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E Sideris




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 08 Apr 2010

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject: Raven Armoury         Reply with quote

Raven Armoury is an armorer and weapons producer based in Thaxted, United Kingdom. Their work, judging by their website, is both exquisite and prolific. The only name I can extract from the site is that of Simon Fearnhamm, presumably a smith. However, their name is not (to my limited exposure) tossed around in the community. The are clearly not unheard of, considering they were commissioned to create fantastical but fine models for the Lord of The Rings fan film Born of Hope, and yet I have not seen them mentioned in this forum!

What does anyone know about Raven Armoury? Has anyone visited it/dealt with them/become otherwise aware of their work?

Here is the website: http://www.raven-armoury.co.uk/

I'm very curious!
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At one time, Raven was one of the standard-bearers in the industry, known for quality. Then, their wait times got long and other companies and smiths came around and got traction. As far as I know, Raven's quality is as good as it's ever been. And they have a loyal following. Their antiqued swords appear to be among the best out there.

I'd love to see their stuff in person someday.

If you use the Search function, you'll find some of their work sold in the Marketplace forum. There are also some threads that talk about the company including one that thought (in 2006) that the wait time had hit 4 years+.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I bought one of Hank Reinhardt's old Raven Armory swords last year and have held a few others over the years. The quality of their blades is great, though expensive for what you get IMHO. A custom work from them will cost you a few grand USD easy and take about two years minimum.

I like their swords in my experience, but there are a number of good alternatives out there that are on par with the Raven product that would cost significantly less and have a faster turn around time. An Arms & Armor custom product would be a good example.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2006

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For what it's worth I have an Raven Anglo-Saxon (Oakeshott Type X) that is about 20 years old now and still going strong.

The blade is excellent and quality wise I cannot fault the sword. Certainly the fit and finish is as good today as it was when new, and for handling it is no slouch - it still cuts well too (I suspect it is close'ish' to an Albion Thegn for stats).

Design wise, the edge bevel could used a little work to make it into a smoother 'apple seed' form and I have though about replacing the pommel with a slightly more historical one (the current one is a one-piece casting but it should be a peened two-piece), however back when this sword was new very few others came close to its general level of accuracy - and I see the more recent versions have obviously moved closer to documented examples.

I am very fond of this sword and have never regretted buying it (it was one of my first 'real' swords). Would I buy another one? Maybe not, as there are other alternatives on the market now for this type of sword that I would probably plump for - however, I would not hesitate to go with Raven if they had something I liked - they do some jolly good looking sabres and some of the nicest fantasy blades that I have seen.

Neil
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 385

PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can't speak from personal experience, and not exactly a historically inspired piece, but the Raven version of Michael Moorcock's "Stormbringer" is the one aproved of by the author. I know for a fact that he loves the one he has (keeps it in a broom cupboard to prevent it slaying guests, only brings it out to frighten off lawers apparently).
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Martin Kopf





Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a couple of Raven Armoury swords and each piece is brilliant. They were probably the first company which offers high end quality swords. They made the Author approved Snaga Axe from David Gemmells Druss the Legend. They started their buisness in an old barn, Simon Fearnham worked as a motorbike mechanic and part time Swordmaker. My first sword I bought back in 1993, a gothic longsword for 400 British Pounds. The same sword today costs 1128 British Pounds. Quit an increase. But the quality is one of the best.
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 509

PostPosted: Thu 12 Aug, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had four Raven swords,now only three,traded one out for a high quality katana blade,
The quality of the three i have is fantastic,two single hand medieval swords,one hand and a half,
spoke with Simon a few times and had email enquires,really top bloke,cant say enough on how he's been a top bloke,
the swords may seem expensive,but the quality is apparent in hand,
some of the secondary deals on the site look good value,the current single hander medi they have is a beaut,
i'd love to have the night and day set they have on sale,or a druss axe,but not to be at the mo,gotta feed the kids,lol,
to be honest,if you get an option on a raven sword give it some serious thought,flawless lines,great handling (medi's) about as close to the real thing as your gonna get,and as already mentioned,they dont really get any cheaper,unless abused and tatty, Cool
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Kirill R




Location: Montreal
Joined: 31 Jan 2011

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Being a big fan of R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden series I am very interested in getting Raven's fantasy scimitars. After an initial reply from Simon, I have not heard back from him and am unable to purchase a blade.

I am quite disappointed with this service as I basically got ignored. I understand it's a small workshop and he might not have production capacity, but I would at least expect a reply.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Raven Armouries has any competition when it comes to high quality fantasy scimitars.
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Greg Mele
Industry Professional



Location: Chicago, IL USA
Joined: 20 Mar 2006

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used to own a Raven 12th c sword that I bought from Hank R; magnificent piece that I had to sadly sell in 2000 along with most of my collection at that time. They make wonderful swords, but I think that the pricing for the historical pieces is high for what they are. Honestly, an Albion or Arms & Armour stock piece are not that far from comparable, and custom work by Craig, Oliin, Peter Johnsson or many others is superior, IMO.

The difference is that Raven was producing swords of that caliber when, for most people, Del Tin was at the top of the food chain.

Greg Mele
Chicago Swordplay Guild
www.chicagoswordplayguild.com

www.freelanceacademypress.com
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Kirill R




Location: Montreal
Joined: 31 Jan 2011

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu 03 Feb, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I fear I judged Raven Armouries too quickly in my earlier post. Simon has responded back and he really is a nice fellow. The delay being his busy schedule.

Their pricing is extravagant, but they offer extremely flexible payment options ensuring their blades are available for all with enough patience (up to 5 years!). Additionally, you won't find a finer fantasy blade anywhere else IMO. This is what you pay for.
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Russ Ellis
Industry Professional




Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Posts: 2,607

PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kirill R wrote:

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Raven Armouries has any competition when it comes to high quality fantasy scimitars.


As a point of information perhaps you could talk to Rick Barrett.

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
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