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Jonathan Hall

Falchion

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Does anyone know the specs of falchions found from any digs or museums in europe or has anyone ever made one. Ive read about them in several books on medieval weaponary, and from what i gathered they were very effective swords..

Edited by Jonathan Hall

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thorpe falchion: 37.5 inches (31.5 inches were straight with the curve at the end), about 2 lbs in weight...

 

that is a historical example, but i assume they were like any other weapon, and varied in length and weight...there were probably many factors involved such as the style of the times, geography, status of the owner, etc...

Edited by Mike Fegan

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One of the problems here is that few falcions survived to modern times. These, with the exception of the Thorpe falcion, were not knightly weapons or badges of station to be set aside in memorium to The Great Man. That's not to say that knights and great men didn't use them they just weren't The Sword associated with them. They were also the side arms of lesser men who did not have their arms preserved in their memories. Being that they were usually portrayed being used at close quarters I'd keep the length of the blade down to 30" or a little less, maybe up to 2" wide, with a straight spine out to the point or possibly even a clip point of some pattern.

 

Doug

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I would say, they were quite commonly used in period.

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One of the problems here is that few falcions survived to modern times. These, with the exception of the Thorpe falcion, were not knightly weapons or badges of station to be set aside in memorium to The Great Man. That's not to say that knights and great men didn't use them they just weren't The Sword associated with them. They were also the side arms of lesser men who did not have their arms preserved in their memories. Being that they were usually portrayed being used at close quarters I'd keep the length of the blade down to 30" or a little less, maybe up to 2" wide, with a straight spine out to the point or possibly even a clip point of some pattern.

 

Doug

 

 

Spotted this thread by chance, but I'd be pleased to contribute for once, (instead of quietly gawking at the astounding pretties so many people have displayed).

 

Over the last half year, I've been working on an academic study of the medieval falchion, with a secondary study into the medieval single-edged blade as a whole - mostly as its my opinion that studying one out of context of the other is a pointless exercise.

 

its a slow job, and I've been slowly scuttling back and forth around the museum collections of europe, and with some invaluable assistance from a number of notable individuals, have managed to collect a pretty good data set on about half of the surviving examples... The rest will be coming along later, even if it does entail me becoming the bleedin' bishop of Durham to get my hands on the Conyers Falchion...

(honestly. getting details of that thing off the Cathedral is an exercise in fustration. Norwich museum almost chucked theirs at me before I'd even finished asking, the Royal Armouries are as lovely (and lethally distracting!) as ever, Delft Legersmuseum went way beyond the level of assistance I'd hoped for. Durham Cathedral, on the other hand, pretty much slammed the door in my face telling me that no-one was allowed to study it. I've been seriously considering simply walking in as a tourist with a 0.5 millimeter-resolution laser scanner, sticking it up against the cabinet, and doing a point cloud scan of the falchion in its case, if they're not going to help and using it to create an exact digital clone... but I digress.)

 

 

At this point, I'd rather disagree with the statement that the falchion was not a knightly weapon or badge of station, there are infact several examples of the type which firmly indicate that this is not the case; particularly among the older cleaver forms (Seitz Type 1 - though I'd like to point out that Seitz' rather basic typology is extremely outdated, has missed out entire types, yet alone details of subtypes, and is woefully inadequate... but its the best of a bad lot for falchion for now. Perhaps when I've completed the study I can propose a more refined typology), there is significant evidence that many of the surviving examples were of high station.

 

the best-preserved of those, the Conyers Falchion is just such an example, bronze cross and pommel marked with the arms of both the Holy Roman imperial eagle, and the three lions/leopards of English royalty. The Cluny chatalet example has a particularly high-quality bronze pommel with decoration that indicates it was likelwise a sword of tenure or office. The Thorpe Falchion pommel is deeply engraved with decoration filled with a deep crimson enamel. The Castillon falchion is unique among all the blades in the hoard, not just for its shape, but also in its use of inlaid decoration, very possibly gold, along the upper fuller. Study of the weapons depicted in manuscript clearly show that it is used by all strata of society equally; while the maciejowski style cleavers appear to be used by simple footsoldiers, they equally appear depicted in a number of other manuscripts such as the "romance of Alexander" in the hands of high-ranking nobility.

 

--

 

That said, theres three principal types, of medieval falchion, one of which is rather under-represented in the archaeological record.

the oldest is the conyers falchion style, a broad blade similar in profile to a machete (note however that they are only simlar in superficial shape - they have an extremely thin distal profile, often as little as 1.2mm thick at the broadest point of the blade). Other examples of this type can be found in Paris and Hamburg.

An intermediate, transitional form of the turn of the 14th century can be found in the Invalides, Paris, and in the Legersmuseum, delft. its an angled, clipped-point, with a slightly reduced distal taper, some may have had a reinforced point, and with a cutting edge on the "wrong" side of the blade to how you'd imagine it.

Lastly, you have the clip-point form of the Thorpe, Castillon, and Solingen falchions, which date from the mid 14th century to the late 15th centuries respectively. these tend to be a more sword-like distal profile, stiffer in the thrust than the earlier broad-bladed types.

Lastly, the types evolve again in the early 15th century, and the clip-point form tends to shift towards a much heavier, pronounced blade, often with incredible surface grinding workmanship.

a final flowering of the falchion type seems to have happened in italy in the 16th century, and shows extensive cross-breeding of blade form with the early sabre fashions too.

 

erm, so, that's a really basic overview. if you'd like to say in more detail what sort of falchion you're imagining, I'll try to pull out some illustrations for you.

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Spotted this thread by chance, but I'd be pleased to contribute for once, (instead of quietly gawking at the astounding pretties so many people have displayed).

 

Over the last half year, I've been working on an academic study of the medieval falchion, with a secondary study into the medieval single-edged blade as a whole - mostly as its my opinion that studying one out of context of the other is a pointless exercise.

 

its a slow job, and I've been slowly scuttling back and forth around the museum collections of europe, and with some invaluable assistance from a number of notable individuals, have managed to collect a pretty good data set on about half of the surviving examples... The rest will be coming along later, even if it does entail me becoming the bleedin' bishop of Durham to get my hands on the Conyers Falchion...

(honestly. getting details of that thing off the Cathedral is an exercise in fustration. Norwich museum almost chucked theirs at me before I'd even finished asking, the Royal Armouries are as lovely (and lethally distracting!) as ever, Delft Legersmuseum went way beyond the level of assistance I'd hoped for. Durham Cathedral, on the other hand, pretty much slammed the door in my face telling me that no-one was allowed to study it. I've been seriously considering simply walking in as a tourist with a 0.5 millimeter-resolution laser scanner, sticking it up against the cabinet, and doing a point cloud scan of the falchion in its case, if they're not going to help and using it to create an exact digital clone... but I digress.)

 

 

At this point, I'd rather disagree with the statement that the falchion was not a knightly weapon or badge of station, there are infact several examples of the type which firmly indicate that this is not the case; particularly among the older cleaver forms (Seitz Type 1 - though I'd like to point out that Seitz' rather basic typology is extremely outdated, has missed out entire types, yet alone details of subtypes, and is woefully inadequate... but its the best of a bad lot for falchion for now. Perhaps when I've completed the study I can propose a more refined typology), there is significant evidence that many of the surviving examples were of high station.

 

the best-preserved of those, the Conyers Falchion is just such an example, bronze cross and pommel marked with the arms of both the Holy Roman imperial eagle, and the three lions/leopards of English royalty. The Cluny chatalet example has a particularly high-quality bronze pommel with decoration that indicates it was likelwise a sword of tenure or office. The Thorpe Falchion pommel is deeply engraved with decoration filled with a deep crimson enamel. The Castillon falchion is unique among all the blades in the hoard, not just for its shape, but also in its use of inlaid decoration, very possibly gold, along the upper fuller. Study of the weapons depicted in manuscript clearly show that it is used by all strata of society equally; while the maciejowski style cleavers appear to be used by simple footsoldiers, they equally appear depicted in a number of other manuscripts such as the "romance of Alexander" in the hands of high-ranking nobility.

 

--

 

That said, theres three principal types, of medieval falchion, one of which is rather under-represented in the archaeological record.

the oldest is the conyers falchion style, a broad blade similar in profile to a machete (note however that they are only simlar in superficial shape - they have an extremely thin distal profile, often as little as 1.2mm thick at the broadest point of the blade). Other examples of this type can be found in Paris and Hamburg.

An intermediate, transitional form of the turn of the 14th century can be found in the Invalides, Paris, and in the Legersmuseum, delft. its an angled, clipped-point, with a slightly reduced distal taper, some may have had a reinforced point, and with a cutting edge on the "wrong" side of the blade to how you'd imagine it.

Lastly, you have the clip-point form of the Thorpe, Castillon, and Solingen falchions, which date from the mid 14th century to the late 15th centuries respectively. these tend to be a more sword-like distal profile, stiffer in the thrust than the earlier broad-bladed types.

Lastly, the types evolve again in the early 15th century, and the clip-point form tends to shift towards a much heavier, pronounced blade, often with incredible surface grinding workmanship.

a final flowering of the falchion type seems to have happened in italy in the 16th century, and shows extensive cross-breeding of blade form with the early sabre fashions too.

 

erm, so, that's a really basic overview. if you'd like to say in more detail what sort of falchion you're imagining, I'll try to pull out some illustrations for you.

 

What was so special about the falchion at the Durham Cathedral? Is it a holy artifact?

 

Id like to see pictures of some notable falchion designs that were used by knights and nobility. If one could deduce what design was historically the most prefered for its effectiveness that would be very helpful to me. Exhibits 8 and 9 on Mr. McCormicks link actually appealed to me the most, or any variation of a clip point style. I d even be curious to see a two handed version. Maybe we could order the pics by their chronological order and then during that time frame which of the falchion designs were used/prefered most over the others. Honestly you could present the pics anyway you see fit bro, you seem to know alot about these bad boys.

Edited by Jonathan Hall

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Nice to hear from you J.G., my impression from other readings was that surviving examples of falcions were few and far between. I think I confused the Thorpe and the Conyers falcions, should have gone back to Oakeshotte, so it is the Conyers falcion that is the bearing sword. I guess I was going by Oakeshotte's comment in The Archaeology of Weapons that the medieval single edged sword was woefully understudied. Are you going to be publishing when you have your study done. I too have a interest in early European single edged swords but unfortunately I live on the wrong side of "the pond" to visit all those neat museums that have such things.

 

Doug

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Nice to hear from you J.G., my impression from other readings was that surviving examples of falcions were few and far between. I think I confused the Thorpe and the Conyers falcions, should have gone back to Oakeshotte, so it is the Conyers falcion that is the bearing sword. I guess I was going by Oakeshotte's comment in The Archaeology of Weapons that the medieval single edged sword was woefully understudied. Are you going to be publishing when you have your study done. I too have a interest in early European single edged swords but unfortunately I live on the wrong side of "the pond" to visit all those neat museums that have such things.

Doug



I'm not sure they're as rare as people think, but they certainly arent common.
Including single-edged swords (which I feel should be considered a form of falchion, particularly those with a straight back and curved blade), I think I have about 20 surviving examples:

1: Miecz świętego Piotra, Poznań Archdiocesan Museum, Poznań, Poland, "sword of st peter"
2: Durham Cathedral "Conyers Falchion"
3: Musee Du Moyen age, Cluny CL.3452 "Chatelet Falchion"
4: Milan Sforzesco castle
5: Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, Inv no. AB.II.176, Hamburg
6: Scottish National Museum no K2007.210 (single-edged scots-hilted halflang sword or falchion?)
7: Reichsstadtmuseum Rothenburg (probably a fake)
8: Private collection, Hermann-Historica Auction # 61, Lot nr: 2308.
9:Private collection (also probably a fake)
10: Private Collection (Again a fake, those three just dont look right to me)
11: Museé de l'Armeé/ Invalides. Inv no. uncertain.
12: Legermuseum, Delft, Inv.no.011098
13: Koninklijk Legermuseum, Brussels, Inv. no. #15169 (Formerly Porte De Hal, referenced in Claude Blair)
14: Norwich Castle Museum, Thorpe Falchion
15: Royal Armouries, Leeds: Castillon Hoard Falchion, IX.5409
16: Wakefield Hangar Straight-bladed single-edged sword.
19: Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nurnburg, Inv.no uncertain.
18: Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nurnburg Inv no. W 2818 & W 2819. Malchus and associated pricker
19: Deutsches Klingenmuseum, Solingen.
20: Museo Arquelogico, Cordoba (Data still missing)
21: Metropolitan Museum Of Art N.Y.C. Inv.no #1984.73

Op top of those, there are also at least 4 other single-edged semi-falchion type swords of medieval date that spring to mind: the bankside house example in the royal armouries, a similar example which appears to have gone occasionally under the title of "the curtis sword" - which I currently seem to have misplaced my notes on, I'm embarrased to admit, a 3rd example auctioned by Czerny's auction house in 2010 (which infuriatingly, Czerny's have refused to reply to queries about, unlike Hermann-Historica.), and a fourth one very similar to the Bankside house example, only with a fuller, that I'm trying to trace.


Lastly, there are a number of earlier medieval blades that are associated. the obvious ones are the norse langseax and single-edged swords with viking fashion hilts and pommels; the arhus sword is the best-known example of that, though it is a composite. from the south, likewise, there are the langobardian knife and cleaver forms which closely mirror the later hilt forms depicted in the maciejowski bible and in illustration by Villiard de Honnecourt. I'm personally of the opinion that the maciejowski bible cleavers, however, are not falchion, but proto-messers in hilt construction.

To add to those, I've collated a collection of some 180+ depictions of falchion and single-edged swords/messer from the 12th century to end of the 15th century in manuscript illustrations, not including the copious volume of material of a duplicative nature in the body of fechtbuch in existence. From the incidence of falchions in the total number of illustrations studied (3000), that would suggest an average hit rate of roughly one in 16 manuscripts depicted a falchion at least once. Even eliminating depictions of Goliath, which seem to commonly have portrayed just such a weapon, a hit rate of 1 in 20 is fairly reasonable. and perhaps gives us a very approximate suggestion of the common popularity of the weapon compared to the conventional sword, seem much more constantly in those manuscript illustrations considered.
I've yet to crossreference nation of origin and date for those manuscripts to try to calculate any table of incidence by geographic and chronological distribution, I suspect such is fairly conjectural anyway and those manuscripts which depict it repeatedly would skew the results heavily.



I'd hesitate to call the conyers a bearing sword, the more correct term would be a Sword of Tenure, much like the sword of Battle Abbey, nowadays in the care of the National Museum of Scotland. though predominantly used in ceremonial duties, it is an entirely practical weapon, unlike the grossly oversized bearing swords of the later centuries.

I would agree wholeheartedly with Oakeshott's description as "woefully understudied" - you can count the number of pages dedicated to them in print on both hands, Seitz' typology is packed with gaps, and makes very little sense in my opinion; sadly, I rather suspect that the proposed typology put forward on the Vikinsword fora, as referenced by mr McCormack earlier has cribbed extensively from Seitz, and continues to have the faults therein.


Erm. or something like that.

 

Edit: Inaccurate image deleted to correct a graphing scale error. Please see the image in a later post that has the correct scale reference.

Edited by J.G. Elmslie

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this gives me a lot of ideas, i love falchions, in fact, i love blade heavy swords in general, the practical knightly (twice re-forged) is particularly blade heavy.

I played Diablo and Diablo 2, in Diablo 2, i always gravitated to the falchions, they just look like man-cleavers.

This has given me the inspiration, my first sword will be a falchion using a variety of things depicted in the links here. (ie, its pretty historic in its design)

 

Raises another question?

I was thinking of a serpant pattern weld in the spine of the sword near the fuller (which will go 3/4 of the way up on probably one side, maybe both)

Has there been any evidence of pattern welding designs in Falchions? or are most mono-steel?

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J.G. - they'd love to see a little of your data over on the ethnographic edged weapons forum. Some pretty knowledgeable folks, too.

 

www.vikingsword.com/vb

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J.G., I assume by sword of tenure, which is a new term to me, that it was a sword associated with a certain office and identified the bearer of such sword as the occupier of the office. That would place it under what I would have understood as being a bearing sword. I was also given to believe from other readings that not all bearing swords, possibly including what you would refer to swords of tenure, are monstrous, overly heavy, overly decorated, "weapons" carried before some office holder. How would you differentiate between the two types?

 

Doug

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-JG: I am very happy to see that you are doing this work!

 

I have collected some material on falchions as well, but these are probably some of those you have covered already.

 

-Did you get to make tracings on these, or do you have full length photographs to go by?

 

The single edged sword deserves more recognition. This presentation of your´s is long overdue!

:-)

 

-Eric: Falchions are not generally the blade heavy choppers they seem to be. They are not any more blade heavy than any other sword type can be (saying that it will typically more vary within the type than between types).

Those that I have documented have been very agile and responsive weapons. Not very big. Compact and effective. A thin cross section where they are at their widest makes for a surprisingly light point section. The edge has been fine and acute on those that I´ve examined. Good slicers, but with fearsome cleaving power as well. The actual edge geometry *can* be like a very narrow little cold chisel on a thin body, but may as likely be a normal edge for swords: a gentle continuous apple seed edge geometry with a final angle of some 22-25 degrees total.

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J.G. - they'd love to see a little of your data over on the ethnographic edged weapons forum. Some pretty knowledgeable folks, too.

 

I've posted a little bit on there recently, as there's someone else who's started trying to do a nice little study on the same subject.

Unfortunately that seems to have got dragged into a bit of a mire, unintentionally, after I observed that a pair of the falchions in thier photographs were, erm, how shall I put this... "remarkably similar to each other". Its rather got dragged into an argument of provenances, rather than the actual study itself.

which is a shame, given it should be more about the overall subject of the weapon type, than one or two individual items which might or might not be as bent as a £3 note.

 

Hopefully, it'll get dragged back on-subject.

 

 

 

J.G., I assume by sword of tenure, which is a new term to me, that it was a sword associated with a certain office and identified the bearer of such sword as the occupier of the office. That would place it under what I would have understood as being a bearing sword. I was also given to believe from other readings that not all bearing swords, possibly including what you would refer to swords of tenure, are monstrous, overly heavy, overly decorated, "weapons" carried before some office holder. How would you differentiate between the two types?

 

Doug

 

Ok, quick and dirty summary of the term "sword of tenure" for you (because I've got RSI in my hands, and it makes typing a bit of a pain at times.) - basically, there's a few examples of lands which were granted to certain nobles, monastic orders, or the likes, where the ownership was symbolised by a sword. in the case of the Conyers falchion, that was Sockburn, an area near Durham in Northumbria, which was granted by the king, from lands which were administrated by the bishopric of Durham. In some other cases it would be ownership granted from the monarch directly, or from another landowner.

The area of Sockburn, therefore, was granted to Sir John Conyers, and his descendants in return for a repeated pledge, in recognition of his actions. In the case of the Conyers falchion, that action was the killing of a dragon; the sockburn wyrm. Yes, you did just read that correctly... for killing a dragon, as you do. "what did you do this week? oh, cleaned the armour, went to church, killed a dragon." "that's nice darling. well done. Supper?" :blink:

Anyhow, the ceremony was recorded and repeated by Sir John Conyers' descendants as follows: On the appointment of a new bishop to the Cathedral of Durham, the land-holders were required to present themselves before the new bishop upon his investiture, and to present the sword of tenure to him, to renew their rights to Sockburn Manor, accompanied by the following statement:

"My Lord Bishop. I hereby present you with the falchion wherewith the champion Conyers slew the worm, dragon or fiery flying serpent which destroyed man, woman and child; in memory of which the king then reigning gave him the manor of Sockburn, to hold by this tenure, that upon the first entrance of every bishop into the county the falchion should be presented."

The sword was then handed to the bishop, who accepted it, and then handed it back to Sir Conyers, symbolising that the tenure of the land remained in thier hands.

 

Wonderful, or Certifiably insane, I'll leave you to decide for yourself.

 

 

Battle Abbey, likewise, held a similar series of rights. the abbey was founded close to the site of the Battle of Hastings, and granted by William giving the church there a large range of autonimous powers. Those powers were granted in the form of a sword (claimed to be that borne by William at hastings, though the sword which now carries the name is almost certainly of late 14th or early 15th Century in date.), which was presented as the proof of their tenure.

I seem to recall a few similar stories of landowners where the ownership of a sword was the sign of right, which was used in legal disputes as the proof of ownership. I could to find some more info on that if I can, as its buried somewhere in my reference library... but you get the picture.

 

In contrast, a Bearing sword is one that's carried in procession, be it a religeous festival, or the pomp and circumstance of a coronation, a royal event, or the likes. as such its a sword chosen to be displayed. those, over time became ever-more decorated and larger, to be seen better by the crowd viewing such processions - and so many of them become steadily bigger, gilded hilts, decorated blades, and other such finery, and as they become increasingly oversized, became bloaded, impractical weapons. However, that's not an entirely inevitable part of the process, and a bearing sword can be an entirely practical, workmanlike weapon just as much as it can be an exaggerated parody. Its sole purpose, after all, is to be carried througha procession or similar public event, and if a practical, working sword serves that purpose, then a practical weapon is as appropriate a choice.

Their purpose is one of display to the public in the midst of a load of symbolism in a single event, whereas the sword of tenure is rather one of symbolism in itself, displayed in the confines of a court of law, or a much less public event of the swearing of tenure, than that carried through the streets.

So while they're similar, they're not quite the same, and that (I hope) indicates the differences between them.

 

does that make any sense?

 

 

JGE

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Thanks for the explanation. As far as it being barking mad-no comment. I used to live in a state where the two Native American tribes which have reservations honor a treaty, which, by the way, was made with what is now a foreign government, by delivering to the state capital a deer and a turkey twice a year to pay for the occupation of their land. All done with due/undue ceremony.

 

Doug

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-JG: I am very happy to see that you are doing this work!

 

I have collected some material on falchions as well, but these are probably some of those you have covered already.

 

-Did you get to make tracings on these, or do you have full length photographs to go by?

 

The single edged sword deserves more recognition. This presentation of your´s is long overdue!

:-)

 

-Eric: Falchions are not generally the blade heavy choppers they seem to be. They are not any more blade heavy than any other sword type can be (saying that it will typically more vary within the type than between types).

Those that I have documented have been very agile and responsive weapons. Not very big. Compact and effective. A thin cross section where they are at their widest makes for a surprisingly light point section. The edge has been fine and acute on those that I´ve examined. Good slicers, but with fearsome cleaving power as well. The actual edge geometry *can* be like a very narrow little cold chisel on a thin body, but may as likely be a normal edge for swords: a gentle continuous apple seed edge geometry with a final angle of some 22-25 degrees total.

 

 

Peter, what can I say other than reading that, coming from you with your reputation, quality of study and workmanship leaves me feeling a little afraid. I'm not certain I'll be able to match your standard of work!

 

Currently, I'm working from a combination of full-length drawings of each one where possible, and photographs and measurements supplied by museums as a temporary measure until I can study in detail. Fustratingly, I'm quite limited in how much I can afford to travel, so going all around europe to handle every one is going to take quite a long time. (I need a sponsor!)

 

 

My intention so far is to look at publication either in the Park Lane Arms Fair Catalogue, or as a book. I suspect that it'll be down to how extensive the study gets as to which it ends up as. One difficulty I'm having is working out how far it should go - do I cover just falchions, or should it also cover the single-edged swords and messer? There's a little bit of a worry that a study the falchion on its own it will be too focused, and fail to address the inter-relation between messer and falchion. If I study falchion, messer and single-edged swords, will it be too vague a subject?

 

Difficult choice to make.

 

I've been considering if I dare to go about setting up a typology that is'nt based off Heribert Seitz' work, but rather which dovetails into Oakeshott's typology, particularly for falchion types, as the construction is fundamentally similar. But at the same time, I rather cant help but feel that I dont really have the academic background to justify proposing such a typology - I am a craftsman first and a historian second, and I'm acutely aware that I'm badly under-qualified for publishing actual historical papers.

 

 

I would however love to know which falchions you've managed to get data on - not least in case there are some that I've missed from my list of surviving examples! In particular, I've yet to get to the Solingen Klingesmuseum example, which I know you've made a replica of, The Conyers Falchion has proven to be incredibly difficult to get hold of, and there is apparently an example referenced by in Laking, in the Museo Arquelogico, Madrid, that I've still to find any photograph of - I've attached the line drawing I have of that one below. Those in particular are examples I'd love to know more about.

 

I would also like to ask about your opinion on a couple of details, if you would'nt object to a PM being sent to you.

 

James G Elmslie.

falchion_2_112.jpg

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I thought i read that somewhere, but it was labled 'surprising' which i guess led me to believe that one would expect them to be heavy.

It seems like the same amount of blade material for a type x but drawn out more to one side, no?

almost like they were re-purposed :/ but im certain that wasnt the case.

I wish I could be able to examine, let alone make a sword off of a historical piece :(

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Hello everybody,

 

I am a new HEMA practitionner and I totally ignored the existence of falchions a few months ago. With the help of curiosity, I quickly grew up very fond of those strange beasts !

 

I am sorry that for my first post here I wake up a one-year-old topic, but I hope there might be a good reason for it. It seems to me that Mr Elmslie did some extraordinary work, and despite knowing the poor value of a young practitionner advice, I would like to send my congratulations to him.

 

I came here looking for informations on falchion dimensions and this is the best analysis I found. Though, some informations on the web are in disagreement with the infography. I could find measurements of three of the presented falchion :

 

Thorpe falchion : on the infography, it's 80 cm long, with a 65 cm blade (based on the existing part, not the grey extension).

 

But according to http://www.myarmoury.com/review_mrl_falc.html , it's 95.6 cm long, with an 80.3 cm blade.

 

So between the web and Mr. Elmslie infography, there's a 1.2 ratio.

 

--

 

Durham Conyers falchion : infography : 74 cm long, 60 cm blade.

 

But here : http://www.foxtail.nu/bjorn/h_conyers_eng.htm : 89 cm long, 73.4 cm blade.

 

Still a 1.2 ratio

 

--

 

Metropolitan Museum of art : infography : 75 cm long

 

But for the museum website : http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/40003138 : 91.44 cm long.

 

Still a 1.2 ratio

 

--

 

From these examples, I would think there's a simple scaling problem with Mr Elmslie infography. Still, this doesn't tell for sure that on could apply a 1.2 factor to the whole infography in order to have a (careful) idea of those weapon's size at the period they were used. So if someone have informations on the other sword and could confirm my guess, or maybe if the original maker of the infography happened to pass by, maybe he can provide informations.

 

Thank you and congratulations again.

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<snip>

So between the web and Mr. Elmslie infography, there's a 1.2 ratio.

<snip>

Still a 1.2 ratio

<snip>

Still a 1.2 ratio

<snip.

 

 

Ah-ha.
At this point, I could claim its all part of my devious plan to protect my data till I'm ready to actually write a book.

 

I would, however, be completely lying.

 

there is, infact, a detailed and highly complex reason behind the discrepancy, which I shall reveal now:

it is, infact, because I'm complete and utter sodding eejit.

Yeah. Oops.
I had a brain once, you know. I rescaled the image grid at one point while working on the various examples, and forgot to rescale some of the examples.
My apologies for infact screwing the data in the image up utterly.

A revised version of the studies does exist, and I'll pop it up here once I've checked it over with a very fine-toothed comb, to avoid cocking up again.




Edit: Since a friend poked me about the info, and I promised a revised version of the image posted earlier... well, here it is:

Falchion_linework_revised.jpg

Edited by J.G. Elmslie

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