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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 09 May, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Two Antique Rapiers         Reply with quote

I thought I would share two antique rapiers I've acquired. The topmost one is German, circa 1640, while the bottom one is Italian, circa 1620. The German one I picked up recently, while the Italian one I bought last year.

I'm in the process of resizing the pictures, so I will put a post for each of the swords with full measurements in individual posts.

An interesting side affect of owning these two swords is that I have an even greater appreciation for the rapiers recreated by Arms and Armor. There are a lot of modern made rapiers out there, but so few really get the subtle details quite right. A&A is one of those few who does.

Anyway, onto the swords...



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Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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Reading list: 43 books

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PostPosted: Sun 09 May, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Overall length: 49.5 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 8.3 oz
Width of guard: 7.5 inches
Blade length: 43.25 inches (including 2 inch ricasso)
Grip: 3.5 inches
Point of Balance: 6.5" from cross

AVB Norman Hilt 61 variant
Italian, first quarter of the 17th century

The components of this rapier appear to be Italian in design. It has a very long thrusting blade of the type typically seen in the fencing works of masters like Fabris, Capoferro, Giganti and Alfieri, which was very appealing to me, since this is the style of rapier that I study, and this is exactly why I purchased the sword.

The blade has a slight bend in it with some minor edge damage. The guard shows evidence that a plate that was once on the front ring (thanks to Craig Johnson for pointing that out to me). The cord-wrapped grip is almost certainly Victorian replacement.

The handling is exactly what I like in a rapier: It has a reasonable amount of blade presence that could easily dominate the line of attack, but is still light and lively enough to perform complex actions. If I were able to have an identical training rapier for fencing I'd jump at the opportunity, as it happens to be the perfect length for me.



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Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."


Last edited by Bill Grandy on Mon 10 May, 2010 7:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,153

PostPosted: Sun 09 May, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Overall length: 41 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 3.8 oz
Width of guard: 6.5 inches
Blade length: 35 inches (including 2 inch ricasso)
Grip: 3.25 inches
Point of Balance: 4.5 inches

AVB Norman Hilt 25
German, circa 1640

This rapier is easy to identify as German. Not only is the hilt style a common German design, but it also has a maker's mark from the German smith Johannes Mumm. Its in very good condition, with the hilt nice and tight and with an edge that is still incredibly sharp. The fittings are blued.

This rapier can be called a "spada da filo" (edge sword), or also a side sword, as it really has the feel of a cutting blade. It feels perfect for the Bolognese school of fencing, and going through Bolognese plays with it in hand is a joy. Its very light, but strikes with a strong amount of authority. This is one that I've been able to hand to people who do not study swordsmanship, and instantly their eyes light up in excitement at how lively it feels.



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Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,920

PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 12:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are two wonderful adoptions Bill. The Italian shows a good bit of grace in its design and shows rapiers weren't meant to balance at the ricasso. How long is the overall? You seem to have just posted the blade numbers. That one must be bordering on the 50" mark, point to button.

Overall length: 41.25 inches
Weight: 2 lbs 8.3 oz
Width of guard: 7.5 inches
Blade length: 43.25 inches (including 2 inch ricasso

Really, two great examples.

Cheers

GC
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
How long is the overall? You seem to have just posted the blade numbers. That one must be bordering on the 50" mark, point to button.


Whoops! Made a typo! I just edited my previous post to add that, which is 49.5 inches.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Matthew Stagmer
Industry Professional



Location: Maryland, USA
Joined: 23 Jan 2008

Posts: 484

PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. Love the 42" blade!
Matthew Stagmer
Maker of custom and production weaponry
Youtube.com/ThatWorks
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

LOVE that German rapier! What a nice example, and so true about A & A's rapiers - I've had four different models, and they all feel like the real thing. Ah, Renaissance Faire season is nearly upon me....

Yay!

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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