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Old 21st February 2009, 02:38 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Katzbalgers and Related Landsknecht Swords

From the highly specialized collection of a friend of mine.

20 year old photos, sadly.

Michael
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Old 21st February 2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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Here they are.
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Old 21st February 2009, 02:47 PM   #3
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Finally.
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Old 21st February 2009, 02:56 PM   #4
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More details.
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Old 21st February 2009, 03:01 PM   #5
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100 year old photos Katzbalgers in the Dresden Armory.
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Old 21st February 2009, 03:27 PM   #6
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Early 16th century sources of illustration.
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Old 21st February 2009, 03:36 PM   #7
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More.
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Old 21st February 2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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From a Resurrection Altar scene dated 1519, painted by Jörg Ratgeb, who was a Landsknecht leader himself and was executed by being torn apart by four horses in Pforzheim in 1526.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 04:37 PM   #9
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Default Two Fine Katzbalgers and a Hand-and-a-Half Sword

All in the German Historic Museum (DHM) Berlin.

The scans are taken from old German Democratic Republic photos.

Michael
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Old 22nd February 2009, 04:39 PM   #10
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One more detail.
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Old 25th February 2009, 08:42 PM   #11
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A Landsknecht with his Katzbalger and a harquebusier with powder horn and what seems to be a tiller stocked bronze barrel gun.

Details from the Resurrection scene on the so called Herscheider Altar Piece, early 16th century, now preserved at the Museum of Burg (castle) Altena, Westphalia.

Michael
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Old 25th February 2009, 09:51 PM   #12
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Very interesting pics, they show the diversity of the katzbalger. I'm interested in particular with (the rather unusual) curved versions and the longer, two-handed katzbalger. Here are pics of such, taken at the Hussar Museum in Eger, Hungary, and a pic of a Hungarian broad sword, fitted with what might be a katzbalger's blade.
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Old 26th February 2009, 02:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe
I'm interested in particular with (the rather unusual) curved versions


I know of one such sword having been found in Sweden (Västerås), a modern copy can be seen here: http://histvarld.historiska.se/hist...dskn_balte.html
http://histvarld.historiska.se/hist...rd/IMG_2948.jpg

Summing up the information in the text, it's believed to be from ca 1520-30, is of bastard sword size, and marries a grosse messer blade to a katzbalger guard. The original grip was lost, and this one is a guess based upon a similar messer in the Wallace collection. Probably German in origin. It's called kaninholmssabeln ("the Kaninholm saber"),which I guess could mean that it was found at an island known as Kaninholmen.
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Old 26th February 2009, 01:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisak
I know of one such sword having been found in Sweden (Västerås), a modern copy can be seen here: http://histvarld.historiska.se/hist...dskn_balte.html
http://histvarld.historiska.se/hist...rd/IMG_2948.jpg

Summing up the information in the text, it's believed to be from ca 1520-30, is of bastard sword size, and marries a grosse messer blade to a katzbalger guard. The original grip was lost, and this one is a guess based upon a similar messer in the Wallace collection. Probably German in origin. It's called kaninholmssabeln ("the Kaninholm saber"),which I guess could mean that it was found at an island known as Kaninholmen.



Kisak,

Could you please post pictures of the original piece and let us know where it is preserved?

Sorry but I have never relied on replicas as a basis for substantial assessment. In most cases they prove to be nothing but relatively free interpretations of the originals and give way to fantasy, which is far from scholarly treatment. I am not saying that the piece you posted cannot be an exemption to the rule and be quite an exact copy but I'd still like to see images of the "real" thing.

Michael
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Old 26th February 2009, 09:01 PM   #15
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Kisak, I would like very much to see a pic of the original piece. The replica in the link is weird, to say the least: very plain hilt, blade looks somewhat japanese (!). I'm not suggesting it is a fantasy piece but we do have to see the original.
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Old 27th February 2009, 02:13 AM   #16
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I'm afraid I haven't been able to track down any photographs of the original (wouldn't mind seeing them myself). As the link goes to a site maintained by the Historical Museum in Stockholm I doubt the sword is fabricated entirely, but of course it's not exactly a solid source either.
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Old 8th March 2009, 05:15 AM   #17
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!Very interesting material! Thank you, Matchlock! You always bring good documental contributions.
Regards

Gonzalo
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Old 8th March 2009, 01:09 PM   #18
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Thank you, Gonzalo,

Historic sources of illustration are the most important thing when it comes to research and dating of original pieces.

Michael
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Old 11th March 2009, 03:58 PM   #19
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A very good Katzbalger, ca. 1500-10, retaining its original blackened hilt, the blade struck with a Gothic minuscule p mark, overall length 118 cm (!).

Provenance: Sotheby's London, June 20, 1929 (800 USD), bought by Wiliam Randolph Hearst and sold again Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, Switzerland, Nov 27, 1961, lot 33 (estimate 2,500 SFr; I do not know what it went for).

Michael
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Old 12th March 2009, 02:52 AM   #20
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Is this P related to the one we often see in Swedish blades?

Manuel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
A very good Katzbalger, ca. 1500-10, retaining its original blackened hilt, the blade struck with a Gothic minuscule p mark, overall length 118 cm (!).

Provenance: Sotheby's London, June 20, 1929 (800 USD), bought by Wiliam Randolph Hearst and sold again Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, Switzerland, Nov 27, 1961, lot 33 (estimate 2,500 SFr; I do not know what it went for).

Michael
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Old 12th March 2009, 03:31 PM   #21
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Could you please post an example of the Swedish P, Manuel, and give a date for the blade(s)?

Michael
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Old 13th March 2009, 06:24 PM   #22
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Most certainly, my good sir. Your wish is my command: c. Late 19th C. 1748 -1800s

: )

Manuel


<

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Could you please post an example of the Swedish P, Manuel, and give a date for the blade(s)?

Michael
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Old 14th March 2009, 03:45 AM   #23
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Hi Michael and Manuel,
I am really interested in that 'P' mark on the katzbalger (not to mention I wonder where it is now...and how much it sold for in 1961!).

You seem to have some interesting examples and knowledge on Swedish weapons Manuel. Is this one of your fields of interest? There really is not a great deal of information around on them, and its great to see them posted here to learn more about them.
Is the P significant as an acceptance stamp or armoury? is does not seem to be a makers stamp.

On the katzbalger: it seems worthy of note that initials were often used in Spain and Italy as makers marks and not necessarily the initials of the maker they were associated with. It seems as if they were more like a numbered order or progression like the letters used in hallmarks later.
Also, the initials were often under a crown or within a shield rather than standing alone like this.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:16 PM   #24
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Default The Gothic minuscule P

Hi Jim and Manuel,

First of all: thank you, Manuel, for sharing these good images. As I am in no way an expert in 18th/19th century items I am unable to decide on whether this P mark is related to that on the early 16th century Katzbalger or not. All I can say is that I do not believe in a relationship between the two.

If you have close look at the respective shapes of the letter P you will see the decisive difference between an early 16th century P (actually it is a minuscule p) and the same letter, only 200 years old.

I have managed to find a few examples of 15th to 16th century p minuscules although some of them are of rather poor quality. Still I hope that you can see my point. They are taken from 15th century manuscripts; the one showing two p minuscules one above the other is the mark of the Munich gunsmith Peter Peck which is found to be struck on the barrel of a ca. 1565 wheel-lock harquebus or long pistol.

Now that brings me to the important point that you made, Jim. Altough this is the case with Peter Peck's mark and the famous PGM mark attached ("Pegnitzer goss mich", Pegnitzer founded me) on early 16th century copper alloy cast haquebut and cannon barrels, the presence of a certain letter on a late medieval or early Renaissance weapon or on any item of arts and crafts does not necessarily mean that it is the maker's mark and the inital of his name. Often enough, e.g., we find the Gothic minuscules m on 500 year old caskets ond parts of armor where it usually stands for Mary, Mother of Jesus, or ihs meaning Jesus hominum salvator, Jesus Savior of Mankind. Another good example is, I think, the Gothic minuscule n on pieces of armor and firearm barrels where it is a town mark denoting that those items were made at Nuremberg. This kept in mind, the letter p on the Katzbalger blade might well stand for the Saints Peter or Paul - or it might be the maker's initial, or a town mark. Who knows? This is open to interpretation and makes such discussions worth while.

With all my best wishes,
Michael
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:35 PM   #25
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A few more historic sources of illustration depicting 500 to 800 year old Landsknecht and other edged weapons. All from www.flickr.com.

Michael
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:42 PM   #26
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More.
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:48 PM   #27
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On it goes ...
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Old 14th March 2009, 04:55 PM   #28
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An on ...
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Old 14th March 2009, 05:00 PM   #29
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And on ...
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Old 14th March 2009, 05:06 PM   #30
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And on ...
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