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Stephen Paschall





Joined: 22 Sep 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 22 Sep, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Need help buying quality replica rapier / épée as gift         Reply with quote

Howdy, folks. My wife's a fencing coach whose primary weapon is épée. I'd like to buy her a good quality replica rapier / épée for display as a gift. Could a few of you help me identify the variables I need to consider as I research manufacturers and weapons?

I'm leaning towards a Spanish-style blade with a bell guard (as that's about as close to the modern competition weapon as one can get, I'd think), but I'm open to other suggestions. I'm trying to strike a good balance between historical significance, quality, and price (my budget's fairly small). Whatever I choose, I'd like it to have a significant provenance so that it isn't just a pretty sword to hang on the wall.

I'm also considering a Scottish basket-hilted broadsword (in honor of her Scottish heritage); which I go with largely depends on where folks think I can get the best value (significance and quality) for my dollar.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Gabriel Lebec
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Location: NY, NY
Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Reading list: 32 books

Posts: 419

PostPosted: Sat 22 Sep, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to myArmoury, Stephen!

This sounds like a wonderful gift idea. If it's not for a close occasion (birthday, anniversary, etc.) and you have a little time, I'd suggest you hang around to get a full idea of your options and of the sequence of blades leading to modern epée fencing. For instance, smallswords, dueling swords, and 19th century fencing swords are all closer to modern epée than a true rapier. For a current thread on precisely these issues, check out This Topic. (Drew C. is a sport epée fencer looking for antiques that handle similarly - scroll down, the discussion meanders a bit).

You'd also do well to look up the basic care of steel weaponry, which at its most basic means keeping metal parts oiled regularly; myArmoury has a feature article that goes into much more detail here.

It's quite late so I'll leave others to fill in more info on Scottish swords as well as their suggestions on an appropriate sword choice on a budget.

Cheers,
Gabriel L.
Happy

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
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Bram Verbeek





Joined: 27 Mar 2007

Posts: 217

PostPosted: Sun 23 Sep, 2007 2:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there is a topic on best smallswords. A scottish broadsword would feel very different from her epée, it might be more fun for her to have a weapon best suited for her epée routines so it would have a better feel.
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Edward Hitchens




Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 818

PostPosted: Sun 23 Sep, 2007 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some excellent reviews and articles of these types of weapons on this site.

If you're looking into a Spanish-style rapier, Arms & Armor's cup-hilt rapier (item 127) comes to mind. A&A also makes two outstanding smallswords, one elaborately gilded on the hilt and the other not, though both are beautiful pieces. Darkwood and Del Tin make high quality rapiers that aren't too expensive, though I wish anyone luck in trying to track down a DT rapier! I would also give consideration to Windlass rapiers as well, which have really improved in quality over the past few years.

If I recall, some of the nicest Scottish basket-hilts I've seen were made by Armour Class in the United Kingdom. I hope this helps. Bonne Chance!

Ted

"The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." Thomas Jefferson
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Stephen Paschall





Joined: 22 Sep 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun 23 Sep, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Thanks, all         Reply with quote

Well, you guys have made my job both easier and harder. Big Grin Now I've got several more options to consider.

Thanks so much! You guys really have a neat community going on this site.
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