1: Konrad Mailander - New Blazon Change
OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in June of 1994, via the Middle.
(Fieldless) A brown bear's head cabossed proper jessant of a two handed sword inverted gules
I would like to request my badge registered as, (Fieldless) A brown bear's head cabossed proper jessant of a sword inverted gules, be reblazoned. The "sword" should be a two handed sword. Below is the entry from the Middle Kingdom March ILoI which has the original black and white emblazon submitted. [1. Originally submitted black and white emblazon.]
Though the drawing is simple there are several features that combine to make it a two handed sword; the hilt that widens in the center and tapers at the top and bottom was found mostly in two handed swords, the proportion of the hilt length to the blade, the pointed flanges protruding from the blade, and the proportions of the crossguard.
See: Medieval & Renaissance Sword Forms and Companion Implements by ARMA, http://www.thearma.org/terms4.htm#.WiDkKUqnHcs
The term "two-hander" or "two-handed sword" (espée a deure mains or spada da due mani) was in use as early as 1400 and is really a classification of sword applied both to Medieval great-swords as well Renaissance swords (the true two-handed swords). Such weapons saw more use in the later Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Technically, true two-handed swords (epee's a deux main) were actually Renaissance, not Medieval weapons. They are really those specialized forms of the later 1500-1600's, such as the Swiss/German Dopplehander ("double-hander") or Bidenhander ("both-hander") or Zweihander / Zweyhander are relatively modern not historical terms. English ones were sometimes referred to as "slaughterswords" after the German Schlachterschwerter ("battle swords"). These weapons were used primarily for fighting against pike-squares where they would hack paths through lobbing the tips off the poles. In Germany, England, and elsewhere schools also taught their use for single-combat. In True two-handed swords have compound-hilts with side-rings and enlarged cross-guards of up to 12 inches. Most have small, pointed lugs or flanges protruding from their blades 4-8 inches below their guard. These parrierhaken or "parrying hooks" act almost as a secondary guard for the ricasso to prevent other weapons from sliding down into the hands. They make up for the weapon's slowness on the defence and can allow another blade to be momentarily trapped or bound up. They can also be used to strike with. The most well-known of "twa handit swordis" is the Scottish Claymore (Gaelic for "claidheamh-more" or great-sword) which developed out of earlier Scottish great-swords with which they are often compared. They were used by the Scottish Highlanders against the English in the 1500's. Another sword of the same name is the later Scots basket-hilt broadsword (a relative of the Renaissance Slavic-Italian schiavona) whose hilt completely enclosed the hand in a cage-like guard. Both swords have come to be known by the same name since the late 1700's. Certain wave or flame-bladed two-handed swords have come to be known by collectors as flamberges, although this is inaccurate. Such swords developed in the early-to-mid 1500's and are more appropriately known as flammards or flambards (the German Flammenschwert). The flamberge was also a term later applied to certain types of rapiers. The wave-blade form is visually striking but really no more effective in its cutting than a straight one. There were also huge two-handed blades known as "bearing-swords" or "parade-swords" (Paratschwert), weighing up to 12 or even 15 pounds and which were intended only for carrying in ceremonial processions and parades. In the 1500's there were also a few rare single-edged two-handers such as the Swiss-German Grosse Messer or later sometimes called a Zwiehand sabel."
See: Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, 3rd Edition. http://mistholme.com/dictionary/sword-great-sword/
"Sword: great sword The "great sword", or "long sword", was an oversized sword with a hilt large enough to be held in two hands; the German term Zweihänder alludes to this, and this larger hilt may be deemed the sword's identifying characteristic [Stone 643]. It was favored by the German Landsknechte of the 16th Century, and therefore has also been blazoned in the Society, more fully, as a "landesknecht's greatsword". We have no examples of its use, so blazoned, in period heraldry." [2. The Pic Dic image for great sword.]
Great sword would be acceptable. As a Reislaufer (Swiss Mercenary) I would not find the blazon "landesknecht's greatsword" acceptable. Dopplehander or Bidenhander would make me ecstatic. But in any case it is not a plain sword.
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