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Old 11th January 2014, 07:35 PM   #404
Matchlock's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

That did help indeed, thank you.

I would not call that a classic non-Gothic numeral 4 though.

Most medievalists will agree that the Gothic numeral 4 in its 'typical' version is often misread as the upper half of the cypher 8, which actually is not true. In fact, '4' has only been turned to the right by 90 degrees since the 15th century and turned back to its present position again in the course of the first half of the 16th century.

If you look at it that way, the 'position' of the numeral 4 on the blade of that Katzbalger may well be alright, just not not quite what one would expect 'characteristically' and 'ideally'.

In order to illustrate how much the position of numeral 4 could vary - until the 'modern' version! - during the whole 15th c., I attached the following samples:

1407 (founding table of the Church of the Holy Spirit, Landshut, Bavaria), very unusual!

1436 (hatchment, Swiss National Museum Zurich)

1443 (bone of a mammoth, an inexplicable curiosity in the Gothic period)

1460 (mirrored version of numeral 4, on the crossbow of Ulrich of Württemberg, Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.), unusually mirrored!

1478 (source unknown)

1481 (Old City Hall, Regensburg, Bavaria)

1481 (wrought-iron hackbut barrel, Munich; in my collection, and two nearly identical samples in Oberhaus Castle, Passau, Lower Bavaria):

1481 (painting by Michael Wohlgemut), unusually modern!

1499 (Albrecht Dürer, Nuremberg, whose style was extremely 'advanced' in his time, on his portrait of Oswolt Krell)!

As you will see, no absolutely strict rules can be set up for a certain representation.

Attached Images
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