Arms & Armor Custom Bastard Sword
Original: Circa 1500 German, provenance unknown
While there's some uncertainty as to where the term bastard sword
derived or what specifically the definition encompasses, there's no doubt that the term has been used for at least the last century to describe large swords of war that are not big enough to be deemed two-handed swords but are larger than exclusively single-handed variants. The term is more or less used interchangeably and in the same manner as describing a sword as having hand-and-a-half
History has left us with a great variety of bastard swords but it wasn't until the 16th century where we can find fully-developed hilt forms consisting of swords with complex guards that provide additional protection for the hands.
One such modern-made example of these fully-developed forms is the Arms & Armor German Bastard Sword
. It's an attractive sword with fantastic dynamics that is based on a particular extant antique with horizontally recurved writhen quillons and compressed button terminals with spirally-fluted detailing. Two oval-shaped side rings serve as hand protection and are decorated with deep diagonally-hatched lines. The large turban-shaped pommel is comprised of bands of bare and crosshatched sections.
The antique and the modern catalog offering differ in ways designed to better attract today's consumer and maintain a cost-effective price point. The sword featured in this collection is a custom version of the standard model that has been created to be a closer match to the original that inspires it. Much of the standard detailing found on the hilt has been emphasized and reworked to be more defined. Other features have been changed entirely.
The blade has a lenticular (lozenge-shaped) cross-section with three fullers that extend nearly half its length. It has a less aggressive profile taper than the standard model's acutely-pointed diamond-sectioned blade.
The grip has a hardwood core wrapped in cord and then spiral-bound with another cord before being covered in leather. A central ridge separates it into two distinct sections. This is a similar treatment as the antique sword and provides a comfortable hold with a great deal of feedback as to the blade's edge alignment.
The hilt has added detail to make it closer to the antique, including crisper lines throughout and additional features such as cross-hatching on the pommel and decorative lines on the inside of the cross-guard within the side rings.
The whole sword has been treated to appear as though it's an antique that's seen age and use but still has a bit of restoration to it.
Overall length: 48.875"
Weight: 4.2 pounds
Width of guard: 10.5"
Blade: 37.75" long; 2" wide tapering to .75"
Fullers: 17.5" long
Grip and pommel: 10.625" long
Point of Balance (PoB): 2.5" from guard
Center of Percussion (CoP): ~21.5" from guard
Maker: Arms & Armor
This piece is inspired by a sword dated circa 1500 located in a private collection.