K + K Art KP-1.2 Customized and Patinated 17th Century Rapier
A hands-on review by Björn Hellqvist
Together with a practice rapier, I ordered a patinated rapier for decorative use.
I went for the KP-1.2, but with the less elongated pommel of the KP-1.4. It is a rather typical design from the first half of the 17th century. As the rapier is intended for decoration, speed and good handling wasn't a priority for me regarding this particular piece.
Measurements and Specifications:
Price as of mid-October 2003: $367 US, shipping not included.
Replica created by K + K Art of the Czech Republic.
The rapier handles well; especially considering it's a decorative piece. The pivot point is situated a bit up the blade, which isn't that good for a thrusting weapon. The blade is rather stiff, and flexes a little more than halfway down the blade.
Fit and Finish
I've handled many old steel weapons, hailing from the Iron Age to the early 20th century, and several of them have been very corroded, or heavily patinated. The patina on the reviewed rapier might fool someone with little or no experience of old weapons, but it shouldn't be a problem for those with some knowledge. The surfaces are heavily pitted, and polished to a sheen that offsets the dark pits. The patina was probably acquired through heavy use of acids and salts, and then brushed and burnished afterwards. While this kind of patina is possible to find on real antiques that have been over-cleaned, any sword looking like this in Internet auctions should make the prospective customer wary. Also, when telling this "fake" from an original, the degree of pitting would indicate a grip in very decayed condition. Considering the look of the grip on the reviewed rapier, it looks like it was replaced, or at least rewound.
At around $370 US, the rapier might be seen as a bit pricey for a mere display weapon, but I'm rather pleased with it. I will hang it next to my royal decrees against dueling. The antique-ish look gives it a certain flair, and it makes a nice contrast to my other weapons.
About the Author
Björn Hellqvist is a Swedish optometrist with an interest in historical European swords.