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Old 23rd September 2008, 06:02 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default How pikes/lances were made 500 years ago

From the cod. icon. 222 in the Bavarian State Library in Munich.

Note the ash hafts which could be more than 5 meters long, and the blued wrought-iron lanntzen eysen with their integral short side-straps kept in wooden barrels, ready for mounting.

As the shape of the irons indicates, they are of the well known early 16th century 'Maximilian' Landsknecht (mercenaries') type called Froschmaulspiess (frog's mouth lance).

Michael
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Old 23rd September 2008, 06:08 PM   #2
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Again outstanding.
Was there a pile of hafts also in the previous picture ?
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Old 23rd September 2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Is this the one that you are referring to, Fernando?

As the rest of that illustration pictures parts of handguns, and telling from the relative proportions, I should say that these are ramrods, belonging to the heaps of barrels and stocked guns.

Michael
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Old 23rd September 2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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Quite right, thanks.
... and quite a lot of them, too
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Old 26th September 2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default How long spears/pikes wre made 500 years ago

In his Schwytzer Chronica, Zurich, 1554, Johannes Stumpf points out that during the first half of the 16th century, most people in the Eschental (ash valley) in Switzerland made their living by manufacturing ash hafts for long spears. The woocut of ca. 1540, illustrating a sort of gauge in order to easily guarantee identical diameter of each haft, is taken from that book.

Moreover, the Zurich arsenal inventory of 1687 lists a "kupferner Siedkessel, 18 Schuh lang, darinnen die Spiesse gesotten wurden" (a copper tank, 18 ft long, for boiling the spear hafts in oil in order to impregnate them).

As the Langspiess (long spear) had been the Swiss foot soldier's prevailing weapon for hundreds of years, the enormous care paid to its maurfacture is not surpising.

Michael
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Old 28th September 2008, 05:28 PM   #6
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that last woodcut above reminds me of the jigs used to straighten bamboo mongolian/korean arrows, where a bend would be heated then bent opposite like shown to straighten it as it cooled. i've seen a film clip of the aboriginies in australia similarly heating a spear shaft in a fire, then bending it under foot to straighten it, a little bit at a time and working their way around till it was acceptably straightened,
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Old 23rd October 2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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Highly interesting information - thank you, kronckew!

It shows that all people in the world think alike in technical things.

Michael
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Old 5th March 2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Default Two Mid-16th Century Hapsburg/Austrian Pikes in my Collection

From Christie's, September 19, 1990, lots 47 and 48, an image from their showroom attached. There was three of those, so I chose the better two. Originally they came from the arsenal of the Fortress of Hohensalzburg; an image of a pile of those in the reserve collection there attached.
I never saw any other of these again. Apart from these, and the Historic Museum Basel, Switzerland, I have never seen pikes with their irons still blued!

Both retaining their original blued irons and straps (!), as well as their oiriginal ash hafts (one slightly bent).
Overall lengths 4.66 and 4.57 m respectively. They might even have been a bit longer originally.

The only way to display them in my showroom was to suspend them crossed from the ceiling.

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 5th March 2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 5th March 2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Old 22nd March 2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Default Pikes Against Cavalry - a Thirty Years War Impression

... in the Tojhusmuseet (Armory Museum) Copenhagen.

m
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Old 22nd March 2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Sadly, I don't see the videos on YouTube any more. However, the Canary Islands art of Salto del Pastor uses metal-shod poles that are quite similar to pikes. There used to be a video showing a craftsman making one out of canary island pine wood, but it's no longer up. It looks like there are resources at http://www.saltodelpastorcanario.org/. While these aren't pikes, they are structurally similar.

My 0.0002 centavos,

F
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:00 PM   #12
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Hi Fearn,

It's a pity you did not save it. That's exactly what I've got used to do with everything, pics or vids, that I find on the web: save it immediately! It may not be there a minute later ...

Anyway, thanks for coming in.

Best,
Michael
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:11 PM   #13
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Agreed Michael. Such is life, and I'll keep looking. The Salto del pastor website above has quite a bit more information than it used to have, and perhaps they saved some of the vids.

The other good news is that craftsmen are still making the lanzas for salto del pastor, so if you want an excuse to vacation in the Canary Islands, this might be it. I'll admit I've been tempted to go to the islands for just that reason.

Best,

F
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Old 22nd March 2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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Thank you, Fearn,

In a way I'd love to go there, and if it were just for the countryside!

On the other hand: all I have been exclusively into for more than 30 years has been collecting original items. When you have a look at my linked related thread you will see my pikes and the rest of my collection - please scroll your way down to the overview images:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13180


Best,
m

Last edited by Matchlock : 22nd March 2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:35 PM   #15
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Understandable. I like hiking, so the idea of a pike-sized hiking stick has some appeal.

After watching the salto del pastor videos though, I wonder if Greek or Swiss goatherds ever used their pikes the same way.

Best,

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Old 29th August 2014, 08:59 AM   #16
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In some very rare cases, ash was even used for stocking wall guns in the early 16th century - instead of oak.

For a fine piece preserved in
The Michael Trömner Collection

please see my threads:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...varian+kronburg

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...varian+kronburg



Best,
Michael Trömner


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Old 29th August 2014, 09:04 AM   #17
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For more information, and for important and finely preserved arms in
The Michael Trömner Collection

please cf. my threads:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=pikes+swiss

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...highlight=pikes

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18083


Best,
Michael Trömner



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Old 31st August 2014, 01:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Highly interesting information - thank you, kronckew!

It shows that all people in the world think alike in technical things.

Michael



Around the world, no matter what we hold important or what the driving philosophy behind each culture may be, we are all bound by the laws of nature as far as the materials we need to shape into weapons or everyday items.

Mastery depends on the understanding and obeying these rules!
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Old 5th December 2014, 12:07 PM   #19
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Generally, all items of manufacture, of arts and crafts alike including weapons, convey the basic style of the respective period.

Between ca. 1480 and 1520, Landsknecht's long pikes measured more than 6 meters overall – reflecting the “Hyper Gothic” period sense of style when churches got built with lofty steeples seemingly touching the sky and humans, too, were pictured to be very tall and slender.

While newly made spike heads from the Early Renaissance period, ca. 1520-50, were often decorated with a roped ornament and brass inlays, the complete pikes were about 5 meters long, and the hafts of surviving Late Gothic specimens got cut back to that length.
Consequently, by the mid 16th c. spike heads became rectangular in shape, and the whole pike now measured ca. 4.5 - 4.7 meters. Cf. two samples suspended below the ceiling in The Michael Trömner Collection (see post # ... above).

In the 1620's
, after the beginning of the Thirty Years War, they got cut back again to ca. 3.5-3.7 m, until most surviving specimens finally got reduced in length to about 2 m in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Discussed here is a truly singular South German Landsknecht's long pike still retaining its original length of ca. 6 meters.
The two brass friezes of the iron head, characteristically decorated with a punched roped ornament, together with the notches, all denote that it was made in ca. 1520-30.
Its ash wood haft is decorated in an incredibly profuse manner, with what must be hundreds of knobs.
My skilled friend Armin König copied it. It took him many hours to get that knobbing done effectively on the hard ash wood that he told me he would never submit to such a toil again ..

The attached photos depict the original pike in the collections of the historic armory at the Veste (fortress) Coburg.
Also attached are three similarly early spike heads the author photographed in the reserve collection/depot of the Historisches Museum Luzern, Switzerland.


Best,
Michael

The first three photos copyrighted by Armin König,
the bottom image copyrighted by Michael Trömner.
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Last edited by Matchlock : 5th December 2014 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 5th December 2014, 01:42 PM   #20
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Another early 16th c. pike with brass inlays, the haft of usual round section; Hermann Historica, Munich, 8 Oct. 2009.
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Old 5th December 2014, 01:53 PM   #21
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A mid 16th c. pike iron, the straps cut down to mere remnants, and mounted on a later haft.
Dorotheum, Vienna, 10 June 201
4.
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Old 5th December 2014, 02:09 PM   #22
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Two Styrian pikes, on later hafts.
The first of Frog's mouth" shape, 2nd half 16th c.; Bonhams, San Francisco, 20 Nov 2013;
the second ca. 1600, San Giorgo, Genua, 1st March 2009.

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Old 5th December 2014, 02:19 PM   #23
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16th c. Styrian lances/pikes in the Landeszeughaus Graz, and Bonhams, London, 25 November 2008.
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Old 5th December 2014, 02:40 PM   #24
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A Styrian Froschmaulspieß (frog's mouth pike), early 16th c., on its original but shortened haft of octagonal section throughout, overall length 2.86 m, and bearing an inventory stamp of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.
The Michael Trömner Collection.
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Old 11th December 2014, 10:02 PM   #25
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A very fine and extremely rare Landsknecht's Langspieß, Southern Germany, Bavaria, ca. 1525-40, the original ash haft profusely profusely covered with knobs all over; the head struck with a maker's mark.
Overall length ca. 6 meters!
Rüstkammer, Kunstsammlungen Veste Coburg.

My brilliant friend Armin König, Hohenberg a.d. Eger, built an exact copy of this piece - striking the hard ashwood with hundreds of knobs that took extremely long to soak in water and stand up in the end; Armin told me he would never again in his life undertake a toil like that ...
http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung...s/Firearms.html


On the photos, his copy, the head struck with Armin's maker's mark, is shown together with the original.


Photos copyrighted by Armin König.
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Last edited by Matchlock : 11th December 2014 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 12th December 2014, 08:34 PM   #26
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Pikemen and Arkebusiers with Matchlock Muskets, on a Brussels tapestry of ca. 1580-1600.
Saved from Facebook.

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