Hope's Smallswords

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Hope's Smallswords

Postby MEversbergII » 02 Oct 2014 14:08

Not the system, but the weapon:

Image

These are clearly weapons that utilize crossguards, not the sort of guards I'd associate with smallswords or spadroons. What are these supposed to represent? Some form of training weapon, or a holdover from the Tuck?

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Hope's Smallswords

Postby the underground man » 02 Oct 2014 18:53

I'm not sure how much help this will be but I do know there are historical examples of smallswords with cross/nontraditional guards from the later 17th century, at the very least.

http://36.media.tumblr.com/080d369588f5 ... o1_500.jpg

The above example is held at the MET in NY.

http://40.media.tumblr.com/304dd11a9adb ... o6_500.jpg
https://medias.expertissim.com/media/ca ... pee_2N.jpg

This example was something I saw linked on another site. The original host of the sword, Expertissim, seems to be an online antiques dealer and has some nice quality images uploaded. The second image is quite large, just as a heads up.

Both links should be stable but if they aren't I can always rehost them for others.

I think the shape of the hilts in Hope's treatise aren't too dissimilar from those listed above. It would also make sense that this shape might indeed be a holdover from military swords of the mid to late 17th century. This would fit at least part of Hope's time frame, though I believe his earliest work is in the last quarter of the century. Unfortunately, though I am a fan of the styles and blades through 16th to 19th century, I know very little about the particular trends regarding the construction of smallswords, so I can't offer a more substantial answer to your question than this.

I do hope this helps.

As a side note, I think it is interesting to see representations of fashions and weapons in manuals/treatises. Sadly, they often seem to be overlooked for such details.
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Re: Hope's Smallswords

Postby MEversbergII » 03 Oct 2014 16:56

Hm, that does seem to be it! Is Hope the only one to depict such a sword? Perhaps I should invest in a pair of foils equipped with such a crossguard sometime.

M.
When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
The people scattered gold-dust before my horses feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

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Re: Hope's Smallswords

Postby Reinier » 13 Oct 2014 07:42

Jeann Daniel L'Ange's rapier treatise (1664) shows similar simple crossguards.
I am having a rapier made with such a simple guard based on a training weapon from the 17th century in the collection of a private collector that I had the pleasure to handle (the sword, not the collector) in Rome this year.
…en A alſoo liggende kan aen B, ſonder eenigh beletſel, met de zijde van ſijn hooft, op het aengeſicht van B, ſoo veel ſtoten als hy begeert. – Nicolaes Petter, 1674.

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