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Scott Roush




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 3:49 am    Post subject: Horse hair fittings and Roman spatha         Reply with quote

So I'm gathering up information to make an organic hilt pattern welded Roman calvalry spatha and came across references on bound horse hair grips and even shaped/molded horse hair cross guard?

I was curious if anybody was aware of any contemporary attempts at reproduction or could point me to further resources that would help me visualize (and attempt?) this.

I'm away from my main computer and don't have the links... but there are at least two swords in which this has been observed. One from Illerup and the 'Boe sword'

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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 5:15 am    Post subject: Re: Horse hair fittings and Roman spatha         Reply with quote

Horse hair fittings for a Roman spatha? Wow! I wonder how does it look like.
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Jeffrey Faulk




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Horsehair? That's a new one on me. Matthew Amt or Dan Howard are probably better qualified than me to comment.

My two cents-- completely off-the-cuff deductions-- are that the grips, at least, probably involved knot-work similar to what you would see with hemp cord nowadays. The horsehair may have been plaited. Basically think of it as organic wire-- it's quite stiff, although of course it won't hold its shape like wire, so you may have to adjust a bit.

As for the guard... you got me there. I would think a wood or organic (not metal, organic glues won't hold to metal worth much apart from resins) core with the hair wrapped around it in various patterns.

Of course it would go without saying that you probably want to do some research on crafts with horsehair, see how they manipulate it in various ways... probably nothing terribly historic, but it would give you a minimum knowledge base to start with.
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Matthew Bunker




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Illerup and Boe swords with supposed 'horsehair' elements were discussed and shown in this thread:-

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=22

I've yet to see any one reconstruct the organic elements of one these swords in a way which involved horsehair but would love to see it done.

However, I think it's wrong to think of these swords as 'Roman'. Whilst some of the blades may be (although the idea that they all were is one which doesn't seem to have any basis in evidence), the decorative elements of many of the hilts indicate Scando-Germanic manufacture.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Scott Roush




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. I've seen that thread and have looked at the images and I THINK there is enough to play. I just have to. :-) 'Horse-hair micarta' grips and fittings.. it's just too compelling!

And I apologize for oversimplifying by calling them 'Roman'.. I was referring to the Ilerup sword more than the Boe sword.. and I THOUGHT that the Illerup sword was Roman.. but should go back and check my facts.

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Scott Roush




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2015 4:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm jumping in head first. I've just ordered some horse hair bundles and have started discussion with a local lady who owns horses, jousts on them and studies historical weaving and period clothing. Stay tuned.. this will be fun.
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