- Gift Vouchers
CAUTION – THIS IS A FULLY FUNCTIONAL MARTIAL WEAPON – DECOMISSION THE BLADE BEFORE WALL MOUNTING. DO NOT USE FOR SPARRING. DO NOT USE FOR THEATRICAL OR RE-ENACTMENT PURPOSES. CHECK THE LAWS IN YOUR STATE OR COUNTRY PERTAINING TO WEAPONS OWNERSHIP BEFORE MAKING YOUR PURCHASE. STORE SAFELY AND HANDLE WITH CAUTION.
French Arming Sword - Type XIV
With its pronounced taper, this sword is definitely a thrust-oriented weapon, though it’s sufficiently built to allow for reasonably quick transitions to cutting when desired. The weapon is very comfortable and easily controlled during guard transitions and slow-to-intermediate cutting exercises and flourishes, but it absolutely shines when used with speed and intent. It makes follow-through instinctive, with easy and natural transitions from full-arm blows to wrist cuts. The dynamic balance of this very fast and agile weapon, with its pivot point close the Center of Percussion (CoP), allows for powerful sweeping cuts without being cumbersome in recovery or thrusting. Despite its relative shortness, it can deliver brutal shearing blows as well as delivering more elaborate swordplay such as quickly changing the angle of attack either before or after binding the opponent's weapon. Though ideally such weapons were used in unison with companion weapons such as the buckler, there is nothing about this sword that makes it incapable of being used on its own. The hilt is very cleanly and solidly assembled, with no play in any of the furniture or flaws in the polish. The brass wire-wrapped grip ensures a keen grasp in even the sweatiest of hands and the spherical pommel is comfortable in the hand or against the wrist while flourishing. The tang is welded secure within the heart of the pommel. The blade itself comes sharpened, is hand forged from EN45 steel and is equally well polished and shaped, with a well-executed fuller. The blade also has a subtle flare near the hilt. I find this last detail one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the weapon. The point of the weapon is also well formed.
The medieval mind divided society into a class system of the Three Estates: those who worked, those who prayed, and those who fought. With the rise of the middle class and the pressures placed on society due to catastrophes such as revolts and the plague, the boundaries of this class system began to yield. The sword, once the pervasive symbol of the aristocratic fighting class, no longer was limited to the warrior elite. Evidence of this comes to us from much of the literature of the time, including Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, in which swords and bucklers are carried by gentry and commoner alike. The oldest known surviving treatise on swordsmanship (MS I.33, The Royal Armouries, Leeds, circa 1275-1305) depicts sword and buckler practice not between two warriors, but between a priest and his female student.
The form of the sword changed to reflect both this civilian adoption of the weapon and improvements in armor. Most noticeably, swords developed more acute points. Oakeshott blade Type XII and Type XIV, though broad and of lenticular cross-section, taper gracefully to a functional point generally absent from the blades of preceding centuries. While still designed for cutting against unarmored and lightly armored opponents, the taper allowed for greater maneuverability and made the blade better-suited for thrusting into the joints and exposed areas of the increasingly-effective plate armour.
We only have one of these weapons in stock, and the sword has been used for test-cutting (we couldn’t resist it, sorry!). This has left some minor scratches on one side of the blade, up towards the hilt, otherwise it is as new.