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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan, 2012 4:06 pm    Post subject: Comparative Impressions : Customized Albion Earl/Regent         Reply with quote

Comparative Impressions : Customized Albion Earl/Regent
Marc Kaden Ridgeway
18 Jan 2012






This is NOT a review... God no, not a review , they are so exhausting , and I just don't have time for one... nor is one merited.
The Albion Earl is the sister-sword to the Albion Regent. They share the same blade... the specs are near identical... Aside from the fittings and some minor grip differences they are the same sword.
Recently I did an in-detail review of the Albion Regent... that will have to serve for both swords. For those that missed it, or want to look again it can be found at the following link.

http://forum.sword-buyers-guide.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8144

This Earl was customized by Christian Fletcher .It is not mine . The sword belongs to forumite Fillippo Fantini who was very brave or very stupid shipping it to me... LOL. The sword is winding its way across the nations , making its way from Canada to Filippo in Italy , and making stops along the way.

Being here , with my Regent , obviously it begs for comparison... so here it comes.. a brief comparitive impression.

For a quick reference, here is the approximate specs of both.


Specifications

Blade -------------- 37.25 in
Grip----------------- 7.5 in
Hilt ----------------- 10.7 in
OAL------------------ 48 in
Weight -------------- 3lbs. 3.5 oz
Width----------------- 2 in. at guard ; .75 in. 5 in from tip
COG --------------------4.5 in
COP -------------------- 22-27 in







The Pommels

One of the most obvious differences between the Earl and Regent is obvioulsly the pommels. The Earl sports a faceted scent-stopper , while the Regent has a stylized fish-tail. Personally , I find I like the scent-stopper a bit better , however my better half disdained it as looking like a curtain-rod finial .... sigh ... women!

Although this Earl has been customized by Christian Fletcher , it retains the original pommel.












The Grip

I wish there was a way to attach tactlity to a review. One of the greatest differences between these two swords has to be the grip. Yes , they look very similar... but all i can say is that the Christian Fletcher grip is more vivid . I don't just mean the color , with is a lovely royal blue, I mean the whole thing. The grain of the leather , the feel of the circumference, the under-cord, the risers... the whole grip is so much more vibrant and alive... to the hands and the eyes. This has to be my favorite feature on this Earl. Aside the Earl , my Regents grip seems slick, clumsy and washed-out, in both tactile and visual dimensions.

The seam meanders a bit but is generally well done ... and as a whole the grip makes this sword shine.








Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote










The Blade

The blades are identical right? Same blade on both swords... same specs ... no difference. Well right... and wrong. The Regent has a secondary bevel, and by every source I read, the secondary bevel is both accurate and proper for a hollowground blade. But the Earl has a primary bevel ... and I have no idea why. Did it come like this from Albion? Did Christian Fletcher clean up the bevel, or did the previous owner? I have no idea , but the fact remains that it is the only difference between these two blades,






Handling Characteristics

Quote:
It seems so cliche' to say so, but the handling belies the weight. Swords like the Regent are the reasons for the cliche'. The weight , at 3lbs 3.5 oz. is balanced at 4.5 inches from the cross due to well planned mass distribution. The distal and profile taper , combine with the pommel to make a well harmonically-balanced sword, with a tip-ward pivot point that moves quickly and precisely.

The shape of the handle is ergonomically designed to lend a sure grip, and the pommel I have found quite comfortable as a grip extension , though others have reported the opposite.

All sources say that the Regent is a superior stabber... and it seems to be true, though I am a terrible thruster (commence "thats what she said " jokes).


These were my comments about handling in the afforementioned Regent review. There is really little to amend here. Others have reported that the shape of the Earl's pommel lended it better handling that went easier on the paws . To me there is no difference... take the comments I made about the Regent's grip and amplify them... and that is the only difference in handling. Did I mention the Christian Fletcher grip is vivid ?








Cutting


Sorry, this is not my sword to cut with , and is far to costly of a sword for me to even sneak in a single cut. I can't imagine it behaving any differently than the Regent, the bevel doesn't seem to affect the sharpness , and otherwise the swords are close to identical.


The Good , The Bad & The Ugly

One buys an Albion because one values a high level of finish and attention to detail. In addition one sends an Albion to a cutler like Christian Fletcher because one wants something a bit different perhaps, but without losing that attention to detail.
As I have stated , on the leatherwork on the grip this has been completely accomplished. The high level of finish of the already spectacular Albion was improved upon significantly ... the grip is startlingly well done.
Everything else is up to Albion's usual standards ,
There are however two things , both aesthetic , and both rather minor, that I consider flaws... the first is VERY minor ... nitpicky really , but it just bugs the hell out of me. It has to do with symmetry . In my Regent review I noted some very nice attention to detail...

Quote:
Certain design elements really underscore the attention to detail, for instance , the line formed by the center ridge continues through the guard and handle into the pommel.


On the Earl here , that nice little symmetrical detail is skewed. In the next picture pay attention to the ridge that runs through the blade , guard and grip on the Regent, and then on the following photo , the Earl






Yeah , I know , its really nitpicky of me ... I can't help it, it bugs me .

The next issue is a bit more glaring...and involves the fitment of the guard to the blade... The next photo is the Regent and following the Earl... the pictures speak for themselves.








I know these gripes are somewhat superficial, but one gets customization from a top-notch cutler because one wants the fit and finish improved.... if this were my sword I would be very happy with the way this was done on the grip, but a bit dissapointed with the guard,

Marc Kaden Ridgeway


Last edited by Marc Ridgeway on Wed 18 Jan, 2012 4:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
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Posts: 133

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jan, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Conclusion

Again, this sword shows the high level of quality that comes out of the workshop of Albion... and despite soem flaws on the guard , the grip shows the incredible craftmanship of customizer Christian Fletcher.
As to the comparison between the two sword, well aside from the aesthetic of the fittings and the quality of Christian's grip, there really isn't much in the way of notable differences.
Either the Earl or Regent is a great choice, and it goes without saying that Christian Fletcher is one of the best choices around for customization.

I really like this sword... but I am terrified as to what horrors Filippo would send my way should I just keep it.

So Filippo , I'll get your sword out to its next stop right away... as soon as I get a chance to switch out the grips... Wink Big Grin










Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice "non review" Marc Cool

Very informative as always and great photographs.

“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2012 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Part of the difference in tactility could be the cord underwrap (or lack thereof). The Regent has the standard Albion Next Gen cord impression on the grip: there is no under-wrap on NG swords. The cord pattern on the leather surface is created after the leather is applied to the wood core. The leather is then wrapped in cord to leave the impression, before the cord is taken off. If Christian did an actual cord underwrap (as Albion does on many of the Museum Line swords), it could feel different than the stock NG grip. The layer of cord would add to the grip's circumference, too. The type and thickness of the leather could also be different than stock Albion, and the dyes and dying process could be different.

The grip looks beautiful. Happy

Happy

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marc Ridgeway wrote:

Certain design elements really underscore the attention to detail, for instance , the line formed by the center ridge continues through the guard and handle into the pommel.


I agree. I remember this being discussed in 2005 when I got my Regent. That simple straight line is such a powerful visual element that ties everything together. Of course, on a period sword, things may not have been quite as straight. Happy Period swords often have asymmetries and misalignments.

Happy

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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
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Posts: 133

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Part of the difference in tactility could be the cord underwrap (or lack thereof). The Regent has the standard Albion Next Gen cord impression on the grip: there is no under-wrap on NG swords. The cord pattern on the leather surface is created after the leather is applied to the wood core. The leather is then wrapped in cord to leave the impression, before the cord is taken off. If Christian did an actual cord underwrap (as Albion does on many of the Museum Line swords), it could feel different than the stock NG grip. The layer of cord would add to the grip's circumference, too. The type and thickness of the leather could also be different than stock Albion, and the dyes and dying process could be different.

The grip looks beautiful. Happy


Most of that was what I was trying to get across without being too wordy....

The Regents grip feels slick and washed-out because of all those things... mostly. The CF does have a under-cord , the Regent doesn't. The leather CF used was significantly thicker and more "grainy " creating a more tactile and softer grip . The circuference of the CF grip is actually slimmer that the NG , but has morer volume if that makes sense... the handle is slimmer , but there is more going on which gives the grip several layers of depth.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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Marc Ridgeway




Location: Atlanta , Gawga
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 133

PostPosted: Thu 19 Jan, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Marc Ridgeway wrote:

Certain design elements really underscore the attention to detail, for instance , the line formed by the center ridge continues through the guard and handle into the pommel.


I agree. I remember this being discussed in 2005 when I got my Regent. That simple straight line is such a powerful visual element that ties everything together. Of course, on a period sword, things may not have been quite as straight. Happy Period swords often have asymmetries and misalignments.


Chad, thanks for the link... a nice read.

Marc Kaden Ridgeway
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