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Old 26th July 2014, 11:17 AM   #1
cornelistromp
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Default a group of landsknecht swords with star-shaped pommels

when I got into my hands a more developed Katzbalger with star-shaped pommel and baskethilt, ten years ago, I thought it was a strange looking weapon.
Now it appears that there are similar made of this type and that this development with the same style characteristics; star pommel, mythical creatures, and curling iron scrolls are also found on two hand swords from this period.
The brief period when these types were made is between 1550-1570, more on this later.
the Katzbalger shows that the hilt bars have evolved into a basket hilt to protect the whole hand. The 8-shaped rod parry has no ore ball shaped end nodes but an end tail with two scrolls that serve as hilt plate to protect the hand against stabbing . A stylish almost identical Katzbalger was found in the depot of the Rijksmuseum.

This star-shaped pommel is probably the forerunner of the mushroom-shaped pommel which frequently occurs around 1575 at dussages, rapiers and two hand swords. The mythical animals carved into the guard are typically seen on katzbalger hilts in the first half of the 16th century, the form of these heads becomes in time more abstract. the iron scrolls do come in, in the third quarter of the 16th century.

The two-hand sword with star-shaped pommel.
it looks like if this sword is created after a fixed definition, they are in fact practically all the same.
hilt: cruciform with arched quillons terminating in rounded scrolls, mythical animals spitting out these scrolls, star shaped pommel, long two handed grip.
Blade: straight double edged of flat diamond shape section, long rectangular ricasso with down curved ( in the direction of the grip) parrying lugs.

This type of twohander I encountered sporadically, one in my collection, one of the Rijksmuseum ex. Visser collection, one in the museum in Brussels, one auctioned at czernys, one in the musée Larmee in Paris.
it was a great revelation when I saw a large group of this type in the depot of the armory in Emden. (thanks to Carl). it is unfortunate that this rare type is not shown to the visitors.
The sword in the Rijksmuseum is of importance because it gives a foothold to date this type.
painted on the blade of the rijksmuseum piece; DIT ZWAARD HEEFT GEVOERT JONKHEER JACUS CABELLAU GOUVERNEUR DER STADT ALCMAAR IN T JAAR 1573.
THIS SWORD WAS CARRIED BY JONKHEER JACUS CABELLAU GOVERNOR OF THE TOWN OF ALKMAAR IN THE YEAR 1573.
Cabellau (cabeljau) was the leader of the city soldiers, and repulsed successfully the siege of the city by the Spaniards. which eventually made the Spaniards to withdraw.
The pommel has a decoration in relief of two codfishes, the translation of (Dutch) Cabellau is codfish.

In the third quarter of the 16th Century two hand swords increasingly became symbolic rather than retaining their former status as fighting weapons of certain elite soldier, They developed into symbols of dignity and authority, for instance within the town elite. In the Dutch civic guards they were carried by the kapiteins dármes, non-commissioned officers in charge of the arms and military equipment kept in the town armoury.
(cf JP Puype)
This dividing line is very thin, many of these weapons show signs of battle at the edge of the blade.

The origin of this type, though I have no hard evidence for this is probably the Netherlands, given the large number in the depot of Emden and some provenance( old Dutch collections) of the other examples.


enjoy the pictures©

VBW,
Jasper

Last edited by cornelistromp : 26th July 2014 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 26th July 2014, 11:19 AM   #2
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twohander own collection, pictures ©
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Last edited by cornelistromp : 26th July 2014 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 26th July 2014, 11:22 AM   #3
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pictures katzbalger own collection ©
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Old 26th July 2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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katzbalger depot Rijksmuseum and Cabellau zwaard rijks museum.
pictures ©
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Old 26th July 2014, 11:29 AM   #5
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twohander Bussels and Musee de lármee Paris© and czernys (black Pictures)
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Old 26th July 2014, 11:34 AM   #6
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and last but not least, Depot Emden. Pictures ©
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Old 7th May 2015, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelistromp
twohander own collection, pictures ©



Just a trivial note, these 'star shaped' pommels in the flattened form according to Moudry & Konopisky ("Edged Weapons : Sabres of the Hapsburg Monarchy", Prague, 1991, p.20-21) these curious pommels are often termed 'kosarice' ( = a popular Croatian pastry with similar shape).

The example (#3) in this reference is described as a mid-European sabre of c1600, and it is noted elsewhere in notes that swords with these kinds of pommels are known in Dalmatia and Venice in 16th c.

The sabre in the reference has a trellis type asymmetrical guard of early schiavona type. It is amazing how much the diffusion of the styles and forms of these arms are diffused via these mercenary forces throughout the armies and courts of Europe.
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Old 8th May 2015, 07:45 AM   #8
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Hi Jim,

Thanks, interesting.
could you please post an image, I'm curious about the size and shape of the pommel, certainly on a schiavona.

best,
Jasper
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Old 8th May 2015, 11:08 PM   #9
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Here is the page, please pardon the scribbled notes around it
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Old 9th May 2015, 09:49 AM   #10
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Default Heart Shaped Cut Out Decoration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Here is the page, please pardon the scribbled notes around it


Salaams Jim et al, There appears to be a link between these hand and a half/two handers in the decoration to the guards and the Basket decoration on some Scottish/English? Basket hilts...Is it feasible that since the highlanders also used similar weapons ...and did so earlier than the appearance of the Basket Hilts that the decoration for example in the heart shaped cut out at Cornelistromp post at 21 in the first 3 pictures may have been transmitted to Basket Hilts from this design? This would indicate that "European" design was responsible for heart shaped cut outs on Scottish/English Basket Hilts. The caveat "Perhaps" is added.

To be clearer, from Harvey J S Withers I Quote"Scottish Two-Handed Swords.
In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, highlanders also carried the claidheamhda laimh or two handed sword. It is similar to German or Swiss two handed (Zweihander) swords carried by Landsknechte or mercenaries, and the few surviving examples have Scottish hilts with German blades. The hilt normally includes an oval shell guard and long, flattened, down-swept quillons. The third type of sword is referred to as the “Lowland Sword”. These have very long blades, with characteristic side rings to the hilt, globular pommels and quillons set at right angles to the blade, terminating in knobs"Unquote.


Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

Last edited by Ibrahiim al Balooshi : 9th May 2015 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 28th May 2015, 02:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Just a trivial note, these 'star shaped' pommels in the flattened form according to Moudry & Konopisky ("Edged Weapons : Sabres of the Hapsburg Monarchy", Prague, 1991, p.20-21) these curious pommels are often termed 'kosarice' ( = a popular Croatian pastry with similar shape).

The example (#3) in this reference is described as a mid-European sabre of c1600, and it is noted elsewhere in notes that swords with these kinds of pommels are known in Dalmatia and Venice in 16th c.

The sabre in the reference has a trellis type asymmetrical guard of early schiavona type. It is amazing how much the diffusion of the styles and forms of these arms are diffused via these mercenary forces throughout the armies and courts of Europe.


thanks for the picture.
I have noticed this pie-shaped pommel cap more often on schiavona and other south European swords, however unforunately it has nothing to do with the starpommels under discussion; not in form but also not in terms of time.

these are approximately 100 years later.

best
Jasper
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