Concealed Weapons, do they work?

In today's post we discuss how weapons that are concealed in another object might actually be useful or not. It may well be more of something we see in a movie or fantasy stories than the function of practicality in a real world setting. We will use two canes and a riding crop to illustrate how the real world has approached this idea. Lets see if it is something that speaks to being practical weapons or rather tells us more about being human and trying to game the system a bit.

Here are our items:

Warden's cane, most likely mid 20th C. Steel rod covered with leather washers and topped with bronze disc.

Warden's Cane of steel and leather

Sword cane with steel ball top. Inlaid with gold and silver detail and French probably turn of 19th C or so.

Sword Cane French

 Blade done with two narrow fullers on each face of a diamond sectioned blade.

French Sword Cane open turn of 19th C

Officer's crop with knotted leather detail and wood core scabbard for steel rod spike.

Officers Crop

Officer's crop open with hand made steel blade.

officers crop open with exposed steel blade

In the following video we discuss some of the reasons for concealing a weapon like this and how it interacts with its time and context. The use of concealed weapons is something we see across cultures and time periods but in the past we see authorities very aware that even a stick can be a weapon and it was not ignored as they looked to regulate and maintain control over who was able to access and carry such things.   

I get a bit chatty about the concept and the details of

the weapons start at about 6:00 in

Interested in more info on the use of the cane.

divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.

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