It is the owl that first alerts you. Not the rounded, woodwind hoot of the copper-feathered birds who nest in the foothills, but the brighter screech of something that does not belong on the island. Not an owl then, but a human call. A secret signal in the dark.
Nervous now, you edge to the bow of your beached fishing boat and grope for your machete. You remember your brother’s tales of smugglers in this cove, their craft lightless and silent, carried by a phantom tide. Knife in hand you pull yourself to your knees and stare out to sea for a sign of the ghost ship, but the moonless night gives nothing away.
A sudden rush of foliage snaps your attention to the swampland at your back. A raw yet rhythmic slashing as green wood meets metal, and the crackle of crushed mangrove roots. Heart pounding, you dart toward the pile of nets beside the boat, hoping to conceal yourself. Your passage is blocked by the shock of cold steel skimming the skin of your throat. A scream lingers beneath the blade – you open your mouth, but no sound escapes.
“Quiet now lad,” sounds a wicked hiss in the darkness. The shutters of a lantern slide open, bathing the blade in sudden candlelight. Wide and pleading, your eyes follow the curve of single-edged steel, past the flash of copper at the guard and the spiralled leather of the grip, to the grinning face behind it.
Your fear finds its release, not in a scream but two whispered syllables:
Nimble and versatile, this copper-adorned cuttoe is inspired by the short civilian “town swords” used in the American colonies during the 1700s. Descended from hunting weapons, these light cutting swords were carried as symbols of rank by naval officers, but could also be found amongst smugglers and pirates, cutting anything from ropes to throats.
This homage to a pirate’s go-to arm weighs in at a lightweight 500g, yet packs a significant punch in combat with its wide, curved blade and dynamic swiftness.
A similar sword would come to upward of £750 plus shipping
The hot-forged and hand-carved crossguard and pommel both feature lines of copper inlay set within satin-polished steel. The pommel is finished with a series of decorative copper studs. The carved hardwood grip is wrapped in linen thread and brown leather, and finished with a spiral of twisted copper and steel wire.
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