the smallsword - and the smallsword was an item of every day apparel for the English gentleman right up to the end of the century...

    Aylward is an excellent source of information here - but there are other references out there as well...

    At any rate, time for lunch here in the largest antipodean island/continent of them all - but hopefully this post sets the record straight with regard to the historically inaccurate theory previously posited here...

    John in Oz.

  9. #34
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    Looking forward to the photos, John.

    Court swords were generally of the small-sword pattern (with or without the "claws", those with out claws and the obverse shell guard can be considered as small-swords as well as the traditional form with pas d'anes and double shells). I think you are describing the uniquely English type of court sword (which is a small-sword)...unique in having an obverse shell guard WITH the claws (whereas claws were absent on court swords with the obverse shell guard of the same period found on swords on the continent). As you note, these are typically of the Victorian through George V period, being a required accessory of court dress. They are very light but fitted with true thrusting blades...some of them being mounted with earlier 18th c. period blades that are blued with gilt designs. Every small-sword collection should have one of these English court swords to round it out. I really like the English cut steel hilts c. 1770-1810 or so...often carried by officers. I like, too, the French small-swords of the 1st Empire, those mounted with high quality sculpted hilts with the obverse shell guard and ivory, mother of pearl or lapis lazuli grip panels, etc. Too often I have seen the English court sword of the Victorian period sold as c. 1780, which is not accurate. The same thing with later Restauration or 2nd Empire swords sold as 1st Empire swords. I see no need to market them so (unless one is trying to inflate the price) as they all have a place in the collecting field and are all genuine antiques where at least 100 years old. The term "small-sword" or "court sword" is interchangable during this period and the blade is not the defining factor as to what is a small-sword since they have been mounted with different blade styles (diamond, double-edged, eliptical, flat, hollow ground, hexagonal, single edged, etc., or even a combination of the mentioned styles) at different periods. Probably, the best definition of a small-sword is a light sword used primarily (but not exclusively with those mounted with substantial cutting blades) for thrusting (emphasis on the point). Those carried for service by officers often had more substantial blades (even more substantial hollow ground ones) than those found on civilian small-swords. They certainly were carried by officers throughout the 18th century, and, as you say, surviving small-swords are found in substantial numbers from the 1st and 2nd half of the 18th century. I like the plain English iron hilted small-swords c. 1750, those given a coating of black lacquer (not just used for effect on mourning swords but used as well as a simple treatment to everday hilts) and fitted to substantially wide hollow ground blades...light enough for the thrust but substantial enough to defend against other blades as well. As you say, the trafficking in the small-sword trade and all the surviving examples suggest on a practical (rather than theoretical) level that the small-sword in England was quite active throughout the 18th century, with a substantial number of plain everday small-swords surviving, not just the finer ones made to be worn with fancy dress.

    Sorry for the digression.

    Post some photos!
    Tom Donoho

  10. #35
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    Gentlemen:
    The sweeping generalizations here concerning British fashion & the concurrent wearing of swords causes one)

  11. #36
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    Hi Tom!

    You make some excellent points (as always!)

    I think that the more we learn about smallswords the more our taste in smallswords becomes refined/defined...

    For myself, I would like to eventually have the best possible example I can of each major style/type/period - but I believe my preference will always be for the iron and steel hilted examples - cut steel hilters and really high quality 'two tone' gilt russet examples...

    The misidentification you refer to is not limited to collectors unfortunately - I have found online dealers incorrectly identifying (obviously) Victorian English court swords as earlier 'Napoleonic officers' smallswords' and the suchlike quite often - which can (at best) be seen as either sheer ignorance or (at worst) as blatant fraud... I have even seen English and French military pattern swords identified as 'smallswords'...

    You are spot on re: English versus Continental court swords of the Victorian era - whilst English court swords of the time generally have the 'claws' (moderately to severely atrophied pas d'ane) - and can also be found *without* them I have yet to see an example of a Continental court sword *with* them...

    On the topic I addressed in my last post - the everyday wear of the smallsword by gentlemen throughout the C18th - I believe there is an overwhelming body of evidence to support the fact that the smallsword was worn as an everyday part of a gentleman's attire right throughout the period - and that this practice continued well into the 1780s and 1790s...

    As to the use of the smallsword as a weapon - I believe the importance placed on swordsmanship in the Education of English gentlemen at the time is well established/supported by the historical record - and find the example given somewhere within this thread of a gentleman supposedly laying aside his smallsword to engage in 'fisticuffs' with some London 'ruffs' MUCH more of an anomaly than the idea that from the 1720s onwards Englishmen simply stopped wearing swords! (ESPECIALLY considering how the ruffians of the day would more often than not be ARMED with knives/cleavers/cudgels/pistols/etc.

    There you have it - better go back to doing some work now though - don't want the boss to think I'm spending all my time on the 'Net!

    John in Oz.

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    Sorry folks,
    The previous message was aborted & not what I had drafted to post.

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    PS...

    Tom - nearly forgot to mention it - several of the more knowledgeable sword historians refer to the English gentleman of the C18th being likely to have 3 or 4 (or more) smallswords that he would wear - one being a darkened (russet without the gilt) 'mourning' or 'undress' everyday wear smallsword, one being a 'dress' silver hilter (considered essential for formal attire) and in many cases the 'cuttoe' or 'couteau de chasse' would be worn not only for hunting but as a smallsword substitute when the gentleman was in residence on his country estate or generally out of the city...

    Re: photos - *promise* I'll pull my finger out and do some soon

    John

  14. #39
    I guess one of the advantage of using brass as a guard and pomel of the swords would be that it is economical. You don't have to keep replacing it, since it does not rust like steel alloy. I've seen on quite a lot of the of small guards on Thai swords, which is actually made of tin. I can't be sure, but it would be resonable since tin is a metal that is most abundant in Southeast Asia...particularily in Malaysia, it is the leading tin mining country.

  15. #40
    Originally posted by T. Donoho
    Photos of small-swords of various periods (with some other swords) as well as hunting swords:

    http://www.myarmoury.com/albums/thumbnails.php?album=55
    that's a great site! Thanks!

  16. #41
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    Sripol:

    Yes. Brass/bronze is more economical for SS hilts than cut steel. But even the brass/bronze hilts can be of a high degree when worked up with and plated with silver or gold...they can be every bit as fine as cut steel hilts. (There can be some really poor quality brass/bronze SS hilts where they were roughly cast and not worked up much after the casting was done.)

    I suspect the Thai sword is a study in itself.

    I do know that in the 19th century, Thai (or Siam) court swords were patterned on British models, even being made in Britain. This was done as with the Japanese court sword being modeled on European examples. The one Siamese court sword I have seen has distinctly Siamese decorative motifs to the British style hilt and a much shorter blade of around 20 inches rather than the usual 30 inches.

    As to small-swords: Hilts were produced in India and Japan in the 18th century, I believe...the basic SS hilt configuration with distintly Asian flavors, the Japanese ones made of shakudo and quite beautiful, indeed.
    Tom Donoho

  17. #42
    Yes, their was a period when they were just crazy over anything European! And you know how the Thai are? They had love westerners. King Rama V was particularily keen on western ideas, philosphies, science and art. He tried to modernize the countries by establishing public schools for the first time. That meant even the lower class children can lern how to read and write...and also learn some science and stuff like that! Thailand is one of the few countries outside the US that people can practice any religeons they want openly without the fear of being killed, or they can say anything they want. This is true with countries that are made of different ethnic groups like Amreica! Thai people (like Amricans) have problem of being proud of their cultures and heritage. That is why there are people who are trying to promote ancient Thai heritage (which is rich in history and cultures). Thai food is one of the most sophisticated in the world...up their with Italian and Chinese, if not more! That's why they are trying to promote ancient Muay Thai (known to the west) or krabi-krabong (known by Thai people). You will find Thai people are such easy going and care free.

  18. #43
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    Thai food is good stuff! We have a nice Thai eatery in my hometown. I like it with lots of spice! Seems like more and more restaurants are becoming "fusion" type with a blend of Chinese, Indian and Thai, for instance.
    Tom Donoho

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    Hi Tom,

    Your "fusion" comment got me thinking - wouldn't it be great if someone extended on Aylward's book with a 'rough and ready' smallsword identification guide?

    I'm thinking of something that automatically takes you through the process a bit like a flow-chart...

    There's no doubt that there is a fair bit of "fusion" in the development of the smallsword throughout the last quarter of the C17th and right through the C18th - but there are also distinctive features that uniquely identify a sword as being from a particular period or country...

    That I am aware of, there is no such guide at this point in time - and it is only through study and trial and error that a collector of smallswords can get to the point where he can, with reasonable confidence, pin an example down to a particular period and country...

    Just my 2 cents' worth

    Before I forget: HAPPY NEW YEAR to you Tom and to EVERYONE on SFI - hope everyone has a safe and prosperous 2006!

    PS I lived/worked in Thailand for a year - you just CAN'T beat that Tomyum soup! (I even got to the stage where I used to drink the Singha beer - or what they call 'beer sing' over there )

  20. #45
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    Re: The benefits of working day shift:-)

    Originally posted by John Oliver


    Towards the end of this thread the theory is posited (theory or conjecture it can only be because none of those alive at the time is presently still with us or able to directly confirm or deny it) that the wearing of the smallsword in England was something of an 'anomily' from the 1720s onwards....
    Riiiiight.......If they're dead we can convenitently ignore whatever they wrote down that has passed through the ages.

    As you are well know on these fora for ignoring PRIMARY PERIOD evidence when it contradicts your fantasy vision of the 18th century and have proven yourself incapable of providing any similar PRIMARY evidence when requested I won't hold my breath waiting for you to come up with anything other than generalizations sans cited evidence

    Pick up ANY hisotry on English costume and you find De Saussure's oft cited observation on Englishmen's habit

    " Almost all wear small round wigs, plain hats, and carry canes in their hands, but no swords. "

    got that? Accoding to a 18th c eye-witness "ALMOST ALL" go without swords This dosen't make the sword unacceptable or unfamiliar as it would be today but it is a very clear description of the general appearance of Englsihmen in the early Georgian period.

    Suggesting that smallsword production is prof of ubiqitous display is laughable and once more shows your knowledge of 18th century culture is wanting But hey, cite some PERIOD evidence and prove me wrong.
    As much as baroque consumer culture resembles the forces that drive consumerism today there was one factor that must be accounted for - nobless oblige, the wealthy of a commnity/parish/town where responsible to spend even when they didn't necessarily need. This obligation resulted in the purchase of many goods but like the wigs mentioned above, can't speak to their use, only primary sources can do that and you've yet to come up with one

    So let's talk secondary source use.

    Robert Shoemaker, in his essay "Taming of the Duel" expands on what Chris Amberger suggested in his essay, "Men of Iron" that the marital arts as practiced in the late period where not *fighting* but fencing within conventions and customs that brought it closer to modern foil play (Shoemaker cites Aylward on this matter) and Castle says much the same about "academic" foil play that was slowed down to avoid facial injury and reposts wherer timed to the opponant's recovery. This academic smallsword play was what formed part of a classical education, not combat techniques. Amberger and Shoemaker suggests that it was the unsuitability of play with the fluerette for combat that saw Angelo rush to intervene and break up a duel. In Angelo's own words regarding swordplay as practiced by English elites

    "As I mean soon to write my opinions of what I have experienced during the space of fifty years, and of the French school, where the science is practiced more for self-defence than as an accomplishment; whereas here [ie., in England] it is more for exercise, for the improvement of the carriage, and the promotion of health"

    Here is Angelo himself telling us that fencing in England was geared more towards sport and not street realities. But I expect you'll ignore Angelo as well.......
    It was the artificiality and saftey of this "academic play" (Castle's words) that alowed it to survive as a part of a man's education when the overwhelming societal pressure is towards a reduction in violence.
    Amberger's "Playing by the Rules" article should be referred to for the precedent set in the 17th c.

    As to the sword being worn for protection, this is not in dispute. When forced out at night or on the marginal spaces of the roads, the sword would be a constant companion and backup to coach pistols and blunderbusses. Like the pistols and blunderbus they aren't carried about in the course of a normal day in one's home parish.
    P Spierenberg in Men And Violence researched the criminal knive fighting culture of Amsterdam and found a pattern when the knife-armed lower classes attacked their betters It was the custom of the middle classes in Holland to defend themselvwes with canes. Given that Englishmen according to Saussure substitued canes for swords, the walking stick was more than able to fill the armament void.
    As I mentioned previously, smallswords were certainly present in Georgian England but in the marginal contexts of night and while travelling.

    O.k. so YOU want to believe that Georgian Englishmen were all martial lions armed to the teeth Well a man who visited 18th c England says otherwise.
    I believe the moon is made of cheese but without EVIDENCE and a contextual understanding, simply typing it down dosen't make it so. So let's hear or see some of this evidence that Englishmen wore swords as regularily as was done on the Continent . Sword made after 1720 prove nothing. Cummerbunds and ascots are made in vast quantities today, dosen't mean they are worn regularily either

    Evidence. 18th century Period sources. Got any?
    Last edited by Ian Brackley; 12-30-2005 at 09:04 AM.
    How may I confuse you further?

  21. #46
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    Okay, Sripol, you did it!

    I really have a craving for Thai food, now!

    Luckily, we have that Thai restaurant in town.

    Ymmm!
    Tom Donoho

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    Tom,

    I *knew* I forgot something important!

    Listen - in terms of hilt tightening (specifically the all-steel hilt on my soon to arrive English court sword) what is your preferred method?

    The chap at Long's is convinced its a riveted tang - it *may* turn out to be a threaded pommel capstan/nut made to look like one though (I've had an Edward VII English sword like this once before...)

    If the sword hasn't been dismounted already (it sounds like it hasn't) I obviously want to avoid an actual dismounting of the weapon - a tightening of the hilt components is all I am interested in...

    Thanks,

    John.

  23. #48
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    John:

    I suspect it has a decorative nut rather than being peened...typical of English small-swords/court swords of the period. They fit so tightly together that they sometimes appear to have no break between the nut and the pommel...just look really close with a glass. If it is a nut, a firm but gentle turn will release it...cover the nut in a piece of leather as it will protect and grip the nut. No problem dismounting these swords where a nut is used...then you can tighten the hilt with the addition of slivers of wood inside the hollow grip...the same as with 18th c. small-swords, where it was normal to "pack" the grips and have them serviced from time to time. Some believe that the peening of the tang would be sufficient to keep the hilt tight, but that was not the case and it was made firm as a whole with the use of wooden wedges. As an alternative, tightening might be accomplished by way of wooden slivers tapped into the hilt from under the shell...but these hilt parts fit together so tightly that it often is necessary to dismount it to do it right.

    Post a pic when you get it. I think these steel hilts are prettier than those brass hilts. And, as mentioned, they are uniquely English in design.
    Last edited by T. Donoho; 12-30-2005 at 09:52 AM.
    Tom Donoho

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,094
    John:

    Also, the nut could have been lost and the tang subsequently peened...I have seen his before.
    Tom Donoho

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    305
    Thanks for that Tom!

    HOPEfully my new toy will arrive in the next few days or so - can't wait

    PROMISE I will post pictures as soon as I can - and also of my 'number one' pride and joy - my Louis XVth cut steel hilter (she's a beautiful piece of craftsmanship)

    At any rate - I'm rushing out the door now - first I have to do my customary hour or two on the range (putting my new 9mm reloads through their paces in search of the 'perfect reload') then rushing home to greet the guests for the 'mother of all new year's eve parties'

    Talk to you NEXT YEAR I guess!

    John.

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