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Old 9th April 2016, 06:38 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default Extendable Rapiers

Extendable Rapiers

Hi Guys

I am looking for information on Extendable Rapiers (with a stretchable sword blade) and hopefully pictures of actual examples. I have heard that there are examples of these in some European museums, however being in Australia unless they are on the internet I will never know.

I know I have read about them having been introduced to get around a law governing Rapier blade length, however I would really like to learn more about them if they actually existed. In particular how the hilt was designed and what mechanisms where employed to allow the blade to retract presumable to legal length and then be extended.

Can anyone help thanks?

Cathey
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Old 9th April 2016, 10:25 AM   #2
fernando
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Hi Cathey,
To start with, you may wish to visit THIS THREAD and scroll down to posts of your interest.
Best
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Old 9th April 2016, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Extendable Rapiers

hi Fernando,

I found this one today, which made me interested in find more examples and some history if possible. I think there was a post once with a museum that had several examples but I can't find it. I hope someone out there might have more information to share.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 9th April 2016, 12:43 PM   #4
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This book is indispensable for all types of unusual weapons.

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Last edited by fernando : 9th April 2016 at 03:35 PM. Reason: No links allowed Dmitry; only direct uploaded attachments
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Old 9th April 2016, 03:17 PM   #5
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Hi Cathey,
Currently i don't find any other post or thread in this forum on this subject ... although possibly they exist. But i guess i have seen other examples in different sources but, i don't remember where.
You mention their history. What angle of history would you expect to read about ... the need for these swords ?
Concerning mechanisms, i wonder if there are more than one; possibly. I didn't see how this specific one worked in the begining, when looking at the small unclear picture in the book, but now i think i got the correct idea:

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Old 9th April 2016, 06:11 PM   #6
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Speaking of examples in museums, you have the following German rapier (1590-1600) in exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Overall L. 167.6 cm (66 in.)
George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2844.

The mechanism appears to be the same as the one in the collection of Rainer Daehnhardt.

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Old 10th April 2016, 01:54 AM   #7
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Default Kombinationswaffen des 15.-19. Jahrhunderts

Hi Dmitry

Thankyou for the referral to Kombinationswaffen des 15.-19. Jahrhunderts, I have managed to track down a copy and order it on line.

Fernando
I believe I have seen the mechanism you have illustrated before (like you somewhere but can't remember the source) where the blade extends through the hilt. I know I have seen an example somewhere that has the blade extending via a sheath at the hilt which I thought would be very fragile to use. Again can't remember where I saw this originally.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 10th April 2016, 02:07 AM   #8
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Default Leeds Armoury

Hi Guys

Found a link to a sword forum site that mentions an example in the Leeds armoury.

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/sh...-extending-Hilt

Cheers Cathey
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Old 10th April 2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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Default Clumsy ... but convenient

I do subscribe sources stating that, the basic purpose of this wile was to fool inspection on the legal length. An actual measuring verification would potentialy only take place if the owner walking on the streets carried a sword visibly longer than allowed, at the eyes of authorities. On the other hand, their encumbrance while sheathed or in handling was a minor factor, comparing to the advantage of having a weapon with a longer reach, when dealing with less ethic street fencing. After all, full length 'off mark' swords abounded, despite royal restrictions and, those yes, were far easier to detect by the law, creating a bigger problem to conceal, when going out to use them.
Now, whether the mechanism/s of these extendable swords was/were solid enough to be reliable, is another story.

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Old 10th April 2016, 10:34 PM   #10
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This really is an interesting topic, and I must admit though I knew there were restrictions on rapier blade length, I did not know of this kind of mechanism/device to conceal the entire reach of the blade.

This unusual aspect of weapons is fascinating and extremely esoteric, so thank you for bringing it up Cathey.

Fernando, I might have known you would have insight into this stuff!
I recall a few years back (2 or 10??) when the subject of sliding weights on blades to add force to cut? was brought up. While much of it was purely fanciful, it was present in other means such as the pearls (bearings) in blade channels which seemed more for sound than actual dynamics.
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Old 12th April 2016, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Fernando, I might have known you would have insight into this stuff!
I recall a few years back (2 or 10??) when the subject of sliding weights on blades to add force to cut? was brought up. While much of it was purely fanciful, it was present in other means such as the pearls (bearings) in blade channels which seemed more for sound than actual dynamics.

Hi Jim,
Sliding weights, bearings inside blades ... you are going through difficult moments, dude


.

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Old 12th April 2016, 03:55 PM   #13
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Wink Ah, the world of fantasy

So what, Rick ?
Jim is got a terrific memory
I wasn't even born when these threads were started .


.

Last edited by fernando : 12th April 2016 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 25th April 2016, 10:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
So what, Rick ?
Jim is got a terrific memory
I wasn't even born when these threads were started .


.


Huh?
Thanks Nando. These were some great threads...now history themselves.
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Old 5th May 2016, 01:36 PM   #15
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In 2012 the Wallace Collection in London staged an exhibition entitled 'The Noble Art of the Sword' with weapons drawn from many European collections, including the Royal Armouries. I took many pictures including some of the RA's extendable rapier.

I'm not sure just how practicable the design would be - unless I'm misreading the structure of the sword it doesn't actually look as if the actual length from pommel to point would change. Only the position of the guard. I may be wrong.

Apologies for the quality of the pics - as usual it's difficult getting good shots through reflective glass.
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Old 5th May 2016, 03:37 PM   #16
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Thanks for the nice addition to the thread subject, Jerseyman .
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Old 24th May 2016, 06:09 PM   #17
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I was paging a catalog from the Scheweizerischen Landesmuseum and found a good picture of one these "growing" swords.
It looks like, after all, there are quite a few of them around.

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