View Full Version : Sword History
05-18-2004, 01:22 PM
I'm looking for some general background on basket-hilt swords. Who invented them? Where do they originate? How are they made? Any help (or a point in the right direction) is appreciated.
05-18-2004, 04:36 PM
They seem to have been big in Britain. That doesn't mean that they were invested here.
The only cite that I can find for their origins is from here (http://members.aol.com/lariatlil/sword.html). There's also some talk of how they're constructed further down that page.
While the elaborate basket-hilt broadsword of 18th and 19th century Scotland is familiar to all, its simpler, utilitarian ancestor isn't nearly as well known. The superior protection afforded by a sword-guard enclosing the hand became increasingly desireable as the use of steel gauntlets declined during the 16th century. Apart from that, the origins of the basket hilt are obscure and hotly debated. Scottish and English historians tend to claim it as a native invention of their respective nations, although English documents of the period often refer to the style as 'Irish hilt', hinting at a Gaelic pedigree. Less jingoistic scholars point to continental origins, speculating that the British version may have evolved from the Italian 'schiavonna', or various German patterns. Of course, the obvious utility of the design also presents the possibility of parallel invention. Throughout the long history of armament, useful developements have tended to follow changes in tactics and fighting styles. These factors, and the resultant innovations, have often occurred simultaneously in many countries.
05-18-2004, 04:38 PM
Naturally, that should have read invented :smack: .
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