Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars

Hegyestőr / estoc / koncerz

Hegyestőr / estoch / koncerz swords were formidable late Renaissance cavalry swords for piercing chainmail armor, used by the Hussars mainly in Hungary and Poland. They appeared in the 16th century but they were used even in the 18th century as well.

You can see five late-estochs from 1662 in the middle

The koncerz originated from a medieval sword and appeared at the end of the 15th century when it was about 1.3 meters (51 in) long, and relatively unwieldy compared to single-handed thrusting swords designed for use by infantry. By the late 16th century it had increased in length to a typical 1.6 meters (63 in) overall—1.4 meters (55 in) blade—and had a more optimized weight distribution and balance. The koncerz was used more like a lance while on horseback; it provided a rider with a very long reach in a relatively compact format suitable for a sidearm (the typical primary weapon of hussars was a very long lance). Since it was optimized for thrusting, the concern had no cutting edge, only a very sharp point; the blade itself was triangular or square in cross-section in order to be more rigid.

The closest Western European equivalent is the estoch, or “tuck”.

They were worn on the saddle just like a similar weapon, the so-called “pallos” that was used for cutting. The swords here are from the 17th century, except for the first ones.
You can also see a replica, made by Szántó Szabolcs. I can highly recommend the drawings of Somogyi Győző:


 

A Turkish Koncerz (tőrkard), 17th century

I’ve added this Ottoman weapon to this article, it was made in the Ottoman Empire, and it is on display in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. Materials: nephrite, ruby, silver, silver sheet, turquoise, wood. Techniques: chased; engraved decoration; gilded. You can find the inscription (tugra) of Sultan Murad IV (1623-1640) on it.

Length: 119 cm Width: 10 cm

These kinds of decorated jewelry were produced in Ottoman workshops in the first half of the 17th century, in the spirit of the newer trend of Ottoman jewelry, which had already broken away from the Persian influences of the early 17th century. The weapon was once part of horse equipment. It probably belonged to a Turkish saddle, which is decorated with the same engraved pattern on the metal trim and also marked with the stamped “tugra” of Murad IV.

In the 16th-17th century, most of these sets were given as diplomatic gifts or plunder to the Hungarian noble treasuries and were used only on festive occasions, weddings, funerals, etc., but we also have records of Transylvanian princes in Constantinople (Istanbul) having sets made for their own use or as gifts. The noble steeds, decorated with gold and silver, silk and jewels, not only enhanced the splendor of the feast but also expressed the wealth and power of their owners.

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