View Single Post
Old 27th May 2021, 10:42 AM   #11
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 8,537
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
...The majority I saw secured under ferrules seem to be Bilbos which I understand comes from the city name Bilbao which is Iberia right? ...
Bilbao is, as you know, a city in the Basque Country (Euskal Herria), a region in Northern Spain, whereas Iberia, or better, the Iberian Peninsula, comprises both nations of Portugal and Spain. If in fact the term Bilbo refers to famous edged weapons made in that region, this term is often attributed to a somehow wide range of Spanish sword styles, which is questionable.
Just for perusal, and if you allow me, i will here transcribe some considerations on this subject, written by some knowledged author (don't recall his name):

The current theories place the origin of the name to the city of Bilbao, in the modern Basque Country, in northern Spain, the capital of the actual province of Bizkaia which was a millenary iron-production center and also origin of sword and dagger hilts of fame at that time. It was a part of Spain with traditional trade contacts with Britain, so it's a very likely origin.

But fact is that the term is actually used to cover all double-shell hilt swords, and it's specially used to describe what in fact it's the Spanish cavalry Pattern sword M1728, like these:

This style was in use, with variations, since mid 17th c, and after being made into a cavalry pattern in 1728 was going to be in service until the beginning of the 19th c. As such, calling this a "bilbo", it's stretching the term a bit too much. In Spain it's called a Cavalry sword M1728, a "double shell" guard sword or a "Horse-mouth" guard sword, because of the similarity of a construction detail of the hilt with a piece of a horse bite.

"Bilbo" is an English catch-all word used to very generally refer to the Spanish "Utilitarian" cup-hilt swords, so often found all over America. They usually had a wide, _relatively_ short sturdy and well tempered blades, very practical and unadorned. The grip was more often than not wood, sometimes covered with wire.

The term comes from the Spanish Basque city of Bilbao, where a significant number of them were made and exported to the New World. In Basque that name is actually "Bilbo", although there's also a basque town by that name. I understand these swords were also sold to merchants of every european nation, including England.

The type was very popular aboard ships, where it was used on a similar role as the cutlass was among other nations. Needless to say, this sword was also used in Europe, but curiously, seem to have survived better in America. Probably because in the colonies these were better taken care of, since they were more difficult to acquire, and thus more valuable.

"Bilbo" if often misused by neophytes to refer to *any* spanish sword...


Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanspaceman View Post
... Anyway, if they were never fitted to my sword then it is complete which is what was disturbing me and - as Fernando suggested - I was going to make some, but was perplexed where they would be secured...
Pardon my bad English; when i said "you can even make your own", i was referring to making up your name for the barretas, other than the various lexicon seen out there .
fernando is online now   Reply With Quote