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Old 13th November 2020, 02:31 AM   #31
Philip
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Originally Posted by Victrix
I think the Victorian collections bordered on the obsessive. o


When you have that much money, more is better.

The arrays look impressive from a distance in the halls of those palatial mansions, or in old-style museum displays, but the serious collector wanting to focus on a particular thing hanging 15+ feet up on a wall needs binoculars and often has to deal with poor lighting (as is the case with the Stibbert, the Pitt-Rivers, and others).
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Old 13th November 2020, 03:53 AM   #32
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I agree with Philip. I hate it when you can't even get close enough to study the details of a collection. Reminds me of the living room at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville (Yeah, the 'living room' I could almost fit my house in!!). There's a whole panoply of swords above the hearth about 15 feet up! Plus, you aren't allowed to get that close!
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Old 13th November 2020, 06:15 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
I agree with Philip. I hate it when you can't even get close enough to study the details of a collection. Reminds me of the living room at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville (Yeah, the 'living room' I could almost fit my house in!!). There's a whole panoply of swords above the hearth about 15 feet up! Plus, you aren't allowed to get that close!


Perhaps the reason that curators of a bygone age put stuff high on the wall was to keep people like us from getting too close. Modern museums have those sensors connected to beepers or buzzers that sound if you lean over the velvet rope barriers next to the exhibits that aren't behind glass! In countries like Italy there are the old ladies who sit on stools in a corner of each gallery and who descend like harpies on the luckless visitor who touches his nose against the glass, or dares to take a picture. I was with a friend at the Armeria Reale in Turin, he takes a photo with his tablet and one of these Gorgonettes stormed over and gave him a royal chewing out in magna voce.
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Old 13th November 2020, 10:35 AM   #34
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A while back i tried to take a picture with my smart phone of the sword of Fernando el Catolico in the Granada Royal Chapel. My gesture was well disguised but, i have forgotten that in the device definitions i had opted for a 'click' sound when shotting a picture. Well, the security guy heard that and came over, ordering me to delete (borrar) the picture. In vain i acted as if i didn't know how to do it; he instantly indicated where it was in my phone gallery and told me what button to press to erase the image .
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Old 13th November 2020, 07:44 PM   #35
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. My gesture was well disguised but, i have forgotten that in the device definitions i had opted for a 'click' sound when shotting a picture. Well, the security guy heard that and came over, ordering me to delete (borrar) the picture. In vain i acted as if i didn't know how to do it; he instantly indicated where it was in my phone gallery and told me what button to press to erase the image .


Easy to forget when you are fascinated by the objects and trying to conceal your activity. Our devices should have a "Museum Mode" setting that handles all the contingencies automatically, like the one you set when flying on a jetliner.

It's good that some museums, particularly in the UK and US, are now more liberal about photos although forbidding flash (makes sense since intense light can fade pigments on organic materials). But it's silly that there are those museums which ban all photography, when at the same time their book shops don't offer catalogs of the collection, or at least of the class of objects that you are interested in. In fact, the museum in Turin where my friend was so roundly scolded had NO book or gift shop whatsoever, and this armory was part of the larger Palazzo Reale which had acres of rooms full of treasures.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 03:02 AM   #36
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I have an example of what I was told is a Polish Hussars lance. Hopefully it is not a later fake, weapons almost entirely of wood do not inspire confidence. It is a bit over thirteen feet (4 meters) long, the last two feet or so at the tip is an obvious restoration, the wood looks different and feels a bit more dense, held on with a wooden dowel. The head seems a generic spearhead, diamond section on one side flat on the other, the part that is the grip and counter weight at the butt is also a separate piece held on by a steel dowel. I believe this part was separated from the main shaft to allow shipping. The main shaft is very light weight, even when accounting for the five deep flutes. A trace of original red and white paint remains. The collection card that came with it from the late Howard Curtis states that there is another one in the Tower of London and a similar example in the book Szabla by Jarnuszkiewicz. These pics are lightly enhanced with photo-editing.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 04:59 AM   #37
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Your lance shows signs of age on it, but its configuration is markedly different from the Polish hussar lances that have been published from museum collections as seen in the attached images of representative examples. [photos from Zdzislaw Zygulski Jr, Bron w Dawnej Polsce (armament in old Poland), Warsaw 1975]. In the same author's article "The Winged Hussars of Poland", The Arms and Armor Annual, Vol I (ed. Robert Held, Chicago, 1973), they are described as follows:

"...Their average length runs to 5 meters (just over 16 feet); they are made of two halves of fir wood hollowed out and glued together, only the wooden ball at the midpoint protecting the hand. They are painted in motifs of golden feathers against a red background. Their iron points are fairly small, about 10 cm, ridge-shaped and furnished with long metal battens for fixing to the shaft."

In neither the photos nor the verbal description do longitudinal grooves or channels appear. The wooden ball is a separate component affixed to hollow shaft, which is cylindrical at that point but tapers towards the forward terminus.
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Old 22nd December 2020, 10:26 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Your lance shows signs of age on it, but its configuration is markedly different from the Polish hussar lances that have been published from museum collections as seen in the attached images of representative examples. [photos from Zdzislaw Zygulski Jr, Bron w Dawnej Polsce (armament in old Poland), Warsaw 1975]. In the same author's article "The Winged Hussars of Poland", The Arms and Armor Annual, Vol I (ed. Robert Held, Chicago, 1973), they are described as follows:

"...Their average length runs to 5 meters (just over 16 feet); they are made of two halves of fir wood hollowed out and glued together, only the wooden ball at the midpoint protecting the hand. They are painted in motifs of golden feathers against a red background. Their iron points are fairly small, about 10 cm, ridge-shaped and furnished with long metal battens for fixing to the shaft."

In neither the photos nor the verbal description do longitudinal grooves or channels appear. The wooden ball is a separate component affixed to hollow shaft, which is cylindrical at that point but tapers towards the forward terminus.



Philip, thank you as always for these observations, which add so much perspective to these topics, especially on the famed 'Polish Winged Hussars', a favorite subject of mine for a very long time.

I recall a few wonderful communications with the late Professor Zygulski back then as I was curious about the actual use of the wings in battle etc. It seems that while of course there is colorful lore about these impressive fixtures on the armor, the potential dynamics in actual combat suggest in most cases they were probably more for parade and ceremonial use.

I am wondering if perhaps this lance might be more of parade item as well, and perhaps had been stored or preserved with later repairs. It seems that the lances used in combat were likely somewhat expendable as they likely broke in contact after initial shock impact and the other arms became primary.

The suggestion of being temporarily cut down for shipping seems feasible.
I will never forget my personal experience with lances;
Years ago when I lived in California, I had won a pair of British cavalry lances from a London auction. When I was notified of their arrival air freight in LAX, I was thrilled and barreled off to get them. In my haste, I had not considered their length......and here I was in a '69 Corvette

Well, luckily there were T tops and I proceeded take them off to accomodate my lancees and to make my drive down the 405 freeway, ' the famed charge of the green corvette!' as described by the Highway Patrol officer who engaged me just miles from my home
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Old 6th January 2021, 01:35 AM   #39
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Transporting polearms is always fun. My truck is slightly better than the Corvette for polearm transport, but you can see where I stabbed the dashboard with a halberd.



The polish lance that I originally posted about has arrived. I will have photos soon, but had to leave town on business.

The hooks are not integral to the head. The lance head has the side blades forged on. Where the bottom of the blades are nailed to the haft, the flatted section of the hook that rests upon the haft is also nailed in the same hole.

The haft, as expected, is solid. The cracks and condition of the wood lead me to believe the haft is original to the working life of the lance.
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