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Daryl G





Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Looking for some input         Reply with quote

Hi! After buying a Gothic mace from A&A as my anniversary gift(my wife got herself a snazzy new not inexpensive ring) http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole193.html and totally loving it I am going to give myself a birthday treat(with wife's permission of course) by making my first non-wall hanger/decorator sword(s?) purchase from them as well. I have the read reviews on this site of most the pieces I'm trying to choose between and found they didn't do much to sway me one way or another and since the prices have almost doubled since the writing of the reviews I thought I would seek some input from old hands in the matter.

As mentioned this will be my first major sword purchase(it's always disappointing to pick up a decorator piece and realize how unwieldy and awkward it is), up to this point I have been more interested in the weapons actually used to defeat heavily armored medieval opponents maces, hammers, etc. I find myself drawn to the following:

The Shifford Viking Sword http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword049.html Love this. I've been on a serious Viking kick the last few months(including serious Amon Amarth fandom Wink ) Beautiful sword! and I mean seriously, how can one not love most things Viking ffs?

The Longsword http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword194.html Iconic. Great aesthetics, very sexy. Great reviews. Will eventually own one.

The Black Prince http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword034.html I actually added this after reading the view of how superb this handles and the versatility of it. Not as aesthetically pleasing to me as the other choices but pretty nonetheless and there's just something about it.

The Knightly Sword http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword036.html I disagree with the reviewer in that I find this sword to be the most visually pleasing. Downright sexy in fact. His quote of one of the A&A guys saying "If I put it down on a table with several of our pieces it will be one of the last that people pick up, but often one of the swords they really think about buying after they handle it. It will often come down to the Knightly Sword and the sword they thought they were going to buy before handling any of them." didn't do much to override the part about this not being a battlefield weapon for me. When I hear the word 'sword' something like this is what I first envision.

Anglo-Saxon Sword http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword236.html Another late addition to my list. I initially wrote it off but keep coming back to it. Very similar to the Viking sword aesthetically but again something about it just says "yes! sword!"

To be quite frank this is a difficult decision as I'm sure most of you are aware! I may very well end up getting two due to the difficulty of the decision(wife doesn't know this yet but she'll get over it. Especially after I remind her of that ring!) Having said that, I am also entertaining the thought of getting 1 of these swords and picking up a 2 piece combination of either the Burgundian Poleaxe/Horseman's Axe/Spiked Mace for about the same money as 2 of the swords, which will be purchased with scabbard(s).
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole217.html
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole006.html
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole004.html

Any thoughts/input from those who actually own one or more of these or anyone who feels like sharing their process of elimination when making such a difficult purchase decision would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Mark Tan





Joined: 30 Nov 2016

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No personal experience with the models you listed. Since you are looking for a high end medieval style sword, why not consider albion?
I own an A&A serenissima rapier and an albion ringeck. These are two diff types of weapon, but in terms of fit and finish, edge geometry and leather work, i find albion to be superior. Both are marvellous weapons in their own right of course.
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 373

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a heads up, the Anglo-Saxon sword you listed.. and the Shifford viking sword.. neither are particularly historically accurate. If your tastes continue into that realm, then I think you will find yourself disappointed eventually.

It would be good to also check out Albion at your price point. https://www.albion-swords.com

And some instock models can be found here, as Albion's production time is stretching quite far at the moment: http://www.kultofathena.com/swords-euro.asp

A&A's rapiers and complex hilted swords are lovely, as are their 'high end' medieval swords like the Edward III or German Branch Sword.. but some of their earlier period models, like the viking swords, do falter with accuracy issues.

Might I recommend given the details on what you are looking for, the Bohemian Broadsword: http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword167.html the Malaspina Sword: http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword244.html The "12th Century Sword" (It is not.. its definitively 13th/early 14th cent) http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword089.html.. Or one of my favourites the: Schloss Erbach http://www.arms-n-armor.com/sword082.html.
Both the Longsword and the Black Prince that you mentioned are very nice as well!

Cheers!
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est

www.hadrianscustomshop.com
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 30 pages

Posts: 603

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got both the Anglo-Saxon and the Black prince and I would recommend them to anyone. They redesigned the A-S to have a more accurate blade profile, but I think it is still a quick sword. It's based on a historical example, though at the price point they do have to make some trade-offs.

The Black Prince is one of the finest handling swords I own, though it is a bastard sword so it's certainly different than a one-handed viking era sword. It is one of my favorites.

For process of elimination I usually let things set and obsess a bit. The sword I come back to the most often is the one I get. I obsessed about these two for quite a while, among other A&A swords.


Also, while I love Albion's work, I think A&A will have a shorter wait time and they will be able to make a scabbard in-shop if you want. QC from A&A is also very good
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Daryl G





Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the input! I have been admiring Albion for quite some time as well. I absolutely love their Landgraf http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...f-xvii.htm I like a couple from their Medieval Line particularly the Ljubljana http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/johnsson/...bljana.htm but I must admit to a bit of sticker shock on this line especially when you add another $400+ for a scabbard(this would be a hard sell to my wife), though going with that would lay the idea of getting two to rest lol. I haven't called Albion directly but according to kultofathena's website which Hadrian so kindly linked the wait time is over a year on the Landgraf
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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 373

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, Albion no longer make their scabbards in house.. they used to use a chap who has left the industry. It is fairly easy to get a scabbard made by a number of professionals in the trade outside of Albion. The price is dependent on what you are wanting. A wood-cored leather covered scabbard with mattalic chape and suspension tends to run around $500 (£375) a simple all-leather sheath as A&A make $150 (£100)... and there are levels in-between.

It is often beneficial to look at the marketplace here, and on Armour Archive.. for swords at a discount on the secondary market. These are usually in very good + condition, at a fraction of the cost and wait-time. Occasionally one can even just buy another person's slot on the waitlist!

I agree with J. Nicolaysen's assessment of A&A. Their customer service, and "front of house" far outmatch Albion.. however, I stand by my comments on the early medieval swords they make. They are simply a-historical. The proportions/balance are just wrong.. as is the finish/detail. The late medieval swords, and other sundry weapons, however, that they make are unmatched in the market without going custom.

Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est

www.hadrianscustomshop.com
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 605

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of the ones you listed, I would personally go with the Black Prince. However, this sort of decision should be accompanied by some reflection on what you wish to do with it (like cutting tatami, for instance) and what time periods or styles of fencing you're most interested in. Otherwise, you run a greater risk of ending up with something you love less as your tastes and interests change. The weapons you listed span a greater range than trying to decide between multiple swords of the same type or between swords of functionally similar types.
Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Daryl G





Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jul, 2017 7:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the input guys! After grinding my teeth about it for quite a bit I decided to get both the English Longsword and the Black Prince. I called and ordered them on Tuesday and am quite excited about them! Big Grin
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Tim Mathews




Location: St Paul MN
Joined: 02 Oct 2004

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jul, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Arms and Armor purchase         Reply with quote

Hello ,
Congratulations on your decision ! I would call that a win win situation ! I have handled all the A&A pieces you mentioned and you have chosen two of my favorites ...
Please follow up once you have received them and let me (us) know what you think of your new swords .
Congratulations again .
Tim Mathews

Tim Mathews
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Daryl G





Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 21 Jul, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Tim. Will do! Since you said you've handled most of their pieces I mentioned, I'm curious what you thought of their Knightly sword. That one is still on my list for a future purchase. Something about it keeps drawing me back. Can't quite put my finger on it. Just wondering what you thought of the feel of it etc.
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Tim Mathews




Location: St Paul MN
Joined: 02 Oct 2004

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Mon 24 Jul, 2017 6:59 am    Post subject: Knightly sword from Arms and Armor         Reply with quote

Good morning ,
The knightly sword to me is the finest example of the sword as "a large Filet Knife" ... Very small , light and agile in the hand .
I have always preferred larger , heavier blades ( My favorite production piece form Arms and Armor is their 12th century sword) That being said it is very lively in the hand - and as is the case with all of Arms and Armor swords - a thing of beauty .

Tim Mathews
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Daryl G





Joined: 11 Feb 2017

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again! So my swords arrived today! It's late here and just got home from work but spent a few minutes checking them out and handling them a bit. I have to say I LOVE the Black Prince!! I can't stress that enough. Fell in love with it as soon as I picked it up. It's almost as if it said "I'm yours" as I did so. This sword feels like it was custom made just for me. Feels totally natural and fluid even one handed. The blade comes to what can only be described as a wicked point. This thing means business! The pommel is a skull crusher. It's not a fancy sword though the engraving on the pommel is nice. It's as if The Prince saying "I don't need to be fancy. I have one job and we both know what it is" I didn't feel quite the same about the English Longsword.

The English Longsword is beautiful. I could stare at it for hours. The grip is a bit awkward for me. Hard to put my finger on what it is exactly. My initial inclination is to say it's a bit wide and flat up top for me and quite narrow down low but as I said, it's late and after work so I didn't spend a lot of time handling it and adjusting my grip and trying to find a sweet spot. It is a bit unwieldy for me in one hand( I feel I should note here that I am in no way shape or form an expert swordsman). Even though it's about a pound lighter than the Black Prince it felt a bit heavier and nowhere near as fluid handling it one handed.

Both of these were handled bare handed so these initial thoughts will perhaps change a bit when gloved. Both came nicely oiled. The grips were nice and tight. I saw one video review a while back of the English Longsword where the reviewer said he hear a little click when he jiggled it around in his hand. That was certainly not the case with mine. Both seem quite solid in their construction. The scabbards seem to be a tiny bit off. They are simple leather with no belt. I just want to protect them a bit while they're on the rack and protect pets and people from them. The English scabbard is quite loose while the Prince's is a tad tight and doesn't completely make it to the guard leaving some blade exposed. No, they're not in the wrong scabbards Razz Neither sword's edges were quiiiiiiiite as sharp as I was expecting them to be but again I'm far from an expert on what an accurate level of sharpness would have been on an original period piece,

Overall I am quite pleased with what A&A sent me and would order from them again. I would like to add that The Prince sings a beautiful song!

*footnote: I went ahead and placed an order for a Landgraf from Albion a couple weeks ago. I'll let you know about it in 9-11 months Big Grin
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