1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

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1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Juraj » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:59 am

Hi,

Could anybody advise on sword, rapier hanger during 30 years war in Europe (1618-1648). As far as I know there were two types:

1. hanging over shoulder
2. hanging on hook on belt.

Thanks, any information, source or picture is much appreciated.

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Tod » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:06 pm

Moved here as you as likely to get more answers Tod. Moderator.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby steve stanley » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:38 pm

Details of the two typre are given in Dave Blackmore's "Arms and Armour of the English Civil War"...As far as I know,the waist-belt type is earlier with a change-over in the 1630's..'tho both stay in use.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby John Waller » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:20 pm

I think a hanger works better with longer swords due to issues of balance and 'angle of dangle'. As Steve says the trend was a move to baldricks in the 1630's as swords generally moved from longer rapiers to shorter backswords and the like. Both co-existed.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Joolz » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:02 am

One of my favourite artists portraying this period is Jacob Duck (1600-1667). He mainly shows rapiers being worn in baldrics (including some very broad, extravagant ones - see below).

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Dathi » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:54 pm

That's an interesting painting as it shows both types of sword wear in user and that central figure has every sin the book there. A Musketer with a buff coats AND bucket top boots...:-)

Having traveled across dozens of pictures thro the 1600 to 1650 period across Europe the sleeveless buffcoat appears very frequently on solders backs. Usually it's a fairly plain coat with little or no flash or bling.

I suspect that we should have a few more sleeveless buffcoats on Sergeants and the like, particularly early war. As long as they're good buffcoats that is..;-)
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Dathi » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:25 pm

I just remembered this one

http://www.costumeantique.de/data/kostu ... terior.jpg for the link


That looks like a sleeved buffcoat with open sleeves and a lining.

Any thoughts ?
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Foxe » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:27 pm

Dathi wrote:That's an interesting painting as it shows both types of sword wear in user and that central figure has every sin the book there. A Musketer with a buff coats AND bucket top boots...:-)


Must be a dragoon then :devil:
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Andy R » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:29 am

Foxe wrote:
Dathi wrote:That's an interesting painting as it shows both types of sword wear in user and that central figure has every sin the book there. A Musketer with a buff coats AND bucket top boots...:-)


Must be a dragoon then :devil:


I don;t think so - the guns look to big and there are no lobster pots or bridle gauntlets :lol:

From what I have been told down the pub, buf coats were more common place on the continent, and in the French army at least you do get a far great variation with arms including elite musketeers who ride (not dragoons, but musketeers - like with the three musketeers)

They were certainly about in the WoSS, but how much they fought dismounted then I don't know
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby steve stanley » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:22 pm

There's a status thing as well....Posy urban middle-class militia...Think Artillery Garden & it's Dutch shooting club equvalents....Doesn't mean it's right for a normal field army?

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Phil the Grips » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:44 pm

Girdles/hangers go right through the C16th-C18th in some form or other, whereas baldricks are a second-quater to late C17th fashion.

From a quick look at a couple of sources it seems that "issued" swords are listed as coming with girdles and hangers, so likely baldricks are a fashion thing for the wealthy and aspirant-wealthy picking up habits from their chums and service on the Continent, just as Steve says there was a lot of showing off and private purchase among "Hobby Squaddies" of the era.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Dathi » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:57 pm

steve stanley wrote:There's a status thing as well....Posy urban middle-class militia...Think Artillery Garden & it's Dutch shooting club equvalents....Doesn't mean it's right for a normal field army?

Steve


A fair few turn up in paintings from Sebastian Vrancx's paintings of Military scenes and in paintings from the guardroom genre. Some of the wearers may be Horse but not all of them.....

http://s277.photobucket.com/albums/kk50 ... musk-1.jpg

This chap is one example. He's carrying a halberd so should be a Sergeant and is clearly wearing something under his armour and over his doublet. With a hanger that may be hooked to the waist belt of the armour....
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Joolz » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:17 am

Plenty more Baldrics, Buff-coats and Bucket-top boots from these Jacob Duck paintings. The ensign and officers in the first pic are buff-coat and boot-less - maybe these items were for the 'ordinary' soldiers. The last pic looks like some kind of mounted 'dragoon' because of the short musketoon?

Judging from the dozens of Duck paintings that still exist from this era, there seems to be a predominance of buff-coats and bucket-top boots amongst the majority of these continental troops, and he doesn't appear to restrict his subjects to the upper echelons of soldiery.

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Tod » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:47 pm

Phil the Grips wrote:Girdles/hangers go right through the C16th-C18th in some form or other, whereas baldricks are a second-quater to late C17th fashion.

From a quick look at a couple of sources it seems that "issued" swords are listed as coming with girdles and hangers, so likely baldricks are a fashion thing for the wealthy and aspirant-wealthy picking up habits from their chums and service on the Continent, just as Steve says there was a lot of showing off and private purchase among "Hobby Squaddies" of the era.


Baldricks by which I mean over the should belts were used well into the late 18th century by both foot and horse regiments.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Andy R » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:51 pm

Tod wrote:
Phil the Grips wrote:Girdles/hangers go right through the C16th-C18th in some form or other, whereas baldricks are a second-quater to late C17th fashion.

From a quick look at a couple of sources it seems that "issued" swords are listed as coming with girdles and hangers, so likely baldricks are a fashion thing for the wealthy and aspirant-wealthy picking up habits from their chums and service on the Continent, just as Steve says there was a lot of showing off and private purchase among "Hobby Squaddies" of the era.


Baldricks by which I mean over the should belts were used well into the late 18th century by both foot and horse regiments.


And indeed the 19th
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Andy R » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Joolz wrote:Plenty more Baldrics, Buff-coats and Bucket-top boots from these Jacob Duck paintings. The ensign and officers in the first pic are buff-coat and boot-less - maybe these items were for the 'ordinary' soldiers. The last pic looks like some kind of mounted 'dragoon' because of the short musketoon?

Judging from the dozens of Duck paintings that still exist from this era, there seems to be a predominance of buff-coats and bucket-top boots amongst the majority of these continental troops, and he doesn't appear to restrict his subjects to the upper echelons of soldiery.

Joolz

Only the last guy in this series has bucket tops, and he is posh cavalry looking at the lady, his breeches, and that is a cavalry piece rather than a dragoon piece as dragoons were using the same full size muskets as the infantry till arround the start of the 2nd quarter of the 18th century when they seem to come down in size to a 42" barrel. (going by the introduction of dragoon pieces in the British and French armies, and contemporary orders for muskets which included their use as "for Dragoons" in the 1630's and 1660's)
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:50 pm

Here is a photo of me on horse with my matching pair of rapier and mangauche, the swords were made for my height and the mangauche has 3 triggered sword breakers,
with another with them hanging up in my tent.

I have a photo of them naked so to speak somewhere. Once I have found it I will stick them up.

Note, I am using a baldrick with the pull for both weapons on one side.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Here are the blades with their clothes off :D
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Joolz » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:28 pm

Andy R, thanks for that clarification re. the short musket, but my main point was that the 'blanket ban' on Buff-coated and Bucket-top-booted infantrymen that is a feature of ECW reenactement, just doesn't seem relevant when one talks about continental forces in the 30YW (of course, that's because it's a different war, in a different time and place....).

Anyway, as this topic is meandering a little, I shall continue to lead it astray:

Steenie, I am intrigued by your addition of a sword-breaker main-gauche to your cavalry kit - how on earth would a man on horseback use this? I have been rapier fencing for many years now, and I can't envisage a scenario where a parrying dagger could be used effectively with such restriction on movement against an armoured opponent (let alone the fact that you need to hold on to your reins). Is it to be used if your horse goes down and you end up on foot, or as a backup if you drop your rapier? Wouldn't a pistol butt or even a horseman's axe be more effective as a parrying weapon?

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:58 pm

Joolz,

What a pragmatic fellow of the C21st you are. lol

As you can see a lot of my kit is 30 years war. If I was a gentleman of this period and I had a matching pair, do you think I would leave off my manguache just because i was on a horse? As it is, my mangauche has a double cut point so it can punch a hole through plate like a can opener. Useful against others, both harquibusier or cuirrassier if on the ground don't you think?

As you are experienced in the use of the rapier, what do you think to my baby? I am not into reenactment blades. Just steel clubs with no finesse. In my training with the rapier I made up a Circulus for training. i found it very useful when trying to use the old training manuals. I am not on my normal laptop so I will post up the Circulus I worked from whenI can.

I must admit, I do like pole axes.

As for my horse pistols, I am using in the photo a case of the ECW commonwealth copies. Nice.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Joolz » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:06 am

Steenie,

My curiosity was aroused because I do not think of a rapier/main gauche combination as cavalrymen's weapons. I associate them with foot combat (or more specifically, civilian foot confrontations, which is what practically all the 16th and 17th century treatises also assume).

I would associate a heavier, broader blade with a cavalry sword (regardless of the hilt configuration - Walloon, Mortuary, Pappenheimer etc.) and would not expect to see a dagger specifically for parrying, as parrying with a dagger whilst on horseback strikes me as practically impossible to do effectively.

Soldiers are very pragmatic people, too and few would carry anything into battle that they wouldn't need/couldn't use.

Do you train as part of a HEMA/WMA group? Do you have any pics of your pistols? (I ask because, as well as being an avid collector and user of Pappenheimer rapiers, I also shoot historic firearms)

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Andy R » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:16 pm

Hi Joolz,

30YW and the ECW are worlds appart with relation to many things, infantry buff coats most definately included. From what little I have read, weren't they quite popular on the continent?

Bucket tops for infantry does stop me in my tracks.

A decent, museum quality pair of boots are a big heavy set of footwear that can be a pain for long periods on foot. There is a later quote from an unhorsed officer who had great dificulty retreating as his boots were so clogged with mud that he couldn't move.

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:43 pm

Joolz,

I totally agree with regard to your thoughts on rapiers etc and cavalry. At the beginning of the English Civil War, it was common for 'gentleman' to take with them their civilian weapons to war. This meant that in th early stages, such men found that their weapons - rapier etc, were just not up to the job. As you know, the rapier is a thrusting weapon and has no weight to produce a cut or slash. This problem is amplified by the fact the blade cannot hold the kinetic mass of the horse in the blade. As such, not only doesn't it have the ability to use this mass to cut chunks off of the infantry in retreat (the main aim of the cavalry to rout the infantry then hunt them down), but it didn't have the weight to deflect a sword attack from another cavalryman. As such, a much heavier, edged weapon was soon taken 'onboard' consigning the rapier as a cavalry weapon to the bin until the start of the 1900s. What is amazing, that the British Army then introduced the P1908 as the choice. A totally thrusting weapon with no ability to cut or hold energy for that purpose. Mind you, by then, the sword was obsolete as a cutting weapon against infantry and was only used as a thrusting killing weapon. I have a P1908, also the P1912 the officers equivelant. What is interesting, discounting the ergonomic grips of the latter weapons, the blade is almost identical to my rapier.

Presently I am in America on business. Once I return I will stick up not only the promised photos of the circulus but also some of the case of pistols.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:09 pm

I have had trouble loading the photo,so I am not sure how it will come out.

With regard to the move away from rapiers to heavier edged weapons, here I am standing on Powick Bridge,the place of one of the first engagements of the ECW. I am wearing a shorter and much wider edged weapon to give me a cutting sword that will carry the half tonne mass of my horse into the blade. The idea against infantry, is not to make downward cuts as this could run into metal helmets armour etc, if you make underhand figure of 8 strokes around your horses head, the first stroke will either hit a thigh of the running pikeman, or, if really lucky up between the legs, through the girdle and break out through the chest. This means your sword is now above your head and can then start the next underhand stroke on the nearside (left of the horse).

In the photo, I am wearing a buff coat copied from that of Col, Nethaniel Fiennes, the eldest son of Lord Saye and Sele (he was at the engagement of Powick Bridge Parliament). The portrait hangs at Broughton Castle the family seat. It is made of reindeer lined in calf. My bridle guard is multi-layered leather the layers made into a fish-scale pattern. This is a copy of the same item in the Royal Armouries Leeds. The gorgette is a copy of that worn by Gustavus Adolphus. Although, as I am a Wallenstein man, it has gold leafed onto it a golden fleece 8-) . The helmet is a Continental Zichschagge, which has flutes beaten into it when it was red hot to increase strength.

Oh and the blonde dog is Markham named after Gervaise Markham and the other is Grizzel (Greediguts) as she looks like a witch with her yellow eyes and wierd hairdo lol.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Joolz » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:59 pm

Great looking kit, with some fine accessories (particularly like the gorget). Sword looks a lot more like you would expect - is it some form of Pappenheimer hilt with a broadsword blade?

I believe the pre-WW1 move towards purely thrusting blades was due to a change in the use of the cavalry sword to a sort of 'short lance' with a one-off shock effect that could be ditched in favour of carbine or pistol once the charge had fizzled out. After all, the old idea of charging an enemy line then hacking away at the scattering foe seems futile when everyone you face is armed with a magazine-fed repeating rifle (with bayonet). Personal firepower had come a long way since the single shot muzzleloading musket. Notwithstanding the obsolete futility of the cavalry charge in the first place.....

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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Dathi » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:41 pm

Joolz, Andy R.

I think we have have a tendancy to believe that the whole of the Civil War period was fought in some splendid isolation from Europe and forget just how much experience British Gentry had in fighting in Europe. See Swordsmen: The Martial Ethos in the Three Kingdoms by Roger Manning for a good study of this. Pre 1645 and the New Modelled Standing Army, and particularly in the first year at the least, I strongly suspect that strong European influences would give some forces a much more TYW look that we accept or suspect. There's a thread in here that lists a fair few Officers who survived in Europe over the previous 20 years and we forget that some areas had very strong trading links with the Dutch, Baltic, Denmark, France and Spain. As an example there are at least 3 Dutch men serving as Officers under Sir John Hotham in 1642 - 1643.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:35 am

Joolze

So right about the style of hilt. I do like it!! This one is based on a sword that is living in the Livrustkammaren Stockholm. The same museum which houses 'Streiff' the Charger of Gustavus Adolphus that he rode at the battle of Lutzen 1632.

Here is a photograph of the mighty Streiff in the saddlery worn at Lutzen, a new years gift to Gustaf from his Queen. I once had a chat with the Curator of the museum and asked him why Steiff's conformation didn't conform to his height. He said, the reason why he is shorter and more pony like in dims than could be expected was due to a terrible bit of vandalism in the last century. They couldn't get him through a door so his legs had been cut off and around 15 cm had been taken out. Then he had been put together again. :devil: You can see the effect of this by the line through his legs at chest level.

Sorry to have wandered off the topic.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:39 am

Here are the orginal engravings I made my Circulus from. I used the man figure in the middle of the circulus to work out the scale. I then laid it out on a piece of traditonal looking vinyl, using tape. In this way, I could roll it up when not in use. This saved me from a divorce!! :lol:

It was great fun and rewarding to make the Circulus and was a great aid in working out foot movements.

I had never thought about it before, but it would probably be a real wonder as a living history display item to show the use of training techniques of the sword.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby STEENIE » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:11 am

Joolz,

Looking back over your paintings, I would say the last guy was light or Harquibusier Cavalry not a Dragoon. Indeed he has an Harquibus which is a bit of a give away. :wink:

I think that a great source of what to expect from an infantryman of the 30 years war must be the drill manual of Jacob de Gheyn and his work written in 1608. In this, every engraving of drill movement has the chap in different clothing and styles. What we do find throughout, that whilst there seems to be a scarcity of boots, there are lots of hose and cockers (not sure if I spelt that right), which are stiff hose, made from buckram, canvas or other stiff stuff (who knows even leather lol)to protect the under hose. This is what the guy with the red over hose has on in your second painting.
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Re: 1618-1648 sword or rapier hanger

Postby Andy R » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:22 am

Dathi wrote:Joolz, Andy R.

I think we have have a tendancy to believe that the whole of the Civil War period was fought in some splendid isolation from Europe and forget just how much experience British Gentry had in fighting in Europe. See Swordsmen: The Martial Ethos in the Three Kingdoms by Roger Manning for a good study of this. Pre 1645 and the New Modelled Standing Army, and particularly in the first year at the least, I strongly suspect that strong European influences would give some forces a much more TYW look that we accept or suspect. There's a thread in here that lists a fair few Officers who survived in Europe over the previous 20 years and we forget that some areas had very strong trading links with the Dutch, Baltic, Denmark, France and Spain. As an example there are at least 3 Dutch men serving as Officers under Sir John Hotham in 1642 - 1643.


Hi Dathi,

Ideas were the easy part transported accross - look how tercios etc were formed in the Dutch and Swedish style for an imediate give away.

BUT, specialised equipment was much reduced compared to the continent - buff coats for infantry and the sheer number of armoured horse on the continent - look how much full cuirasse and 3/4 armour was used where as it was uncommon from the begining and rarely seen after Roundway Down.
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