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Old 1st November 2016, 01:12 PM   #1
Cerjak
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Default A cup hilt rapier for id.

A cup hilt rapier for id.
Mark XX EN X MENE X
Grip ivory ?
O.L. 123 cm ; blade L. 105 cm;
Any comment on it would be welcome.
Best
Cerjak
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Old 1st November 2016, 02:15 PM   #2
fernando
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Très jolie, Jean-Lic; with a 'marguerite' type cup .
Check the ricasso part inside the cup, if there is a makers mark or symbol.
This sword sure looks Spanish, possibly from the XVII cwntury ... in principle with a Solingen blade.
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Old 1st November 2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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Thank you fernando ,Yes there is a symbol ,a boat for me a three-masted boat?
Have you seen the second one I just posted?
best
Jean-luc
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Old 1st November 2016, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
... Thank you fernando ,Yes there is a symbol ,a boat for me a three-masted boat?...


No similar mark appears in the Toledo charts; which confirms the blade is not Spanish. Maybe some member knows this symbol ... which i don't recall seing myself.
... But having marks is always an added value, in any case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
...Have you seen the second one I just posted?...

Yes i have; also a 'Margarida', with a similar guard/hilt/pommel. You should also look for marks in the same area.
Both great acquisitions .
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Old 2nd November 2016, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
No similar mark appears in the Toledo charts; which confirms the blade is not Spanish. Maybe some member knows this symbol ... which i don't recall seing myself.
... But having marks is always an added value, in any case.


Yes i have; also a 'Margarida', with a similar guard/hilt/pommel. You should also look for marks in the same area.
Both great acquisitions .

Fernando

I had A look in your sword I can see that I have one "ring" you don't have .
See atached pictures.
Best

Jean-Luc
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Old 2nd November 2016, 06:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
Fernando

I had A look in your sword I can see that I have one "ring" you don't have .
See atached pictures.
Best

Jean-Luc

I know. When i said they have similar guard set ups i was referring to both your swords, not to mine. Actually none of my cuphilted swords have a finger ring; neither you see this detail so often in cup hilts.
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Old 4th November 2016, 10:32 PM   #7
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On this interesting ivory hilt cuphilt, the 'IN MENE' is an often used phrase or wording on German blades which in essence means 'in mind'.
The ship marking is most interesting, especially with this apparent three masted configuration.

A marking of a simple ship with sail and single mast was known to have been used by Clemens Kueller (Koller) 1675-1715 (noted p.143 Bezdek).
I am wondering if that might have evolved from the mark of a very stylized ship under the capital letter 'M' from mid 16th c, Milan. This is described in Wallace Collection (Mann, 1962, p.361) and stated the connection to Clemens Kueller from such mark and on the rapier of Heinrich Julius c. 1585. There is obviously a discrepancy in the period (by a century!) but this is the only 'ship' use in markings found.

I did find instance of the use of the 'ship' as an early Christian symbol representing the 'barque of St. Peter'
It is also interesting to note that the duchy of Milan was under control of Spain until the Spanish War of Succession (1701-14) which accounts (along with other Spanish provinces in Italy) for the profound connections between Italy and Spain in these swords.
The oblate pommels were a feature common on these c. 1660s+.

Nothing concrete, but interesting clues as to the period and details on this rapier.
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Old 5th November 2016, 12:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
...Actually none of my cuphilted swords have a finger ring; neither you see this detail so often in cup hilts.

Unless this was a later addition ...
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Old 5th November 2016, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Unless this was a later addition ...


Maybe, but why?
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Old 5th November 2016, 08:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
On this interesting ivory hilt cuphilt, the 'IN MENE' is an often used phrase or wording on German blades which in essence means 'in mind'.
The ship marking is most interesting, especially with this apparent three masted configuration.

A marking of a simple ship with sail and single mast was known to have been used by Clemens Kueller (Koller) 1675-1715 (noted p.143 Bezdek).
I am wondering if that might have evolved from the mark of a very stylized ship under the capital letter 'M' from mid 16th c, Milan. This is described in Wallace Collection (Mann, 1962, p.361) and stated the connection to Clemens Kueller from such mark and on the rapier of Heinrich Julius c. 1585. There is obviously a discrepancy in the period (by a century!) but this is the only 'ship' use in markings found.

I did find instance of the use of the 'ship' as an early Christian symbol representing the 'barque of St. Peter'
It is also interesting to note that the duchy of Milan was under control of Spain until the Spanish War of Succession (1701-14) which accounts (along with other Spanish provinces in Italy) for the profound connections between Italy and Spain in these swords.
The oblate pommels were a feature common on these c. 1660s+.

Nothing concrete, but interesting clues as to the period and details on this rapier.


Jim

Looking to This FALCHION (plate 110 ) with a M in a ship I have thought few minutes that this three-masted boat could be a boat with a M ON the top but looking more closer I have no doubt that it is three-masted boat.
Best
Jean-Luc
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Old 5th November 2016, 08:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Maybe, but why?

Well, more than a fashion, the owner must have viewed it as a useful thing, to ensure a good handling control. Better than not having it, anyway .
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Old 6th November 2016, 05:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Well, more than a fashion, the owner must have viewed it as a useful thing, to ensure a good handling control. Better than not having it, anyway .


That does seem pragmatically possible, and considering the fact that this might be a dramatically important factor for that very reason, even more so. I had thought of the German thumb ring, but those are at rear of grip and perpendicular to quillons or guard contrary to this example.

I often forget that swords in these times were intended for use in life threatening circumstances (looking more at historical factors) and that not only were they kept serviceable, but such custom features, blade shortening and sharpening etc. were regular requirements.
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Old 6th November 2016, 05:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
Jim

Looking to This FALCHION (plate 110 ) with a M in a ship I have thought few minutes that this three-masted boat could be a boat with a M ON the top but looking more closer I have no doubt that it is three-masted boat.
Best
Jean-Luc


That falchion is the one mentioned in Wallace. The point was to relay other instances of the boat or ship in markings context as found in other instances which may or may not offer clues to identifying this mark. It is tempting though to think of the M as you note.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 6th November 2016 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 6th November 2016, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... I had thought of the German thumb ring, but those are at rear of grip and perpendicular to quillons or guard contrary to this example...

Maybe the difference resides in that there are thumb rings and finger rings and their distinct approach ... what do i know .
Still in Jean-Luc's example you manage to fold your forefinger around the ricasso behind the cup, a traditional position, and your thumb locking in that 'extra' ring. Can you hold dreaming ?


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Old 6th November 2016, 04:33 PM   #15
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Exactly! Who can forget the many discussions trying to figure out the mysteries of the small tulwar grip sizes on Indian swords and the so called 'Indian ricasso' on the blade near hilt. It seems it was finally noted about the European swordsmanship manner of wrapping finger around quillon.
Just as with the tulwars, it does seem the grip area on these rapiers were often quite small relative to the hand size, so these kinds of adjustments were understandable, unless ya had real small hands.
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Old 6th November 2016, 05:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... it does seem the grip area on these rapiers were often quite small relative to the hand size, so these kinds of adjustments were understandable, unless ya had real small hands.

But while short grips in Indian swords were a (sort of) standard situation, i believe the majority of cup hilt swords grips had normal lengths, notwithstanding relatively short ones were so because as, the manner to hold the sword with finger/s wraping the front section, would not need them to be made larger. Still you have extreme situations, where pondering on such fashion results in examples like the one attached, where only three fingers could hold the actual grip. The civilian that owned this sword was certainly a short fellow, its blade only measuring 83 cms.

.
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Old 6th November 2016, 07:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
But while short grips in Indian swords were a (sort of) standard situation, i believe the majority of cup hilt swords grips had normal lengths, notwithstanding relatively short ones were so because as, the manner to hold the sword with finger/s wraping the front section, would not need them to be made larger. Still you have extreme situations, where pondering on such fashion results in examples like the one attached, where only three fingers could hold the actual grip. The civilian that owned this sword was certainly a short fellow, its blade only measuring 83 cms.

.



Well observed, and good insight toward these situational matters in cuphilts. As you say, the Indian situation was far more 'standardized' as clearly the general size of Indian hands was of course smaller as a rule. This was indeed so much so that even British production of swords for native forces had 'Indian' pattern regulation swords with smaller hilts .
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Old 6th November 2016, 07:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... as clearly the general size of Indian hands was of course smaller as a rule ...

Or just slender (say slim), that not necessarily smaller; something also (or more) plausible .
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Old 19th November 2016, 06:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
But while short grips in Indian swords were a (sort of) standard situation, i believe the majority of cup hilt swords grips had normal lengths, notwithstanding relatively short ones were so because as, the manner to hold the sword with finger/s wraping the front section, would not need them to be made larger.

.


Fernando, you have an interesting sword here... blade ground to a "flamberge" profile, and the unusually short grip. Note that the knucklebow extends further back at its finial than the length of the grip would warrant -- it seems to be of "normal" size which makes me wonder if this was a rapier assembled by a cutler specifically for a customer of very short stature, using everything of standard size but cutting the tang down accordingly, or else it was a sword that started out typical but which was modified after-the-fact, some time later in its working life. Either way, it's an intriguing example for study.
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Old 19th November 2016, 04:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Fernando, you have an interesting sword here...

Pity this one is not mine; actualy it belonged in a collection from which i have bought a couple examples ... but not this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
... Note that the knucklebow extends further back at its finial than the length of the grip would warrant -- it seems to be of "normal" size
A detail i confess i have overlooked .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
which makes me wonder if this was a rapier assembled by a cutler specifically for a customer of very short stature, using everything of standard size but cutting the tang down accordingly, or else it was a sword that started out typical but which was modified after-the-fact, some time later in its working life.

But then, one may wonder why, having to shorten the grip, at whatever stage, why not adjusting the knucklebow accordingly ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Either way, it's an intriguing example for study...

Indeed.
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Old 19th November 2016, 07:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Or just slender (say slim), that not necessarily smaller; something also (or more) plausible .


Indeed, the idea of an entire pattern of sword hilt adapted en masse to accommodate an entire ethnic group seems patently implausible, however that circumstance is noted in references on British military swords as I mentioned (I believe it was "British Military Swords" by Robson).

As well noted by Philip, this cup hilt does seem to have been afforded some custom or commissioned attention, and the undulating (flamberge) blade something of a novelty. While notably speculative, I would suggest that these kinds of blades are typically regarded as more of a parade or ceremonial type feature, and that such blades are recorded in various Biblical instances, in guarding the 'Gates of Paradise'. This is sometimes associated with Masonic regalia such as the 'Tylers' sword which is often recorded as 'a wavy blade'.
Just a suggestion OK. Many Spanish military orders of course employed these kinds of symbolism.
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Old 19th November 2016, 09:20 PM   #22
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As i recently came across with an example in a local fellow collector and will also refer the collection where the above posted sword came from, waving blades in cup hilts (and sail hilts) are not so uncommon; and with the same typical inscriptions as those straight ones: IN MENE, IN SOLINGEN, PUGNO PRO PATRIA, CROSS AND ORB symbol; even some of them rather lenghty, so in line with the same operational attitude.
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Old 19th November 2016, 09:28 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Indeed, the idea of an entire pattern of sword hilt adapted en masse to accommodate an entire ethnic group seems patently implausible, however that circumstance is noted in references on British military swords as I mentioned (I believe it was "British Military Swords" by Robson)...

For what it is worth, this aspect is also approached by Rainer Daehnhardt in his written works, where he mentions that Portuguese could not hold Indian talwars, due to their short grip.
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Old 20th November 2016, 01:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
For what it is worth, this aspect is also approached by Rainer Daehnhardt in his written works, where he mentions that Portuguese could not hold Indian talwars, due to their short grip.


The references from Mr. Daehnhardt are highly important in my opinion, and worth a great deal. Thank you Fernando.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 07:49 PM   #25
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Default Talwar short grips

Here Jim,
This may not have anything ... or everything to do it.
Tirri depicting a talwar with a hilt having its pommel removed to accomodate a 'larger' hand. Larger than what ?

.
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Old 24th January 2017, 03:29 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Here Jim,
This may not have anything ... or everything to do it.
Tirri depicting a talwar with a hilt having its pommel removed to accomodate a 'larger' hand. Larger than what ?

.



Of course......Tirri!!!
To add to the conjecture on the Indian hilt/hand size conundrum:

Notes from Burton, and other cited in "Hindu Arms & Ritual" 2004, Elgood, footnote #85 (p.297);
"...the personal weapons of Sivaji were preserved at Satara and Kolhapur after his death in 1680. Grant Duff in "Notes of an Indian Journey" (1876) described the worship of the Bhawani at Satara as did Burton in 'Sword' (1884) who recorded a Genoa blade of great length and fine temper though it is not clear whether he saw it himself.
He cites a Mrs Guthrie who did see it, saying it was a fine Ferrara blade, four feet in length, with a spike upon the hilt to thrust with'.
She also noticed THE SMALLNESS OF THE GRIP.

It seems there are no real sound answers on this, and while the notion of physical hand size being a factor in grip size, there is not a consensus as to how consistant such instances might apply. I have seen a tulwar from the Northwest Frontier which has provenance it was used in this manner, with no disc. It was captured by a British officer in 1930 from an Afghan warrior, and was among his other memento's shown to me when I interviewed him in the 90s.
It was said in other research on Afghan weapons, that the physical stature of tribesmen of these regions, was typically larger than that of the Hindu's to the south. This was not documented but in personal communications.

Thank you for the follow up Fernando.

Jim
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