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Author Topic: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?  (Read 14211 times)

Sir Matthew

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How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« on: 2012-02-19, 19:55:32 »
I have a freind who is just getting into Renfaires and Reenacting and is wanting to carry his Claymore. He has the big, two handed medieval style Claymore, not the later basket hilt, broadsword style just for clarification. His personae is that of a Scottish soldier/mercenary. For Faire, of course, a back scabbard would work just fine, but he is also planning to do some 16th and 17th century reenacting in a newly forming unit, where he will be the Pike Sergeant. His idea is to carry the sword as a symbal of rank and heritage, sort of like a German Landsknect Dopfelsoldern. He doesn't have a lot of cash, due to being laid off for a long time and just getting back to work recently so he asked if I could possibly research and produce something suitable for him. So far, I have been unable to find anything mentioned or shown in books or pictures about or from the period. Plenty of pictures show Scots with these weapons, but all are bare bladed as they are shown on guard duty or parade/processions in a ceremonial type situation. My research has indicated they were used more like a polearm than sword, so I am unsure if they ever were sheathed, so to speak. Hopefully someone here may be able to either tell me or point me in the direction of some helpfull information.

Sir James A

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #1 on: 2012-02-19, 21:21:44 »
One of my all-time favorite styles of swords! I have a few of them. I've also seen the same as you; never seen a picture with one in a sheath. I believe they would have been carried bare, and not actually sheathed/suspended anywhere. The size of the sword is really prohibitive to doing any kind of drawing. In Japan, they have a sword called the "no-dachi", which is a "great field sword"; almost like the japanese equivalent to a claymore. They are close to 5 feet long (similar in size to a claymore), and completely impractical to draw during a battle. The few things I have seen about that sword mention a retainer (squire) who would hold the scabbard while the samurai draws the sword - literally taking 2 people to unsheath the blade. I've got one of those swords too, and it's exceedingly difficult to do anything with solo.

I think the claymore would be carried along on a cart with other swords/weapons, strapped to the horse, or even just carried by hand. I haven't seen any extant claymores with matching sheaths and any type of suspension for wearing them. The back scabbard seems to be a modern "invention" for them.

Unfortunately, I don't think this helps much from a reenactment perspective, unless he's willing to carry it around in his hands all day. :(
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Sir Edward

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #2 on: 2012-02-19, 23:03:25 »

I don't know about claymores. But the large zwei-hander landesknecht swords have been depicted in period art with scabbards that just cover the blade, with it carried up on the shoulder. That is, one hand on the hilt, and the scabbard just resting on the shoulder pointed upward and/or backward.

My feeling is that any of these larger two-handed swords would either need to be carried bare, or with a scabbard that doesn't have any sort of actual suspension.
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Sir Matthew

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #3 on: 2012-02-20, 00:19:34 »
I've seen those same depictions of the Zweihander and since the Claymore seems to have been employed in much the same way, I would suspect that a similiar carrying method was employed.

Sir William

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #4 on: 2012-02-21, 17:12:39 »
I imagine it would be carried over the shoulder as the laddie marched off to battle.  No way you could draw it from a back scabbard, unless your arms are insanely long (as in, you're real tall, like that Viking looking guy in the pics last faire season) and strong.  Drawing from the back is a haphazard gambit at best, the larger the sword, the higher the potential for grievous wounds to the back of the head and neck.

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #5 on: 2012-02-22, 15:19:05 »
A regular scabbard much like Sir Edward is having made for his Albion Dane sword which is essentially a claymore is still viable to be carried on your back, however instead of being hung up on the notion of drawing the blade from that position, it makes more sense to ‘un-shoulder’ the blade, loosen it from the scabbard and let the scabbard slide off. After the battle (if you have survived) retrieve your scabbard.  ;)
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Sir Edward

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #6 on: 2012-02-22, 16:52:25 »
Steps to draw an oversized sword:

  • Have squire kneel before you.
  • Place the sheathed sword blade into squire's hands, while holding onto the hilt yourself.
  • Place foot on squire's face, and push him back, taking the scabbard with him.
  • ? ? ?
  • Profit.


:)
« Last Edit: 2012-02-22, 16:53:06 by Sir Edward »
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Sir William

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #7 on: 2012-02-22, 17:52:19 »
Sir Edward...I thank Holy God that I was never your squire.  :)
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Sir James A

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #8 on: 2012-02-22, 18:49:11 »
Steps to draw an oversized sword:

  • Have squire kneel before you.
  • Place the sheathed sword blade into squire's hands, while holding onto the hilt yourself.
  • Place foot on squire's face, and push him back, taking the scabbard with him.
  • ? ? ?
  • Profit.


:)

I think historically step 4 is "take hostage for ransom negotiations". :)
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Sir Wolf

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #9 on: 2012-02-23, 00:01:54 »
Sir Edward...I thank Holy God that I was never your squire.  :)


you should try to be his evil henchman when the mad lab is open... talk about used and abused hehehehe

Sir Edward

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #10 on: 2012-02-23, 01:57:39 »
Sir Edward...I thank Holy God that I was never your squire.  :)


you should try to be his evil henchman when the mad lab is open... talk about used and abused hehehehe


Muahahahahaha<cough>
« Last Edit: 2012-02-23, 01:57:54 by Sir Edward »
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Sir William

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Re: How to properly carry a Scottish Claymore?
« Reply #11 on: 2012-02-23, 15:42:43 »
Sir Edward...I thank Holy God that I was never your squire.  :)


you should try to be his evil henchman when the mad lab is open... talk about used and abused hehehehe

That's better though, because see, he actually needs you there so you're less likely to get a bootheel to the face!  lol
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