Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Originally Posted by Bob A
While having no knowledge whatever regarding these hilts, I'm struck by two thoughts on the subject.
First, the gorgeous examples above appear to be "parade" or "display" weapons. I can't imagine using them in battle. One might infer that the protrusions would therefore be more fanciful than utilitarian.
Second, many of these swords which I've seen depicted, of a far lower level of adornment, seem to have more nearly straight protrusions. Going on the basis of form following function, I see them as useful in striking against an attack from behind or below the sword-bearer. A backhand blow would be more quickly delivered than a 180 degree turn to bring a long blade into action. A descending blow from the hilt, assuming a mounted or more elevated position of the sword-bearer, would certainly crush a skull, for example. The mass of the sword would enhance the force of the stroke.
Thank you Bob for these very astute observations, much appreciated. I think your points are well made, and I remain convinced that these protrusions COULD be used to grasp in an incidental situation, they were not made with such intent. Regarding the parade or ceremonial aspect, it is noted in a number of references that the 'stem' served as a hand rest.
One thing I noticed in recent research, there are 'khanda' (Hindu basket ) type hilts on maces as well as axes with combo firearms, and some of these have the same extension/protrusion on them out of the pommel. Clearly these would not serve for a 'two hand' stroke as suggested with the swords...at least not in the same sense.