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Jesse Belsky
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 4:58 pm    Post subject: "Vesica" Rapier w/etched hilt         Reply with quote

I posted some shots of this rapier while it was in process and got some good advice from the forum on shaping the quillons. A few hundred steps later, here it is! This is based on an antique that was/is for sale on Czerney's. I was really taken with the inlay pattern....really simple elements--just circles, arcs, and dots, but the visual complexity they create is beautiful. My version is a photographic inverse....darkened etched detail on a bright background, rather than the silver inaly on black ground. I really wanted the design to pop, and my etching technique doesn't provide a polished surface that would keep the lines visually bright. I tried nickel plating the lines, but that didn't really help. So I switched it around and i'm pleased with the result.

The bi-lateral symmetry of the hilt was very tricky, but eventually I got things right. The hilt is steel, and the grip is polycarbonate with a wire wrap and turk's heads.

Based on comments on my last few rapiers posted here on the forum I decided not to mount this in advance with my usual blade choice (the hanwei 43" practice rapier). The hilt is complete, and if anyone is interested in buying it they can have it mounted with the blade of their choice, (including the hanwei blade cut to any length up to 43"). We can make arrangements to get the blade you want and I can mount it in my shop, or you can have the blade maker mount it.

The symmetry of this hilt makes it a bit heaver than one might expect. The elements are all quite slender, but instead of slender counterguard bars, it has a whole second set of hilt loops and rings. As is, mounted on the short tang section, it weighs just about 2 lbs. The pommel has a lot of mass, and I think it will balance well with a 40"+ blade. A shorter blade will give it a more "swashbucklery" feel, with the balance closer to the wrist.

I haven't updated my website yet, but this will be up shortly. I'm asking $800 for the hilt. The hanwei blade is another $75 or so.



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Last edited by Jesse Belsky on Thu 12 Dec, 2013 5:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jesse Belsky
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Location: Durham, NC
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oops, and here's the picture of the original antique from Czerney's....


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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful work! That's a keeper!............McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 7:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

lovely work Jesse,

Keep it coming

Tod

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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Dec, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's really outstanding. We need more work of this type on the market, keep it up!
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Martin Buckley




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PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec, 2013 1:18 pm    Post subject: WOW!!         Reply with quote

Jesse, well done!! This is absolutely stunning. I've been watching your posts over the last few years and can honestly say that the development of your work is nothing short of astounding. The rapier market is (in my opinion) a little under represented at the moment, thank Goodness for A&A and you. Keep up the great work

Martin
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Robin Smith




PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stop... Just stop... I'm having a hard enough time funding swords from Vendel, Viking, and Early High Medieval... I seriously cannot afford another period, and work like this doesn't help.

Seriously though, great job!

If I can make one small critique/comment... I personally do not like the polycarbonate grip. It's not an aesthetic issue, as aesthetically it is nice, but conceptually. Just the idea of a modern concession like a poly grip seems beneath the rest of the workmanship, which is top notch. JMHO...

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Dec, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robin Smith wrote:

If I can make one small critique/comment... I personally do not like the polycarbonate grip. It's not an aesthetic issue, as aesthetically it is nice, but conceptually. Just the idea of a modern concession like a poly grip seems beneath the rest of the workmanship, which is top notch. JMHO...


Polycarbonate isn't okay, but modern alloys, modern manufacturing techniques, etching instead of inlay, etc., are? Wink I find it interesting where people choose to get picky. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just find the different lines we all draw fascinating. Happy

Polycarbonate's not my first choice, either, but we've come to accept stabilized wood and many other concessions in the marketplace. It probably will lead to more stability long-term. As Jesse makes a lot of stage weapons, durability is probably a big concern.

I'm sure he'd do wood if someone commissioned it that way.

I think it's a beautiful piece. Nice work.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Jesse Belsky
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec, 2013 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for your kind words!

Robin, i appreciate your feedback on the polycarbonate. Chad is correct about the durability issue. Making the grip from poly means the tang can be thicker and the carved roping deeper without sacrificing structural integrity (or making the grip to chunky). I use wood and poly and even lexan depending on circumstances, but for a fighting sword with a carved grip like this I think the artificial materials are best.

Chad is also right that I am always happy to make the grip to the customers specifications. In fact, if someone is out there thinking "hey, I would buy that rapier in an instant if it had a wood-core grip" please drop me a line and i'll do you up a new grip in wood for the same price Happy
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Robin Smith




PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad, you're preaching to the choir here. I actually do get quite picky about metallurgy, construction, and inlays usually... However, the difference between most of those and polycarbonate is that they are moderately close analogues to the period construction. A modern 10XX steel is not the same as shallow hardening steel made from bloom iron, but its not wholly different either. Etching was used in 16th C, so I don't get too phased by that... But polycarbonate is glaringly modern IMO.

As I said, this is just a minor nitpick, and I didn't mean to cause a sidetrack. Aesthetically it actually looks good. As I said, my issue was purely on a conceptual level, and fairly minor at that...

If I didn't have other irons in the fire, I would be tempted by this. It's quite a bit outside my normal period, but I have found myself flirting with the idea of a later sword with complex hilt. I will probably end up looking into a rapier sooner rather than later, but for now I am not well read enough on them to really know what I like, what's historically correct, what forms and styles existed where and when, etc... These are all things I would want to know before I stepped out of my familiar early-high medieval.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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Ian Hutchison




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just remember Jesse, if a six-fingered man offers to buy the sword, don't trust him!

Seriously though, really great work. Not my time period, but beautiful nonetheless!

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the fact that the guard is symmetrical-- you don't seem to see that often in rapiers, except for A&A's "Seven Ring" custom job a while back, and the occasional Pappenheimer or so. I'm sure it has little baring in terms of function, but that just seems to be one of my "quirks" in my taste in swords-- I like at least one plane of symmetry!

Everything, from the etchings, to the "Turk's head" knots on the grip, look absolutely stunning!

Excellent work!

"Rhaegar fought nobly.
Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

- G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
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Matthew Stagmer
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Dec, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is an awesome piece. Love the etch work and the from in general.
Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
www.BaltimoreKnife.com
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Jesse Belsky
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Dec, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Matt, Thanks Jeremiah. I appreciate the compliments.

Jeremiah, speaking for myself, I think the reason there aren't so many symmetrical rapier hilts is because they are such a pain! I do all my bending "freehand," so getting very complex curves to mirror one another is hard. I bent each matching pair together....i'd do one small bending operation one way, then mirror it on the other piece, then on and on to form the curves. A bit tricky, but in then end they matched really well I think. Still, makes you appreciate a simple 3-bar counterguard made of round stock. Happy
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Zach Luna




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ambidextrous hilt, eh?

I have never seen its equal.



Wink

Gorgeous work!
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