Join Date: Mar 2009
messer, kiegsmesser, grosses messer, langes messer
a messer can be a tool, also inside Houses, or a weapon, In principle, with an asymmetric grip and without a pommel, Instead, you often find a cap that covers the upper part of the handle. The blade is in first place suitable for cutting, but also generally can be used for thrusting.
it has generally a straight single-edged blade with a flat cross-section , but may also be curved. CF Seitz Balnkwaffen I.
There is a theory that knife-cutlers and swordsmiths had to stay within their own field and each keep a close eye on violations.
this implies that these large knives with a wide tang en riveted gripplates (technically speaking a knife) were made by knife cutlers.
I found a nice summary on wikipedia;
Messer (German for "knife", also großes Messer "great knife", Hiebmesser "cutting knife", Kriegsmesser "war knife", etc.) during the German Late Middle Ages and Renaissance (14th to 16th centuries) was a term for the class of single-edged bladed weapons, deriving from the medieval falchion and preceding the modern sabre.
Its hilt included a straight cross-guard and Nagel (a nail-like–Nagel literally means 'nail'–protrusion that juts out from the right side of the cross-guard away from the flat of the blade) to protect the wielder's hands. Quite notable in its construction was the attachment of blade to the hilt via a slab tang sandwiched between two wooden grip plates that were pegged into place. Also of note is that many pommels were 'drawn out' or curved to one side of the hilt (edge side), a feature known as a "hat-shaped pommel". Extant examples seem to have an overall length of 30 inches with a 24.5 in (62 cm) blade, and a weight between 2–2.5 lb (0.91–1.1 kg).
The Messer was part of the curriculum of several fencing manuals in the 14th and 15th centuries, including Lecküchner, Codex Wallerstein and Albrecht Dürer.
Although often confused with the Kriegsmesser ("War Knife"), it has to be clearly distinguished from the Grossmesser, being more than 1500 mm long and shaped more like a scimitar, originating as the Hungarian version of the German Zweihänder. Kriegsmessers were used by professional soldiers, typically Landsknechts. An example of this, also called a "Long Knife", is preserved in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna.
1.^ Vesey, A.; B. Norman (1980). The rapier and small-sword, 1460-1820. Arms and Armour Press. pp. 68–71. ISBN 9780405130892.
2.^ Anglo, Sydney; B. Norman (2000). The martial arts of Renaissance Europe. Yale University Press. pp. 102–103. ISBN 9780300083521.
attached pictures of messers, from my collection.