Amberger Collection, Fechtschulen, Teutonic order and Swabia

These images are found in sources that are not specifically related to fencing manuscripts
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Amberger Collection, Fechtschulen, Teutonic order and Swabia

Post by Roger N » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:09 pm

Here are a few new interesting images I found. Some of them have been published before.

First of all images from an anonymous manuscript containing 17 illustrations, found in the Amberger collection. Check out Christoper Amberger's blog here: http://fencingclassics.wordpress.com
amberger-collection-longsword-1550.jpg
amberger-collection-longsword-1550.jpg (427.42 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
amberger-collection-dagger-1550.jpg
amberger-collection-dagger-1550.jpg (515.75 KiB) Viewed 3891 times
amberger-collection-falchion-1550.jpg
amberger-collection-falchion-1550.jpg (381.13 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
amberger-collection-gefangen-nemen-1550.jpg
amberger-collection-gefangen-nemen-1550.jpg (318.88 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
And some of fechtschulen from the same collection:
amberger-collection-Fechtschule-der-Klopffechter-1623.jpg
amberger-collection-Fechtschule-der-Klopffechter-1623.jpg (159.43 KiB) Viewed 3891 times
amberger-collection-Fechtschule-der-Klopffechter-2-1623.jpg
amberger-collection-Fechtschule-der-Klopffechter-2-1623.jpg (301.49 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
Early 18th century images of federfechter and marxbruders fencing. Their Coats of Arms are visible at the farther back.
A couple of other interesting details:
  • In the center and front sides, there are drummers whipping up a beat.
  • Fencers appear to use wooden wasters for rapier fencing.
  • The longsworders lead with the left hand.
  • In the bottom left, where the injuries are treated, sturdy fencing gloves lie on the ground and on a bench.
  • The Dussack fencers appear to wear forearm protection.
  • Fencers are also practicing outside of the hall.
  • Finally, there appears to be female spectators only on the balcony to the left.
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-3-1720.jpg
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-3-1720.jpg (1.38 MiB) Viewed 3891 times
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-1720.jpg
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-1720.jpg (269.24 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-2-1720.jpg
amberger-collection-federfechter-marxbruder-2-1720.jpg (59.4 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
And here is an illustration of Marxbruder from Sebastian Münster's manuscript:
amberger-collection-munster-sebastian-Marxbrüder-Fechtschule-in-Frankfurt-1540-1598.jpg
amberger-collection-munster-sebastian-Marxbrüder-Fechtschule-in-Frankfurt-1540-1598.jpg (246.83 KiB) Viewed 3888 times
A few other interesting images from the same collection.
amberger-collection-Orbis-Pictus-fechtschul-1658.jpg
amberger-collection-Orbis-Pictus-fechtschul-1658.jpg (494.48 KiB) Viewed 3891 times
amberger-skanderbeg-wonderous-fight-at-the-Court-of-the-Grand-Turk-Amurathis-1439.jpg
amberger-skanderbeg-wonderous-fight-at-the-Court-of-the-Grand-Turk-Amurathis-1439.jpg (676.34 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
And finally, Amberger Collection again, with an illustration of Federfechters by Vergilius Solis. Note the Griffon in the center:
amberger-collection-solis-virgil-fechtschule-1550.jpg
amberger-collection-solis-virgil-fechtschule-1550.jpg (241.18 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
And for comparison another by the same illustrator:
solos-virgil-fechtschule.jpg
solos-virgil-fechtschule.jpg (49.48 KiB) Viewed 3892 times
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:45 pm

And as an interesting sidenote. The "klopffechters" seen in a few of the images above, that I thought were unanimously considered to be
unskilled fencers and a a term used as bit derogatory might not have been considered so originally. Quite the opposite, in fact. It might
relate to common "show" and "prize" fighters who fought in public, sometimes also for a living, which wasn't highly regarded although
perhaps still enjoyed by the higher ranks and disregarded by the prestigious schools of the Lion and the Griffon. There are even theories
that some of the masters are connected to this, e.g Talhoffer, although he has also been attributed to the Marx brothers. Who knows,
perhaps there even was an exchange of members between the groups?

With time it appears as if this transferred more and more to stage fighting and became regarded as less valuable by "real" fencing masters".

This makes me wonder if we have some fechtschulen with high regard and some with less. I have even seen mentioning of the klopffechters
originating from the Lukas/Luxbruders, which was a less powerful fencing brotherhood. And of course, less regard doesn't necessarily equal
less skill, as the "truth" is always written by those in power.

And just out of curiosity: checking the etymology dictionary, "klopf" connects to several meanings: The early Renaissance German translated
into "hit", "whip", or "brawler". In Swedish we had "Klåp/klabb" which meant "thick", "crude", "stupid" "fat and non-limber person", but also
to "hit" or "pat" someone. A "klåp" is also the thick end of a stick. Looking to old Swedish dialects we also find "klabbe-dask" which means
"getting beat up", "klabb" (cheating), "klabbare" and "klabb-smed" (cheater/cheat-smith), "vedklabbe" (firelog).

In modern Swedish we still have "klåpare" (hack), "klibbig"(sticky), "kladd"(sticky mess), "klappa" (pat), "vedklabbe" (firelog), "klubba" (cudgel),
"klippa" (cliff/rock).

With the meaning "pat" or "whip" in mind, I come to think of Meyer's common use of the flat of the blade, when striking the opponent. And of
course, the "prellhau".

Finally, here is a list of references to fencing masters and fencing schools:

http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... p?f=7&t=40

http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/view ... p?f=7&t=41

http://www.schwertbund-nurmberg.de/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_of_St._Mark

http://www.klopffechter.de/historisches.html

http://books.google.se/books?id=qupwNNp ... em&f=false

http://books.google.se/books?id=TyJ8ebn ... q=&f=false

http://www.sallegreen.com/masters.html

http://www.thearma.org/arttalk/at50.htm
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Shay Roberts » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:01 pm

Fascinating posts, as always! Thanks, Roger. :)
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:32 pm

Thanks Shay! :)

Another thing I thought of is Jörg Wilhalm's Cgm3711 manuscript that appears to show fencers in carnival clothing as in the attached image.
I am sure I have heard similar references.
wilhalm-jorg-Cgm3711_37r.jpg
wilhalm-jorg-Cgm3711_37r.jpg (46.94 KiB) Viewed 3880 times
Btw, here is a great list of Masters that Swaard und Steen has put up: http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... -gaJpLWXAw (google translated)

and the original: http://www.zwaard-steen.org/content/kri ... sters.html
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:06 am

I have quite a lot material that needs to be added, but while waiting for the upcoming database,
here is an interesting German book, by Alfred Schaer, entitled "Die altdeutschen fecther und spielleute"
from 1900. Amongst other things, it describes the Marxbrüder and the Federfechters and contains "teasing"
rhymes that they used against each other. In German, of course.

http://www.hroarr.com/manuals/other/sch ... e-1900.pdf

And in relation to the above, this might be an interesting read: http://www.freifechter.com/article3.cfm

The article discusses "sword dancers" and their relationship to fechtschulen, based on what Schaer says in his book.
Written by Kevin Maurer of Meyer Freifechter Guild.

Also, this Maurer article discusses the guilds: http://freifechter.com/article1.cfm
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Sternis » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:55 pm

I really like that large Marxbrüder picture, Roger.
I noticed something else in that picture: There appears to be a child holding a longsword at the left side of the image. I wonder if this was an event which was "fun for the whole family" so to speak.
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:10 pm

Yeah, I noticed that as well. And I bet it was fun for the whole family.
These were fairly strictly regulated and although they certainly could be bloody, they usually weren't fatal.

Also, considering that even executions were family entertainment, the violence in itself wouldn't pose a problem, I think. :)

I have been looking into the roots of early brotherhoods, and apparently Hans Wurm and Talhoffer also mentions the two brotherhoods
of "Unser Frauen Bruder" (Brothers of Our Lady) and "Sant Jorgen Bruder" (Brotherhood of St. George). I know I
have seen the Talhoffer references before. There is a theory that these two are forerunners of the Marxbruder and Federfechters.

Here is a short article:

http://www.thearma.org/essays/WurmTandC.html

However, there is also a theory that this is only an example of numerology and how all names could be divided into the two
categories of the two saints. Also, these two saints were commonly invoked as patron saints of soldiers and knights.

Here is an old discussion on the topic: http://swordforum.com/vb3/showthread.php?p=6469
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:48 pm

Reading from a book entitled "Marketing Maximilian" the following quote is highly interesting:

"St. George was the primary patron saint of knights ever since the fi rst crusades on account
of both his noble ancestry and his military prowess.16 The legend of the dragon also seems to
have been the product of crusaders, for it cannot be traced to an earlier period, and it perfectly
embodies the contrast of absolute battle between good and evil.17 As a result of this association
with knightly victory, St. George came to be the royal patron of knightly orders, chiefl y the
early foundation of the Order of the Garter in England under Edward III in 1348. (George has
remained ever since the patron saint of England, even during the purges of other religious fi gures
as patrons during the Elizabethan era).18 George was also adopted as the personal patron of
Maximilian’s father-in-law, Charles the Rash of Burgundy, and was featured with the kneeling
duke in a splendid gold reliquary, donated to the Cathedral of St. Lambert, Liège (1468–71).19

For Maximilian, the cult of St. George had additional personal meaning. His father, Emperor
Frederick III, had founded a knightly order of St. George in 1467
, which was confirmed by Pope
Pius II during his winter stay in Rome in 1468–69.20 This order had a charge to struggle against
the steady encroachment of the Turks, who made their first inroads on Habsburg lands against
Krain in 1469 and then Styria and Carinthia in 1473 and 1475. The ongoing concern for the
Turkish menace was transmitted along with this legacy of the Order of St. George to the young
Maximilian by his father. After 1479, the site of this order was Wiener Neustadt, the palace center
of Frederick III; its high master, Hans Siebenhirter (1468–1508) served well into the reign of Maximilian.
On the palace facade of the St. George Church at Wiener Neustadt, Frederick III placed
the cluster of heraldic arms of his territories and claims (1453; see chapter 6).21 After the death of
his father, Maximilian renewed and expanded the Order of St. George into a lay brotherhood, then
sanctioned by Pope Alexander VI.22 For Maximilian, this order was not just a defensive reaction
to the Turks at his doorstep, in the manner of his father, but rather an organization dedicated to
active crusade activity, as well as to chivalric allegiance under the leadership of the ruler, after the
Burgundian model of the Order of the Golden Fleece, founded by Philip the Good in 1430.23 In
that order, the ruling duke was the master and sovereign of the order, and the restricted membership
of nobles was the only group allowed to wear the prestigious collar of the order, a mainstay
on Maximilian’s monuments (e.g., the Arch) and portraits, just as he used the emblems of the order,
the fl ints and cross of St. Andrew, as his battle ensign."

And as I am sure everyone knows, Frederick III and Maximilian I were the emperors who "licensed" the
Marxbruder and Federfechters.
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:49 am

Here is an excerpt from the "Secret History of the Sword", by Christopher Amberger: http://fechtschule.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... t-history/
A great passage describing the events of the fechtschulen, using the images above.
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Re: Amberger Collection

Post by Roger N » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:32 am

Here is a somewhat related thread, since it shows Maximilian I fighting with halberd and spear.

viewtopic.php?f=91&t=247&p=479#p479
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