The stable door swings shut behind your brother as he harkens to the call of his comrades.
Usually you would chase him, beg him to bring you along, to show you the world beyond the sandstone courtyard. Usually, he would shake you off, scold you, tell you to go inside and help Mama. Usually you would stamp and swear and spend the evening in a black mood.
But not today. Today you remain in the shade, on the bench beside the water butt, and pretend to be engrossed in your darning. You wait until you hear the shouts and jeers disappear down the country lane, then raise your head to take in what he left behind.
Propped beside the still-swinging stable door, black pommel grazed with sandstone dust, is the montante. Its blood-red grip calls you across the courtyard, dares you to lift the sword – though as you approach, you note it’s taller than you are.
Placing one delicate hand below the black metal rings, the other a palm’s width behind it, you step back and raise the sword above your head, mirroring the moves you’ve so often watched your brother practise. The montante is heavy. Its tip drags toward the ground. You adjust your hands and try again. Better.
You spin the sword from right to left, adjusting your feet as you do so, keeping the movements tight. The motion delights you so deeply that at first you don’t hear the soft chuckle from behind.
You freeze, then turn slowly to see your brother watching from the stable door. Your face turns the red of the sword’s leather grip.
“You could do with something a little more your size,” he says, with a grin.
This pair of simple Spanish-style montantes are aesthetically identical at first glance. In reality, each has been custom built to fit its wielder’s measurements and fencing style.
The longer of the two swords is “scaled up” all over, featuring a long double-fullered blade to lighten the load. The smaller sword is shorter and lighter, with a single fuller.
Designed for solo drilling and slow, controlled sparring with one another, both blades feature a strong diamond cross section, prioritising authentic handling.
A similar bespoke montante would start at £700 plus postage.
Both swords feature hot-forged and hand-carved furniture, oil blackened to a matte finish. The hardwood grips are wrapped first in linen twine, and then in oxblood red leather with cord risers. The smaller montante features a single central fuller, while the longer features two.
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