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There are few European weapons that are as easy to identify as the rapier. A weapon of the renaissance, the rapier became one of the most common civilian side arms of the time period. One of the primary features of the rapier was its heavy reliance on the thrust over the cut. Many styles of its use developed, and the most famous of the rapier masters came from Italy. The common misconception that exists regarding the rapier, is that it's a very light weight weapon that can quickly out-maneuver the supposedly heavy cutting weapons with the use of fast fencing motions such as seen in swashbuckling films. This misconception is easily defeated when one picks up a historically accurate replica such as this and realizes that the weapon is too long and has too much weight to be used in such a "swashbuckling" fashion. Serious students of the sword who have handled a variety of sword types and have at least a basic working knowledge of how a sword should be used, don't have this misconception.
The Italian masters taught that the rapier should be used in what is known as stesso tempo, or "single time". A single time defense means making a counterattack at your opponent while defending yourself at the same time. In order to do this without receiving a hit at the same time, one must first "find the sword" of the opponent. On a basic level, finding the sword involves gaining a geometric and mechanical advantage of the opponent's blade based off of where your own sword is positioned so that when your opponent attacks, you already have gained the advantage and can defend and offend simultaneously. A sword with sufficient weight aided in such a single time defense, as this helped prevent an opponent from batting the oncoming thrust out of the way.
Measurements and Specifications:
|Overall length:||115 cm|
|Blade length:||94.8 cm|
|Grip length:||10.1 cm|
|Point of Balance:||3 3/4 inches from guard|
|Center of Percussion:||~27 inches from guard|
The piece certainly has heft to it, and as stated previously, if one is not familiar with the Italian style of rapier, one may be tempted to say it is too heavy for effective use. This is far from the case. This rapier handles excellently for one intended to be used in the style of Italian renaissance masters such as Salvator Fabris or Ridolfo Cappo Ferro. Its length could easily keep an opponent at bay, and the weight of the sword can easily command another blade when finding the sword. The swept hilt provides good hand protection. The bars of the cage are close enough together that, although not entirely protecting the hand, still give good coverage. This is a very handsome piece, one marked by careful and graceful lines and fancy (yet functional) decoration. The full tang sword comes with a sharp blade (hand forged from quality EN45 steel) solid brass fittings and is provided with a leather-clad scabbard.