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Old 19th November 2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

Originally Posted by ExLibris
Dear forum members,

I'm currenly researching a sword that was found at an archaeological excavation of the medieval moat of the city of Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 2007. The sword was returned in juni 2013 after a long restoration. The result is amazing! Because parts of the leather and wood were preserved, this sword is a kind of time capsule.

During my investigation I learned this sword is a Katzbalger, used by the Landsknechts in the 16th century. In this century Eindhoven was attacked several times. The most likely years that this sword was lost is probably 1542/1543, although there were also attacks on the town in 1529 and in the 1580's.

I have several questions about this sword:

- Where was it made? I presume in southern Germany or Switzerland.
- When was it made? The restorers dated it on 1550-1600, Cornelis Tromp from this forum dated it 1525-1550.
- In the scabbard were several tools found, like a Swiss army knife or a multi-tool. Was this common for this kind of swords of for swords in general?

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge on this interesting object!

Before restauration

After restoration

Hi Rob,

On returning home from more than one year in hospital, I found your highly interesting thread und would like to add my two cents.

Based on the general form of the hilt, Cornelistromp is certainly right in assuming a span of ca. 1525-50, though I would confine the temporary limit to ca. 1515-30.

And yes, the accompanying tools in the sheath were absolute standard; in the Early Renaissance period, craftsmen tended to combine as many functions as possible in one item, cf. the girth bags ('purses' although they actually were a lot more than that) with their many tiny compartments for various sorts of coins, letters etc. The idea behind it was of course that the Landsknecht/mercenary who this Katzbalger belonged to was not required to tote additional eating utensils such as cutlery.

E.g., attached please find a portrait of Count Palatine Ottheinrich von der Pfalz, ca. 1550-55, the sheath of his fine Landsknecht-style sword featuring an integral set of bodkins (is there such a plural? ), German: Beibesteck, comprising knife, two-spiked fork, awl (for mending clothes) and pricker. Actually, what is the fifth of the tools in the sheath of 'your' sword?

Please see also my thread

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