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Gabriele Becattini





Joined: 21 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: ambidextrous rapier hilt         Reply with quote

Hello all,

i'm looking for an ambidextrous rapier hilt design for a project, could you show me some pics

rapier and rapier hilted sword showing that kind of hilt? i'm looking mainly for XVIth century model but later model

could be of interest.

thanks for help

gabriele
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rapier I had made by Cervenka is ambidextrous, her is a pic.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o274/jaish...230106.jpg
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pappenheimers are usually ambidextrous. Here is one I saw at Bolk antiques


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Bolk
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another design that fits your criteria is the Ring hilt, which I think first appeared in the early 17th century. Here is a replica made by Darkwood Armoury.


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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Another design that fits your criteria is the Ring hilt, which I think first appeared in the early 17th century. Here is a replica made by Darkwood Armoury.


I found another one like that on A&A's website. One of our fellow forumites ordered this one, if memory serves me correctly-- Nathan or Bill, perhaps?

Anyway, it is a seven-ring rapier, image courtesy of Arms & Armor, Inc.


P.S.-- I have a thing for symmetry as well. Not a very common characteristic of complex hilts, I'm afraid...



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Gabriele Becattini





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 1:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for all your answers,

so it look like if simmetrical hilt were common in the XVIIth century hilt design,

but what about the previous century? i have found in the albun section a couple of simple hilted riding sword

two port style with rings on both side, but not much more,

i have always been curious about the low survival rate of hilt fit for both hands, what do you think about?

ps. the cervenka example is interesting if historically correct.

cheers

gabriele
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 2:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cup-hilts are also perfectly symetrical and ambidextrous but they might be later than you want. Though actually I'm not sure when they start to develop?

Half-hilts would fit your criteria better. The Gustav Vasa rapier is a prime example of that. Interestingly the weapon illustrated in Girard Thibault's treatise is very similar, you can look at my rapier that has this kind of hilt too.

There are other half-hilts that are not perfectly symetrical because the branches on the false flat are not; they will be better suited for right- or left-handed use. Arms&Armor Milanese rapier is of this kind.

There are two main reasons we don't see many of these perfectly symetrical hilts, in my opinion.

First, symetry is not critical for use in the off-hand. If you have a classical swept-hilt and are wounded thus can't use your dominant arm any longer, it's perfectly possible to switch. It might be true, however, that the protection afforded by the branches and rings is not as good, but it's still far better than nothing. You shouldn't be relying on the guard too much anyway...

Second, having a hilt fitting your dominant hand makes it more comfortable. I still prefer my Milanese rapier to my Darkwood half-hilt for the classical rapier grip, because the branches on the Darkwood get in the thumb's way a bit. It's also probably more efficient and protective; since the hand, which is what you want to protect, is not symetrical, it makes sense that the best protection and best fit will not be.

Thinking about it, there are very few people that are equally capable with both hands (perhaps even less in period). If you're going to use the thing in only one hand most of the time, the symetry of the hilt is just an arbitrary constraint. It makes functional sense in the case of training items, or mass-production, that has to be shared among left and right-handers. For a personnal weapon I'm not sure...

Of course, artistic considerations kick in at some point Happy But maybe the disymtrical swept-hilt looks better when worn in the sheath? Perhaps the symetrical hilt is more bulky?

--
Vincent
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Gabriele Becattini





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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 4:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Vincent,

i agree with you, i used to train with both hands and sometime i have used a classic swept hilt with my off hand without problem, for sure the half hilt especially the german model like the gustav vasa fit my description,
i was just wondering about more complex hilt, and purely for estetic reason.

cheers

Gabriele
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I were in the market for a symmetrical 16th c. rapier, I'd get A&A's "Serenissima":

http://www.arms-n-armor.com/rapier212.html

-Sean

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