Subject: schutter 'shooter' militiaman
Setting: Dutch Golden Age, Netherlands 17thc
Context (Event Photos, Period Sources. Secondary Sources)
* Schama 1987 p244
"[T]he most celebrated of all pseudo-military ensembles, the schutterstukken militia scenes (whether in the sober and formal manner of sixteenth-century prototypes, or the flamboyant grandeur of Hals and Rembrandt), are emphatically group portraits of civilians in martial fancy dress. Their ranks are determined by their respective places in the patrician pecking order, and their regimental insignia and emblems and colors are closer to those of the civic corporations and guilds rather than to battle dress (which had no uniforms at all). The gorgeousness of their array was an urban parade, and the doelen, even amidst the banner waving and the shouted Sunday drill, stood not as an extension of the military life into the civic, but as its opposite and alternative. The militiaman, the armed civilian, was as intrinsically benign as the professional soldier was malign. He was of the community and not a marauding invader or an unwelcome billet. He could be relied on to bear arms in the Fatherland's hour of need without abusing them to threaten its liberties. That, at least, was the received wisdom ...."
"By the early seventeenth century, the rapier, a long slender thrusting sword, began to dominate as the gentleman’s weapon of choice. During the course of the century, however, as civilian fencing techniques became more specialized and refined, the rapier developed into a lighter, trimmed-down weapon known by about 1700 as the smallsword."
"A type of rapier known as a 'Pappenheimer' widely used during the Thirty Years War (1618-48), so called because this form of pierced basket hilt was favoured by Gottfried Heinrich, Graf Pappenheim, a famous general for the Hapsburgs. Many smiths throughout Germany and the Low Countries copied the style, which provides excellent sword hand protection."