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Old 18th October 2017, 05:48 PM   #151
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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As an interlude I have a description of a Small Sword duel from http://www.hadesign.co.uk/SSA/html/thegraphic.htm ~


Duel with Small Swords
- The Graphic - February 1897

Quote"TOWARDS the end of the seventeenth century, a very significant and important change of sword play came into fashion, and consequent on this the long weighty rapier gave way to the dress small sword with its lighter blade, grip and guard.

The Fronde in France and the Civil War in England had been conducive to much ruffianly bravery, but with a more quiescent state of affairs came a less pugnacious, though at the same time a more effeminate influence over the two nations, and the sword began to be in requisition merely as an ornamental appendage to the dress, though it was not till the reign of Queen Anne that it became what is called the " Small Sword," developing eventually into the perfect Court and duelling sword of the period of George II. and III. , and later still of the School of Angelo, upon which the modern French school of fencing is founded. But though small and unimportant looking, there was still the necessity for making it a deadly weapon on an emergency; hence the evolution of an entirely different system of fence. Owing to the comparative lightness of the new weapon and the much shorter blade, the attack became more rapid, the feint more intricate, and the lunge itself more involved. With the earlier forms of about 1650, it was not possible to execute the same rapid succession of parries and ripostes as are attainable with the modern duelling rapier, which is practically the same as the small sword of the latter part of the eighteenth century. The shape of the blade varied, but the bayonet or triangular form was universal. A shape known as "Colichemarde" obtained great favour from 1730 to 1760 ;Here the forte of the blade was made much broader with the idea that the parry would have greater force. It had, however, the defect of throwing the weight too near the hand, allowing the point to be dangerously high and the lunge in consequence less direct. A notable feature in all swords of this period is the very small size of the shell or protection to the hand, proving how much the science arid finesse of the parry had increased, keeping pace with the lightness and delicacy of the weapon. The introduction of a larger shell in the modern French duelling rapier is due to the fact that now so much play is made to touch the hand or forearm, thereby disabling the opponent and bringing the duel to a close without fatal results. In the days of the small sword the adversary was invariably run through the body, and if death ensued the successful duellist was tried for murder, being acquitted or not according to the circumstances of the case. The pistol duel at the end of the seventeenth century was in France confined to horseback, and in the event of no satisfaction being given by either side the opponents dismounted and continued the contest on foot with their small swords.

The duel given in the illustration took place by the sea. Calais sands were in those days a favourite place for such encounters. In this instance a lunge is made by one of the combatants and successfully avoided by the other, who, suddenly dropping upon one hand in what is called a coup d'aret and straightening his sword-arm, in low seconde, causes the blade of his antagonist to pass harmlessly over him, while his own weapon pierces his adversary's body, the latter in reality killing himself by the impetus of his false lunge. This feint, together with disarming and many other tricks of similar character, were much resorted to in those days when life was often in immediate danger, though in the modern school of fence they are not taught or considered desirable. It would be very interesting to see now if a swordsman of today, in spite of more elaborate science, could hold his own with the subtle cunning and rapid attacks of the duellists of the last century.

A very interesting small-sword duel took place on January 26, I765, between Lord Byron and a Mr. Chaworth. These gentlemen were dining with others at the Star and Garter Tavern in Pall Mall about seven in the evening, when the conversation turned upon the subject of the best manner of preserving game on private estates. Lord Byron's opinion was that the best method was to take no care of it. This drew on an altercation, and after some high words Lord. Byron offered a bet of 100L. that he had more game on a manor of his than Mr. Chaworth had on any belonging to him. Shortly after this altercation Lord Byron left the room, and meeting Mr. Chaworth in the passage stated that he wished to speak with him. He then called a waiter, and asked if there were any room disengaged. The waiter showed them to an unoccupied room and left them with a candle, which was all the light in the apartment except a dull fire. As Mr. Chaworth turned round after shutting the door, he perceived Lord Byron with his sword half drawn, who instantly exclaimed " Draw." Mr. Chaworth immediately complied, and at the first thrust his sword passed through Lord Byron's waistcoat, and he thought he had wounded him, when Lord Byron, shortening his sword, gave him a fatal wound. A struggle then took place between the parties, for they were found grasped in each others arms by the landlord and waiter, who, hearing the noise, hurriedly entered the room, Mr. Chaworth holding his sword in his left hand and Lord Byron having his in his right. A surgeon was immediately sent for, who pronounced the wound mortal, the sword having entered on the left side of the stomach, and, passing obliquely upwards, had made its exit five or six inches higher on the left side of the back. It appears that when Mr. Chaworth's sword passed through the waistcoat of his antagonist, he expressed his apprehension that he had seriously wounded him. Now under such an apprehension it is probable that he was thrown off his guard, when Lord Byron quickly shortened his sword and ran it through his body. Writhing under the agonies of his wound, Mr. Chaworth several times declared that, although he well knew that he was in immediate danger of death, he had rather be in his present situation than live under the misfortune of having killed another person. He also observed that when, after closing the door, he turned round, he, perceived that Lord Byron's sword was half-drawn, and, knowing his man, he drew his own as quickly as he could, and had the first pass at him. The House of Lords found William, Lord Byron, "not guilty of the felony of murder, but of manslaughter," and his lordship, claiming the benefit of the statute of Edward VI., was discharged, paying his fees. The guards, grip, and shells of many of these dress swords were often much ornamented, being richly chased and damascened in inlaid gold and silver, very frequently entirely of silver, as in No.1, which bears the Paris Hall mark of 1745, and sometimes of polished steel as No.2, in which the shell and guard is ornamented with Wedgewood plaques. A shell in No.4 shows the evolution from the cup rapier to the shell of the small sword, the long quillons still remaining, although growing obsolete. The date of this latter is about the end of seventeenth century."Unquote.
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Old 18th October 2017, 11:19 PM   #152
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Hi Ibrahiim and thank-you for that excellent article. I recently received the French Second Empire Court Sword made at Klingenthal that I bought at auction (see post 29) and I have to declare it feels truly deadly in the hand. It has an incredibly sharp point and I can understand why it was such an effective weapon. A rake down the back of the hand or along the forearm would be very deep and probably immobilising, which I gather was the ultimate incarnation of the duel.
Byron sounds precisely like the 'Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know' character of Caroline lamb's description; a bit of a 'bounder' in fact, when you consider that William Chaworth was his cousin.[IMG]
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Old 19th October 2017, 08:42 AM   #153
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a thrust through the body was usually fatal, given the state of medicine of the times. but not always. a certain american gentleman by the name of james bowie was involved in an altercation with a number of people armed with blades on a sandbar and was run thru the lung and out the other side with a sword cane blade of similar proportions to a small sword, and managed to kill all of them, and survived himself, tho poorly for a while thereafter. hands, arms, legs were preferred first targets as if you thrust into his body, he had a lot of time to thrust into yours before succumbing, disabling him first was better, you could then finish him off at leisure. (there is an artery that runs across the inside of your elbow that, if nicked and left unattended during a scuffle, can bleed you out in a couple minutes, and disabling you a lot sooner. ditto on the vena cava inside your thigh, or the neck veins/arteries. there are also a number of areas where a thrust would miss vital organs completely. see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj6Drp7hWhY if you are not squeemish. (he died young after thinking he could swallow a steel needle)
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Old 19th October 2017, 04:40 PM   #154
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For a realistic portrayal ... A Duel see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOBTFfHJjV8
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Old 19th October 2017, 05:05 PM   #155
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i agree more with matt here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQVrb_cAVfQ

the duellists is a cool movie tho.

see also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlsT9VZyehE

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Old 19th October 2017, 07:18 PM   #156
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Default Some observations on three sided hollow ground blades

There has been some discussion here of smallswords and whether any were produced at SB. One of the fascinations for collecting smallswords is the almost infinite variety of hilt designs in existence. From simple iron or brass ones through elegant cut steel and silver, to some which can be described as nothing other than works of art. Many books will show page upon page of hilts that are visual delights but skip over any detailed descriptions or photographs of the blades, leaving the reader to assume that all 'triangular' blades are the same.
While it is true that there is a general similarity in all of them, the colchemarde style being the only distinct variation remarked on by most, it has to be noted that when examining a good selection of blades there are some distintive differences in the methods of forging and grinding.
The nearest ones to an equal triangle are seen the more recent examples which saw something of a revival in the Victorian and later court swords, often seen with cut and studded hilts and worn by diplomats with court dress. The blades on some of these are actualy round at the ricasso and give the impression of being made from a piece of round bar and produced by grinding rather than forging. I have no evidence to support this and would be please to hear if anyone knows more.
Getting back to the period in question, sword blades were trditionaly hammer forged on an anvil, the Hollow ground blade must have required a major change in technical skills, possibly leading to the rolling mill that has been spoken of.
If we look at a cross section of a three sided blade, the sides are not equal, two of the concave sides are smaller than the remaining side which will vary from being almost flat to a noticable concave. Some, on this wider surface, are evenly ground for the full length, others show a definite forge line fuller running down the centre almost to the tip.
Another thought concerns the actual grinding of these blades. Many antique illustrations show huge grinding wheels being used by some unfortunate soul lying on a plank holding the blade against the wheel, producing a near flat surface. A hollow grind of the type seen on smallwords will have an internal radius measured at less than an inch making the normal grinding method impossible, unless of course a large stone could be produced with a narrow, radiused outer edge and the blade offered up in line with the wheel.
All just food for thought.
I tend to ramble on a bit, I'll take and post some photographs soon, to make what I've said here a little more understandable.
M.H.
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Old 20th October 2017, 02:04 PM   #157
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Hello Mel. I do not have any books relating to small-swords, so I was wondering if you could tell me a few things?
The small-sword popularity appears to have begun in France, was it mid 17thCent.?
Where were the blades coming from back then, as Klingenthal came much later didn't it?
Your collection is of British small-swords right?
Are there any blade manufacturer's marks on them?
When does the earliest example date from?
I understand that, initially, the cross-section of the blade was simply a smaller version of a rapier blade, and that the hollowing began with the Colichemarde; does this mean that the typical three-sided hollowed blade didn't appear until after the Colichemarde or were they appearing simultaneously?
What I'm trying to ascertain is precisely what was everyone looking-for blade-wise when the SB workers arrived, because petitions had been frequent for exclusive rights to produce hollow blades long before 1685.
Hope you don't mind the third degree.
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Old 20th October 2017, 04:35 PM   #158
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Colichemarde According to Wikepedia.....The Colichemarde blade configuration is widely thought to have been an invention of Graf von Königsmark, owing to the similarity in pronunciation of their names. However, the first blades of this type date from before the Count's lifetime.

The colichemarde first appeared about 1680 and was popular during the next 40 years at the royal European courts. It was especially popular with the officers of the French and Indian War period. George Washington was presented with one during his inauguration.

The widespread misapprehension that the Colichemarde quickly ceased to be produced after 1720 dates to the opinion given by Sir Richard Burton in his "The Book of the Sword" dating to 1884. However, many securely dated colichemarde swords from as late as the 1770s can be found in collections.

This sword appeared at about the same time as the foil. However the foil was created for practicing fencing at court, while the Colichemarde was created for dueling. It made frequent appearances in the duels of New Orleans. A descendant of the Colichemarde is the épée, a modern fencing weapon.

Please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5zsmJRilkg where a couple of video presentations look at various interesting Colichemarde and small sword variations...

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Old 22nd October 2017, 12:00 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
Hello Mel. I do not have any books relating to small-swords, so I was wondering if you could tell me a few things?
The small-sword popularity appears to have begun in France, was it mid 17thCent.?
Where were the blades coming from back then, as Klingenthal came much later didn't it?
Your collection is of British small-swords right?
Are there any blade manufacturer's marks on them?
When does the earliest example date from?
I understand that, initially, the cross-section of the blade was simply a smaller version of a rapier blade, and that the hollowing began with the Colichemarde; does this mean that the typical three-sided hollowed blade didn't appear until after the Colichemarde or were they appearing simultaneously?
What I'm trying to ascertain is precisely what was everyone looking-for blade-wise when the SB workers arrived, because petitions had been frequent for exclusive rights to produce hollow blades long before 1685.
Hope you don't mind the third degree.


Hi there, I don't mind the third degree, but having said that, I don't consider myself to be an expert, I'm just a keen student of antique arms and armour who's learned a reasonable amount over a lifetime of collecting.
We have to remember that international trade has been around for many centuries, styles and ideas spread more quickly than we realise, some were short lived and others overlapped each other, pining these things down is not simple. The rapier took many forms, evolving for more than two hundred years, from heavy, broad bladed weapons to the familliar slender blades of the late 17th C. I may be proven wrong but I don't think that the hollow ground, three sided form of blade that we see in smallswords was much used for rapiers. In general terms they tend to be of flattened diamond, ovoid or hexagon form.
As the rapier fell out of fashion it transitioned into the smallsword quite quickly, the new style being an effective and deadly weapon weighing a fraction of the earlier 'large' sword. I'm sure that most of the smallswords we see are of continental manufacture, in answer to one of your questions, I have French, German, English and Dutch examples. For some reason most of the smallswords I see, though nicely engraved, do not have any indication of who made them or where and when they were made. If they are marked at all, it is often on the top mount of the scabbard, but parchment scabbards tend to have a shorter lifespan than the swords and are often missing.
Just to make things more interesting, there are other styles of sword mixed in the equasion, pillow sword, scarfe sword, mounting sword (I'm not quite sure where the terms came from), but the earlier smallswords did tend to have flattened blades, the hollow ground ones becoming more prolific in the late 17th / early 18th C.
Generally speaking a better indication of a smallsword's age will be seen in the style of the hilt rather than the blade.
The Colichemarde and slender blades were in use simultaneously, a few years since, I would have answered that they were a later innovation, but have to admit that these days that I'm not sure, as I said earlier, pinning these things down is not simple.
Another thing to remember is that the hollow blade is not confined only to sword blades, the socket bayonet favoured universally for military flintlock firearms used a short three sided hollow blade. The British Brown Bess being the best known example.
M. H.

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Old 22nd October 2017, 06:08 PM   #160
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Thank-you Mel, I appreciate the details and further appreciate the difficulties involved in establishing cut and dried facts.
I now have two questions that go out to everyone...
first: has anyone knowledge of a hollow-bladed sword, of the type we are discussing, with a blade that was made in Britain, and if they do, who made it and when? I'm beginning to suspect that Britain has never produced such hollow blades at any time. As Ibrahiim asked earlier: "has anyone seen a colichemarde/short-sword grinding machine?"
Secondly: as I stated earlier, I have just acquired a Second Empire Court Sword from Klingenthal and spending time playing with it has led me to what must surely be a universally asked question; why did they not put an edge on the blade? It is of the 'one wide', and 'two narrow' hollows cross-section and I cannot see why they didn't sharpen the edges to produce a cutting sword as well as a thrusting sword. It would be very easy to do, and entirely unique style of fighting could have been developed to take advantage of the facility. I'm tempted to have someone put edges on this sword just to experience the capability of it. Even a 'uniform hollows' blade could have been sharpened quite easily.
ps
Does anyone recognise the maker's name on my blade?
[IMG]
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Old 22nd October 2017, 07:20 PM   #161
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The smallsword, apart from being an expensive fashion accessory was simply a weapon designed to do quick and severe damage from a distance, whether it was for self defence or a duel. The blade no matter how sharp would not have enough weight to make an effective slashing weapon. The only really effective blade for cutting as opposed to hacking is curved one which could be drawn through the cut for maximum effect.
An example of selective use for a sword can be seen in the new cavalry sabre, designed by a committee of experts and used by the British cavalry from 1908 It was a complete departure from any horseman's sword seen before, being straight and narrow with little real cutting edge, the guard was large and the grip shaped to fit the hand with the arm fully extended. it was little more than a hand held lance. All in all an ugly device that was not received well by the users, but declared by many to be the ultimate design for cavalry use.
Mel.

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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:00 PM   #162
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The picture is very blurred but looks like a Klingenthal... Can you reshoot the blade please... Regards, Ibrahiim al Balooshi.

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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:25 PM   #163
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Default ooops

Yes, very messy, and me an ex pro photographer; sorry about that.[IMG]
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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:28 PM   #164
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It's Coulaux and Bros, isn't it?
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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:34 PM   #165
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History of Klingenthal

At the beginning of the 18th century, king Louis XV decided to create a state-controlled sword manufacturing company in order to limit the imports of Solingen blades to France. In 1733, the Manufacture d'Armes Blanches d' Alsace commenced operation with the help of 25 skilled workers from Solingen, Germany. The Alsace province, in East of France, was chosen for the availability of iron mines, forges and woods for charcoal, but also because the local language was similar to German.
In 1768, accommodation for the Director and his staff (artillery officers) was built in a place called Klingenthal (Klingen=blades, thal= valley), the factory became Manufacture de Klingenthal . Under this name, thousands of blades were produced until the end of the 19th century.

Organization

The Manufacture de Klingenthal belonged to the government, but its general management was entrusted to a government-appointed entrepreneur. The entrepreneur operated in a purely fiscal role. His task was to buy the source material (iron ingots, charcoal etc.), pay with his own money the salaries of the workers, and organise the company in order to comply with the contracts of the government. The government then bought the finished products from him, leaving him a profit of about 20%. The plant Director controlled the production for the military contracts. He was an artillery senior officer, appointed for only a few years (2-4 usually), and helped by a staff of around four artillery officers. It was his responsibility to maintain quality control and control of speed of production etc. to fulfil the government contracts. He reported immediately to the army, and earned no more than his officer's salary.
The Revisers and Controllers were highly skilled workers in charge of the training of the other workers and the quality control of blades and swords for the military contracts. From 1808 onwards, they were considered members of the artillery corps.

There is no doubt that COULAUX was the best-known entrepreneur of Klingenthal. The Coulaux brothers applied for the job of entrepreneur in February 1801 and the family remained in charge of the management of the Manufacture de Klingenthal until the firm ceased business in 1962.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:47 PM   #166
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Can we assume from this that there was a three-wheel milling machine at Klingenthal?
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Old 22nd October 2017, 08:48 PM   #167
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Default First Solingen workers at Klingenthal.

Johann Dietrich Benninghaus,
Mathias Michael Schmid,
Caspar Engels
Arnold Schmidt,
Wilhelm Kind,
Abraham Wundes,
Clemens Evertz
Andreas Aschauer,
Abraham Eichhorn,
Wilhelm Kind
Abraham DEGARD (Teegarten)
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:12 PM   #168
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Interesting...

Here is a colichemarde from London... It is stamped on the knuckleguard but could be an imported blade I suppose...See https://www.antique-swords.eu/silve...lichemarde.html
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:28 PM   #169
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:37 PM   #170
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When you look at the history of Klingenthal what becomes immediately apparent is that Shotley Bridge could have survived alongside Birmingham but it didn't. The reasons for its demise are up ahead on my 'to do' list.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:38 PM   #171
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Fantastic photo Ibrahiim.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:40 PM   #172
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They are all tri-form hollow blades they are holding.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 09:47 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
Hi there, I don't mind the third degree, but having said that, I don't consider myself to be an expert, I'm just a keen student of antique arms and armour who's learned a reasonable amount over a lifetime of collecting.
We have to remember that international trade has been around for many centuries, styles and ideas spread more quickly than we realise, some were short lived and others overlapped each other, pining these things down is not simple. The rapier took many forms, evolving for more than two hundred years, from heavy, broad bladed weapons to the familliar slender blades of the late 17th C. I may be proven wrong but I don't think that the hollow ground, three sided form of blade that we see in smallswords was much used for rapiers. In general terms they tend to be of flattened diamond, ovoid or hexagon form.
As the rapier fell out of fashion it transitioned into the smallsword quite quickly, the new style being an effective and deadly weapon weighing a fraction of the earlier 'large' sword. I'm sure that most of the smallswords we see are of continental manufacture, in answer to one of your questions, I have French, German, English and Dutch examples. For some reason most of the smallswords I see, though nicely engraved, do not have any indication of who made them or where and when they were made. If they are marked at all, it is often on the top mount of the scabbard, but parchment scabbards tend to have a shorter lifespan than the swords and are often missing.
Just to make things more interesting, there are other styles of sword mixed in the equasion, pillow sword, scarfe sword, mounting sword (I'm not quite sure where the terms came from), but the earlier smallswords did tend to have flattened blades, the hollow ground ones becoming more prolific in the late 17th / early 18th C.
Generally speaking a better indication of a smallsword's age will be seen in the style of the hilt rather than the blade.
The Colichemarde and slender blades were in use simultaneously, a few years since, I would have answered that they were a later innovation, but have to admit that these days that I'm not sure, as I said earlier, pinning these things down is not simple.
Another thing to remember is that the hollow blade is not confined only to sword blades, the socket bayonet favoured universally for military flintlock firearms used a short three sided hollow blade. The British Brown Bess being the best known example.
M. H.


Salaams Mel~ On the point (scuse pun) about the Brown Bess Bayonet! When the soldier’s musket was empty he relied on the bayonet, which had a sharp, triangular section blade of about 44cm. British bayonet charges were greatly feared by enemy troops. The soldiers were very keen to engage the enemy with their bayonets and often thought that they should be allowed to ‘give them the Brummagen’. (Brummagen is a slang name for Birmingham where many bayonets were made.
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Old 22nd October 2017, 11:56 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
They are all tri-form hollow blades they are holding.


Not too sure about that, they're a little wide toward the tips they could be straight infantry sword blades that would fit better with the date.
Mel.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 07:01 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
Not too sure about that, they're a little wide toward the tips they could be straight infantry sword blades that would fit better with the date.
Mel.


ditto. they look like std. fullered blades, smallswords were well out of fashion by the time of the photo.
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Old 23rd October 2017, 11:13 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel H
Not too sure about that, they're a little wide toward the tips they could be straight infantry sword blades that would fit better with the date.
Mel.

Yes, that was why I mentioned it. I've taken a closer look on my PC rather than my tablet and you are both correct: not small-swords.
Great picture though.
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Old 25th October 2017, 04:41 PM   #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman
They are all tri-form hollow blades they are holding.
I don't think they are. Rather they are blades for the standard 1882 infantry swords with the offset fullers (cannelure) which became apparent mid 19th century. Note the fuller terminating before the foible. The blades are lenticular rather than concave. The appearance in the photo deceived by lighting and luster.

My colonial fantastique circa 1870 with a Coulaux/Klingenthal blade.

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Old 25th October 2017, 10:12 PM   #178
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Hello Mr Hotspur, or shall I call you Harry. Yes, once I viewed the photo on my PC rather than my tablet I realised they were not small-swords. The reason I commented was it seemed wrong given the date.
How come Klingenthal survived and Shotley Bridge didn't? They were both Solingen workers abroad. Could it simply be the addition of quality blades from Birmingham that made the difference?
I'm very impressed with my 'hollow-blade' court sword from the Coulaux Brothers: it's a superb blade.
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Old 25th October 2017, 10:14 PM   #179
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I took note of what you said regarding the off-set fullers; I'm a complete novice in the blade world so they are certainly unlike anything I've seen before.
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Old 25th October 2017, 11:52 PM   #180
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Perhaps a number of factors not least the weight of the French Government behind the Kingenthal operation whist Shotley was in decline and workers were being absorbed abroad and into the Birmingham sector. Klingenthal was also a lot closer to Solingen which by comparison to the Shotley concern was massive. Expert grinders and sword makers were close to hand whilst at Shotley they were leaving..as business dwindled.
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