Perched atop a crenellated wall, you emit a low whistle. Just when you’re ready to quit this place, beauty burns in the bleakness: for the briefest moment the tower’s dull red bricks take on an orange blaze as the sun flattens to the horizon. After what feels like months of glowering grey and fingers numb past bearing, it is a blessed relief to bathe your face – if only for a moment – in half-remembered sunlight. Then the moment is passed, and the splendour dimmed, as the orb slips beneath the skyline.
You squint at the place where it passes, holding onto the last glowing ember until it’s gone from sight – then turn to resume your solemn round.
At least, that is what you mean to do. But as you turn, the place where your eye was fixed – where the last beam of winter sun sparked out of existence – flickers with movement. Frowning, you place both hands against the wall, staring hard at what you think you must have imagined. But no – there it is again. And then a flicker becomes a flurry, and you are certain: riders, at least twenty, their metal helms dull in the twilight.
Snarling, you grasp at your sidesword, the basket weave of its braided wire grip pressed hard against your palm as black bars encircle your fist. Buoyed by its ready weight in your hand, you turn and raise the cry.
This versatile sidesword was made as an open commission for studying multiple treatises, and features a basket style guard with a closed port, and a large hollow pommel which sits comfortably against the palm.
We consider this a step forward in using the sword’s inherent balance and the blade’s distal taper to dictate the handling, rather than isolating weight at either end of the sword which can result in an unwieldy weapon. With a hollow pommel and strong distal taper, this sword has the blade presence of a sharp – and comes in at a very reasonable weight, considering its broad blade and basket made for a larger hand.
Aesthetically, the star feature of the piece is the braided wire grip, based on an original in Rome, and featuring a basket weave design of twisted brass and steel strands against thick brass strips.
A similar bespoke sidesword would come to upward of £1000 plus shipping
The hand-forged, heat-treated half basket is oil blackened to a matte finish. The front port is filled, and pierced with a pattern of circles.
The oak grip features a striking braided pattern of brass and steel wire crossing over and under vertical strips of brass, and finished with Turk’s head knots to the top and bottom. The large, hollow pommel is oil blackened and finished with a rounded nut on a hand-cut brass floret.
The blade bears the Latin maker’s inscription “CHRIS ME FECIT”.
Have a sidesword in mind? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.