Posted: Thu 22 Dec, 2011 12:17 am Post subject: 14th C Glaives and Couses
I'm interested in knowing if anyone can advise me on examples of Glaives and Couses (Kuse,Ccouteau de Breche) that were used in the 14th Century. There are plenty of 15th and 16th C examples (and a heap of halberds!), but I've been strruggling to find 14th C ones. In particular, as I do German 1360s, I'd love to know what sort of cutty-pointy knife-shaped bit of steel I can put on the end of a stick and hit someone with that is correct for my locality and period. But, any advice would be most welcome.
I have a reasonable selection of books, in particular Waldeman and Snook, and whilst they often refer to glaives and couses being used in the 14th C (Waldeman notes in his chapter on Vouge and Couteau de Breche " . . . sturdy cut and thrust weapon . . . twelth to sixteenth centuries . . . ", and has some glaive sketches from a Parma MS circa 1380) they tend to concentrate on 15th C examples onwards. I've seen the Macejowski Bible glaive-sword things, but aren't after one of those. I've looked through a lot of photos on this site (most actually!) and I can see glaives and couses but they all appear the usual late 15th and/or 16th C. The kuses in particular are usually large trabentenkuse, ceremonial and impresssive, but not intended for brutal infighting, and I know that they are 16th generally.
I've also looked at a lot of posts on glaives on this site, and they haven't been able to answer my queries (tell me if otherwise!) and there are some pretty knowledgeable people out there so I'm really hoping that someone can provide some accurate advice. Even if someone cannot provide an actual 14th C example, but can say "Look at these 15th C images, or page xx in Waldeman, they used kuse just like that in Germany from the 1350s onwards but minus the tassles" that'd be just great. I'm pretty keen on authenticity, and don't want to use a 16th C Venetian parade glaive dressed in mid-14thC German armour
Lastly, I'm in New Zealand so popping along to my local museum is unlikely to help me (but there are some cool polearms from the South Pacific in our national museum Te Papa!).
Thanks very much for your reply
I've already checked out those two threads, in fact one of them was what put me on to the Waldman and Snook works. There was also another that showed someone with a gorgeous homemade vouge francais, and I love it, I'd use it in an instant if I knew it was good for my period!
But neither thread provides answers to my queries. Halberds, bills, axes, pollaxes yes but not the glaive or couse. I do like the wicked-looking 14c glaive pic, but that is hafted like a halberd or even a bardiche according to Waldman, with the lower attachment being nailed to the haft's true side and not an eyelet. Glaives and couses are socketed.
Any Germans out there on the list that can point me in the right direction?
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