Hans Bürgkmair book illustrations – Strange Knights!

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  • #2476
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator
    #2477
    Thaeris
    Participant

    Very interesting indeed. I am surprised at the number of sabres/falchions we see the knights armed with. They must have been up against lots of soft targets, or the illustrator just happened to hold curved weapons in preference.

    …Obligatory curved swords! reference. :p

    #2480
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    It’s from mid-16th Century, sabers were popular, but also the guy isn’t the most detail oriented artist and a lot of his messers and falchions look like sabers and scimetars.

    I don’t think they were just dealing with soft targets look at all the giant scary looking morning stars, hammers, flails etc.

    #2504
    Thaeris
    Participant

    No, no! Don’t get me wrong, I was not suggesting they were merely up against unarmored rabble. Instead, yes, those polearms would have been the primary ant-armor tools they were using.

    …I made the comment about sabres and curved swords as those are most often best suited to soft targets, whereas longswords, depending on the type, will often have a degree of anti-armor capacity, especially when in halfsword.

    #2506
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Yes all true, sabers are also quite good on defense, and are also easier to handle on horseback I suspect. I guess it was a variety of factors that led to their rise in popularty.

    #2509
    Thaeris
    Participant

    Bit O/T, but because I’m not a sabre guy (though I do love Polish sabres!), but how is it that a curved blade in particular might offer a defensive advantage over a straight one? Just curious, here…

    #2514
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    I don’t actually know, but it may be down to covering more space or more angles. I does seem to be a thing though, you’ll notice as soon as you start sparring with sabers, particularly extra curvy ones.

    In our club I’ve noticed a given bout with a longsword takes between about 5-30 seconds, maybe up to two minutes if both fighters are good and being very cautious.

    A rapier (alone) match is about the same.

    Rapier with dagger is about double a longsword.

    Sword and buckler is about the same as rapier with dagger.

    Messer fights are also about the same.

    Bouts with sabers tend to go from the usual 5 seconds to about two minutes, I’ve seen them go as long as ten minutes, with multiple short bouts of exchanges followed by circling.

    This is in part because a saber is better at defending with than it is at attacking, a fight with a saber vs. a longsword won’t last so long for example. But sabers do seem to parry well…

    #2515
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Basket hilt swords are also very defensive though for slightly different reasons, and they are more offensive than sabers largely due to the enhanced hand protection + strait blade.

    #2517
    Thaeris
    Participant

    You know, that actually makes a lot of sense…

    At first, I thought you may have just been referencing the more substantial guards on many sabres, but that is a feature of a given weapon, not upon the spectrum of curved swords as a whole…

    …So, instead, what I would wager would be that due to the curvature, a little bit of wrist movement can result in a lot of displacement of the blade, if you will. As per actual torques and what have you, I suppose if we’re interested enough, we could try and get some numbers up and run them to see if a curved blade might have some sort of leverage advantage, or if there’s something else going on.

    Going back to the wrist movement, a curved weapon covers an arcing pattern from the line of action of the hand, and therefore can kind of be in a lot of places at once. A straight weapon doesn’t do that nearly as much.

    So, right on then! Not sure how much of that would stand up to rigorous scrutiny, but it does make sense to me at the moment – thanks!

    #2518
    Hans Hellinger
    Moderator

    Yeah I don’t know if it’s more of just a saber vs saber thing or saber vs. other weapons, because weapons with greater reach seem to have an easier time getting past a saber, but I think it’s both. Never fully understood the reasons why though.

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