Sunday, October 13, 2013

Archaic Weapons - History Revisited

Cannon to the left and cannon to the right, weapons which caused destruction to castle walls and fortifications now aim forever outward in defense.



Cannon in Paris, Hôtel des Invalides and Museum, by Green Eye.


The building above: Hôtel des Invalides

A hospital for veterans and an Army museum, this distinguished building had an important purpose.  In 1670, King Louis XIV decided to build the hospital "Hôtel Royal des Invalides" for the wounded homeless soldiers of its wars. Note the cannon in the foreground of the photo.

France frequently recycled the metal from captured cannon. These perhaps were French cannon kept for historical purposes, and installed as a reminder of what is owed to those who fight for their country.

More information and photos:
http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/invalides.htm

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Weapons or knives on display in the Antiquities section, at the Louvre Museum. Hiding a dagger in the folds of a cloak seems appropriate with the designs shown below. Tools and artifacts from Antiquities can whet the imagination as to their use in the era in which they were formed.



Louvre Museum, Knives and artifacts in Antiquities, by DG Hudson


Small artifacts, knives, pipes, and carved items are included in the photo above. These were in the Egyptian exhibit. I photograph many of these images which may be useful as objects in my novels. I want to remember the little things, the traditions, the craft shown in some of these objects. Hand made survivors of time, these objects were part of someone's life centuries ago.


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The Carnavalet Museum, Paris, is a museum dedicated to the history of the city of Paris and the French Revolution.

Old metal signs used by French shops adorn the entrance, as you discover room after room decorated in lush city style. No flash photography is allowed and some of the paper artifacts can't be photographed. The light is subdued in the rooms, as it would have been in the days before electricity. The low light protects what time has treasured and adds a touch of atmosphere.



French swords shown below in the Carnavalet Museum. This was a room in a French town mansion, completed in 1560. The reflection* in the display glass shows the striped wallpaper on the opposite wall.



Swords in the Carnavalet Museum, by DG Hudson



Flintlocks and a cuirass, two objects which bring to mind legions of soldiers, with the officers and nobility in the best armor they could afford.



Carnavalet Museum, Paris, by DG Hudson


Archaic weapons fascinate us, and history shows us that our ancestors felt the same way. A finely crafted and well-kept weapon was an object to be proud of in earlier ages.


Flintlocks

At the beginning of the 17th century, the flintlock mechanism replaced earlier firearm technology and continued in use for over two centuries. French court gunsmith Marin le Bourgeoys made the first flintlock firearm for King Louis XIII in 1610.


Cuirass (French)

A piece of armour (armor spelling also used); formed from a single or multiple layers of metal or other strong, dense material. A cuirass covers the torso front and back (using two pieces joined) to protect the torso.

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*Photographer visible in reflection, due to lack of polarizing filter for the small digital camera. There's always something. . .

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Are you interested in antique weapons from a particular time period? Does weaponry play a part in your novel's world building? Have you visited many antique weapon displays in museums?

Please share in the comments and thanks for dropping by!


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References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuirass

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flintlock

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Invalides Les Invalides

Carnavalet museum (a post of mine from the A to Z challenge)

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12 comments:

  1. That cuirass is beautiful. And, yes, I have a thing for old weapons too, since my post-apocalyptic characters are back to using bows and blades for fighting.

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    1. I thought of you, LG, when I started this post. I didn't see enough swords in the museum, I think the populace likes to keep those. I've had to do research on bows and arrows, too. Interesting research.

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  2. I think it's interesting to look at antique weapons. I never visited the Carnavalet Museum when I was in Paris. I remember walking past the Hotel des Invalides. I guess I hadn't noticed the canons. I'll check those things out if I ever go again.

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    1. St Augustine Florida has a fort with cannon too. Swords have always interested me, since they have such a long history.

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  3. I love these posts. I should get by here more often, but then you know me.

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  4. How cool! I love looking at antique weapons, particularly swords and daggers.

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  5. I didn't know a polarizing lens would help with the reflections like that. I have a lot yet to learn. Weaponry is not something I've paid much attention to, but I do enjoy looking at old weapons. My dad collects knives, swords, old pistols, and such. He has a Japanese sword from WWII that his father (Air Force) brought back with him. It's a gorgeous piece of weaponry and has a note tucked in the hilt that we've never translated.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. That is interesting, Shannon. I would want to write a story around that sword. And the note - didn't your father want to know? It could be top-secret stuff or a letter to his wife or mistress. . .
      perhaps some things should stay in the past.

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  6. Thank you for your good wishes on L.G. Smith's blog about my cover reveal!

    I always see the most amazing things when I come to your blogs. The Hotel des Invalides is gorgeous! I loved looking at the daggers and especially the cutlasses - they reminded me of the Three Musketeers! What a lovely place the Carnavalet must be. I bet you could lose yourself for hours. Thanks! :-)

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    1. I learned more from the Carnavalet Museum about French history than I did from textbooks. I liked your fun contest for your covers, Lexa. Imaginative.

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