Sword Design - Antique Arms Collectors Society of Australia

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Sword Design - Antique Arms Collectors Society of Australia
29/08/2013
Swords and edged weapons:
The evolution of European swords
by Dr. Peter Busch
27th August 2013
Swords and edged weapons
Swords are generally either eastern or
western
This
talk is western/european-biased
Japanese swords, eastern swords, and other
ethnographies
are
another area altogether …
Source: http://www.nihonto.com.au/assets/images/NIHONTO-AUSTRALIA-LOGO-website-.gif
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Ancient times …
Egyptian
Greek
Khopesh
(400-300BC)
Hoplite/Xiphos
Roman
(1500BC)
Source: http://www.bronze-age-swords.com/forsale/khopesh_finished.jpg
(100BC – 400AD)
Gladius
Spatha
Source: http://www.manningimperial.com/catalogue/arms/greek-and-roman-arms/xiphos/626
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Source: http://www.sword-forum.com/viewtopic.php?
f=34&t=227&start=0
Viking/Dark Ages
(circa 5-10th centuries)
Petersen
(1919)
Source: http://lh3.ggpht.com/-88bLNYRn
ylE/TB0UeGRRoJI/AAAAAAAAADw/YrTbeU
jXCaU/PetersenTypology.Web...jpg
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Mediaeval
(circa 1000-1500AD)
Oakeshott
(1916-2002)
Mediaeval sword typology
Leading on from Petersen
(1919)
Source: http://www.myarmoury.com/images/reviews/
alb_knight4.jpg
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Source: http://www.oakeshott.org/Typo.html
Renaissance
Source: www.armor.com
(circa 1500-1700)
Complex/Compound hilts
(1460-1820)
A.V.B.
Norman
(1930-1998)
Rapiers, Smallswords and other complex hilts …
Source: www.armor.com
Source: http://www.sword-buyersguide.com/images/Taza-1.jpg
Source: http://www.coldsteel.com/
Product/88SMS/SMALL_SWORD.aspx
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Mid 18th – 20th centuries, swords were then
largely military only …
Swords declined in civilian circles in the
18th century
with
18c
the smallsword and then courtsword
swords were basically for
Heavy
cavalry
Light cavalry/artillery
Infantry
Navy
Source: http://militaryheritage.com/
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In the 19th century …
Swords were either
straight
heavy
curved
bladed ..
cavalry
bladed
light
cavalry
infantry
artillery weapons
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In the 19th century …
With the advent of the multiple shot
firearm (in the mid 19 C)
th
…
Source: www.uberti.com
meaning the revolver ….
swords started to loose their relevance as front-line
weapons ….
more thought in to
efficiency of manufacture and
design of standardised swords
Swords either became
e.g. 1889 I.O.D.
Or
dress/status weapons
efficient combat weapons
e.g. 1897 infantry or 1908 cavalry
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1892/95/97 pattern Infantry …?
Col. Fox
(same chap as 1908 pattern cavalry)
1892 dumb-bell cross-section blade
1895 sheet steel hilt
1897 inner hilt folded down
strong dumb-bell forte
sharpened foible
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And what about the 1908 pattern cavalry?
(Also 1912 pattern for officers)
Background …
French
Heavy cavalry
Prussian/German
Kavallerie Degen 89
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Source: http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/7000/mvc6165skp6.jpg
However …
Prussian
1886 trial pattern …
Source: http://blankwaffenforum.de/index.php?page=Thread&postID=17480&highlight=1886#post17480
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1908 forerunners …
Source: http://blankwaffenforum.de/index.php?page=Thread&postID=38169&highlight=1886#post38169
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Forerunners, contemporaries and
successors
France
1882 pattern
1896 pattern
Source: http://imageshack.us/a/img593/8462/p1050537p.jpg
Source: Armi Bianchi Militari Italiane 1814-1950
Source: http://users.skynet.be/euro-swords/M1896OC_fichiers/image002.jpg
Italy
Spain
1900 pattern cavalry sword
1907 pattern Puerto Seguro
USA
Source: http://perso.wanadoo.es/jjperez222/tropacab3_e.htm
1913 pattern Patton sabre
Lt. Patton after Stockholm
Olympics 1912 …
Source: http://www.cowansauctions.com/itemImages/taa2167.jpg
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Today …
Swords are minimal in most militaries
British @17 patterns
Australia – 5 patterns (4 official + highland) + RAAF + RAN
Canada - like Australia
India, South Africa similar
Austria – 2 patterns, 1861 infantry + 1904 cavalry
France – 1837 naval, 1845 + 1882 infantry, 1822 cavalry, 1923
pattern
Germany – none officially post 1945
Italy – about 10 patterns virtually all dress
Russia – 1 to 3 patterns for officers colonel and above
Spain – 3 to 4 patterns virtually all dress
USA – marines (1825/75 officers, NCOs), army (1902), navy (1852),
air force (1 dress sword)
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Source: http://images.defence.gov.au/20071213ran8109938_181.jpg
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References
Calamandrei, C., (1987) Armi Bianchi Militari Italiane 1814-1950
Editoriale Olimpia Firenze
Hartmann, P., Herrmann, R., (2008) Infanterie-offizierdegen 1889
und Varianten Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart
Norman, A., (1980) The Rapier and the Small-Sword 1460-1820
Arms and Armour Press London
Oakeshott, E., (1997) The Sword in the Age of Chivalry Boydell
Press Woodbridge
Petersen, J., (1919) De Norsk Vikingesverd English translation by
Kristin Noer (1998)
Robson, B., (1996) Swords of the British Army: The Regulation
Patterns 1788 to 1914 The revised edition National Army Museum
London
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