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As is the case for many colloquial sword related terms, there are many definitions of what a longsword is; some are more specific and useful than others. This often leads to confusion about what a sword is, or is not, based on whether or not people involved in discussion about it share a common framework of definitions. The term longsword can be used to describe a broad array of sword types that saw use over a wide range of eras in Europe, and in simplest terms, longsword can be used to simply describe a sword that is long. Many would associate the two-handed sword as a purely medieval weapon, but the Renaissance commonly saw its use. Many Renaissance fencing masters from many nationalities, such as the English George Silver or the German Paulus Hector Mair, gave instructions on the techniques and advantages of such a weapon. Giacomo Digrassi, in His True Arte of Defence, claimed that the major advantage of the two-handed sword was that "one may with it (as a galleon, among many gallies) resist many swords, or other weapons..." While Digrassi is speaking of its use in war, the German fencing manual of Joachim Meyer, Kunst der Fechten, details explicit instructions on the use of it against single unarmored opponents, showing a more civilian use. (Meyer's manual was intended for use within the fencing salle.) This sword fits into this world, where the leverage and power of the two-handed weapon had not been forgotten and left to the Middle Ages. More commonly longswords are considered to be straight bladed, double-edged swords that are intended to be used with two hands and are often over 90cm long. In general they are accepted to have been in wide use from 1350-1550, with some use at least 100 years earlier and later in certain areas.
Measurements and Specifications:
Weight: 3 pounds, 2 ounce
Overall length: 45 5/8 inches
Blade length: 36 inches
Blade width: 1 7/8 inches at base
Grip length: 7 1/4 inches
Guard width: 9 1/4 inches
Point of Balance: 4 1/2 inches from guard
Center of Percussion: ~20 inches from guard
Oakeshott typology: Type XXa blade
This Longsword is a reasonably light and tolerably balanced sword. The grip is comfortable in the hand, and all components stay tight and secure. I have not experienced any rattling after extensive use. The wire portion of the grip is tightly wound and comfortable. The pommel is easy to grip and easy to use for leverage without discomfort. In cutting and exercise, the sword is fairly easy to accelerate and changes direction with light to moderate exertion. At this range of force of use it feels confident and reasonably capable.
This is a beautiful piece. The roped appearance of the guard and pommel are outstanding, showing the exceptional care that went into the minor details. The guard sweeps down toward the blade. The downward arc is gentle and even and there is some swelling in the plane of the blade toward the ends of the guard. The side rings are balanced with few grinding flaws on the exterior or interior. Decorative elements on the guard match details on the side rings and tie the pieces together visually. Overall these elements combine to give the sword a graceful line not always seen at its price point. The wire grip and faceted scent stopper pommel work well together to create visual interest.
The blade of the sword is evenly finished with little evidence of grinding. The fuller is even and extends under the guard. Many historical swords have this construction detail, but it is often overlooked in other replicas. The Small grooves ground into the ricasso and running parallel to the fuller are perfectly straight and balanced. The seams of the scabbard are well done and the metal throat and chape are shaped to compliment lines from the sword.
This is a sword that any noble would have been proud to carry into battle. The quality of this sword puts it alongside many higher end pieces without leaving the production sword price bracket, and it is well worth the asking price.