Sunday, May 04, 2008


Most folks not in the know immediately think this weapon is a rapier. It's not, though it's related. This is no light gentleman's weapon, but the blade of a soldier, or at least of an officer in the field.

This is actually a fancy, basket-hilted broadsword. Historically it was somewhat popular in Italy in the 16 century and became popular with other nations' armies in the 17th century. It's background is originally from Eastern Europe, from the Croats, before becoming big in Italy.

This is a beautiful weapon. I love its looks, the black guard and even the blackened blade. But, unfortunately, it's a bit clumsy. The guard is comfortable to hold, but it doesn't give you much room for maneuvering your wrist, leaving you with a weapon that's mainly only good for chopping on the downswing. Trying to parry a blow with this sword would be a nightmare, because it is so difficult for your hand to move the weapon across yourself as a shielding tactic. Jabbing would be fairly easy, but the bulk of the guard and the weight of the weapon slow you down from pulling back the sword for defense or further offensive actions.

So, this is a great weapon to hang on your wall or carry to the Renaissance festival so you can "ooh" and "aah" at, but it's not something I'd want to enter combat with.

To be fair, this might make a decent cavalry weapon for a charge (since all you're hoping to do is mow down your opponents while swinging down on them with your blade), but I feel it might even be too clumsy for that.

This particular weapon was made by Windlass Steelcrafts of India.


cindy said...

this is beautiful! and hang in there with the recession--it does suck. i hope you get some more writing done.

Anonymous said...

In the past, the sword was worn by Venetian troops who were mostly dalmatian soldiers. In the struggle was with the sword, a dagger or a pistol used. In some cases, even a pistol type was forged to the sword. This was arming the preferences execution of the doge bodyguards, who were the elite of dalmatian soldiers.