Arms and Armor by Frederick Wilkinson

By Frederick Wilkinson

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Suspended from the saddle was the thrusting sword, with a sdff, narrow blade tapering acutely to the point, which might well be thickened for greater strength. There is evi- dence that this type of sword was used as a lance, the with the knight charging pommel against his shoulder. In order to obtain a more secure grip on these larger swords the first finger was looped over the cross-guard, and an inch or so of the blade was left blunt; this pordon was called the ricasso. Many swords were made stiffen longer, and used for thrusting.

At first the bascinet was worn over the after about 1320 coif, but the coif was abandoned and mail was curtain, the fitted to the helmet. Some a short aventail, rim of the bascinets were decorated with a circlet, like a small crown. Kettle hats were still worn by many mounted and foot troops and, although detail varied, most had a conical crown and a wide brim. Bascinets became popular, and the great helm {bottom) tended to be restricted to tilting. During the fourteenth century the moveable facepiece, the visor, appeared, enabhng the wearer his face danger.

Developments begun lier continued ear- during the fourteenth century, and speciahzed swords became the order of the day; indeed some knights carried two swords. At the belt, hung a general- purpose sword with a blade designed for stabbing and slashing and fitted with a down- slightly straight, or curving, cross-guard and a pommel which was wheel- or pear-shaped. Blades tended to be longer than previously, and to compensate extra weight for the pommels were somewhat larger. Blades tap- ered gradually to the point and were double-edged.

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