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Olivier de Rancourt




Location: Québec
Joined: 05 Oct 2014

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 5:35 pm    Post subject: Review : Vladimir Cervenka German Rapier and matching dagger         Reply with quote

Vladimir Cervenka German Rapier (2000220) and matching Main Gauche






Introduction

This set consists of a full hilt closed port rapier and a matching left hand dagger.The quillons, bars and rings have a particular wavy design. Nick Thomas from Academy of Historical Fighting was fencing with this model in some of his videos, the hilt have always caught my eyes.This sword and it's matching dagger were commissioned along with a schiavona to Mr. Cervenka in January of 2016, both were delivered in September of 2017.






















Measurements and specifications

Overall length : 46 15/16’’
Blade length : 40 1/2’’
Blade composition: Spring Steel CSN 14 260
Weight: 3 lbs 1 oz
Point of balance: ~3 1/2” from quillons (1 1/4'' after ricasso)
Center of percussion: ~26’’ from quillons
Blade width: 24.7 mm at ricasso 30.9 mm at its largest 7.9 mm at 1’’ from the point
Blade thickness: 7.6 mm at ricasso 6.8 mm after ricasso 2.4 mm at 1’’ from the point
Cross section: Diamond (slightly hollow)
Ricasso length: 2 3/16’’

Overall impressions

Language barrier can sometimes cause issues when neither the buyer nor the swordsmith are using their respective native language concluding the terms of the sell : I've experienced it this time! Despite asking for a finish without patina on both rapier, left hand dagger and schiavona, Vladimir shocked me by sending pictures of the blades in patination process (see the pictures below)... When I informed him that I never asked for a patina, he rechecked our mails and admitted his mistake. I then told me he would polish back the blades (and possibly the hilts?). Suddenly my concern was less about the finishes of the blades, but with the amount of steel that would need to be removed from the blades to get back to a more standard finish. Vladimir sent me some pictures after he was done polishing the blades. Some traces from the patination process were still apparent but I decided to tell him to send the swords anyway. Swords arrived the next week. The rapier's peen block had been pushed through the delivery box, sticking out, nude (see picture below, again).Luckily, everything else was in good condition and very well packaged inside the box. I have already repolished the schiavona's hilt and blade (to be seen in an upcoming review), but I have'nt touched the rapier and left hand dagger yet.







The blade

Despite retaining some flaws from the above-mentioned patination process, the finish is still decent. The blade is very slightly hollow and very wide (for a rapier) in the forte. The blade is thick, has more mass and is more rigid than Cervenka's usual rapier's blade, which I appreciate a lot. As it usually goes with Mr. Cervenka's rapiers, the ricasso is slightly concave, being very comfortable for the index. The blade has a nice even sharpening and offer a good flexibility.

The hilt

The hilt's overall shape is very pleasing to the eye. Again, there are some flaws in the finish but it gives the sword a genuine handmade look. Everything is solidly fixed and the construction seems robust. The closed port is pierced evenly with round and star-like holes. Mr. Cervenka really masters the art of making beautiful grips, this one is no exception. The octagonal scent stopper pommel is well done and is very distinctive.

Handling

It is a real pleasure to handle this rapier, it is so well-balanced. Point control is very precise while the rapier have some serious cutting abilities, you very much feel the authority in cutting motions, unlike most of my rapiers (even those with bulkier blades). The handling is so organic and lively, it makes you want to forgive every other flaws and cons.

Conclusions

I'm quite pleased with this rapier, even though the finish issues. This is exactly the feeling you are looking for when you are handling a rapier. As always, the set comes with very well-made leather sheath and belts. Mr. Cervenka has been in this industry for a while, and it shows in its comprehension of how should behave a sword.
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Olivier de Rancourt




Location: Québec
Joined: 05 Oct 2014

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matching main gauche

Measurements and specifications

Overall length : 19 5/8’’
Blade length : 13 3/4’’
Blade composition: Spring Steel CSN 14 260
Weight: 1 lbs 4 oz
Blade width: 27.5 mm at ricasso 30.4 mm at its largest
Blade thickness: 7.9 mm at ricasso 6 mm after ricasso 1.7 mm at 1’’ from the point
Cross section: Diamond (slightly hollow)
Ricasso length: 1 7/16’’







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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 445

PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject: cervenka         Reply with quote

I have two of his swords and a schiavonna. Love them all. I went for the patina as I enjoy the illusion of age. They all handle well in accordance with their different types.
Bon coeur et bon bras
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,146

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jan, 2018 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: cervenka         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
I have two of his swords and a schiavonna. Love them all. I went for the patina as I enjoy the illusion of age. They all handle well in accordance with their different types.


Obviously it's the purchaser's choice that should prevail for the finish, but personally I like some patina for some swords.

A lot depends on either wanting the sword as it would have appeared as new or kept polished by it's first owner(s) in period, or having some level of patina ?

The patina can be light as with a sword that has seen years of campaign use but always well cared for in period versus a patina representing a few centuries of accumulation .... but still well preserved and not rusted in any way.

The extreme is relic level aging that is seriously pitted and with stabilized black rust .... this would only be to simulate an old sword in a museum.

In any case the sword and dagger look like a good purchase and Mr. Cervenka tried his best to correct the miscommunication.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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