The blade that the monk holds out to you is broad – broader than any you’ve seen before. A fierce triangular jag extending from a graceful blackened crossguard, the immense faceted wheel of a pommel perched above.
You hesitate, weighing what you see of the sword against what you know of yourself. An untrained initiate, you are far more comfortable with wooden swords and makeshift bucklers than you are with this sudden, strange world of steel weapons and warrior monks. You wonder if the beaming brother is mocking you, waiting for you to reach out and accept the sword only to crumple under its weight. You search his face for answers, but he only smiles placidly, patiently.
At last, more from embarrassment than any sort of certainty, you reach out awkwardly to take the green-wrapped grip. Your eyes widen as the monk relinquishes the prize – the sword is solid and robust and real, yes – but somehow you can hold it. Somehow you’re longing to swing it. You glance up again at the smiling monk, and he gives a single nod of silent assent.
You step back into measure, and await your first lesson.
This beast of a Type XIV is a fencing-ready replica of the XIV.6 in Oakeshott’s Records of the Medieval Sword. The specs are taken from E.A. Christensen’s original drawing, but the sword as a whole is slimmed down to make it appropriate for training and sparring.
Chris interpreted the antique sword as emphasising on the authoritative cut, using the mass of the pommel to trick the balance. As such he pulled weight from both blade and pommel to lighten the whole whilst maintaining the same cutting emphasis.
The resulting sword is true to the original’s impressive appearance and and presence, while reducing the weight down from a hefty 2.2kg to a more manageable 1.4kg.
The large, faceted wheel pommel is offset at a 10 degree angle in the manner of our arming swords – we found that this detail is particularly important for handling a sword of such breadth.
A similar bespoke arming sword would start at £800 plus shipping
The hand-forged and heat treated crossguard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The large pommel is forge-welded together from separate pieces. Two broad fullers extend to 2/3 of the blade. The custom-sized hardwood grip is wrapped first in linen thread and cord risers, and then in green leather.
Think you can handle a broader blade? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.