Stone presses into the your knees, cold traveling through your bones and into the heart of you. Your conscious voice begs you to move, to shift just slightly, to relieve some of the pain, the cold, the stiffness – but still you kneel.
There is no earthly comfort to be found here, in the palace’s quiet, cold little chapel. But there is beauty. You raise your head to gaze through half-lidded eyes at the dappled sunlight illuminating the window. The rich garnet reds and emerald greens. The contrite knight, hat in hand, hanging in that translucent space between one world and the next.
And the sword – yes, the sword! Every detail learned by heart: the wire and studded leather of the grip, the ridged facets of the pommel, the tooled whorls on the rain guard which you once traced clumsily with fat, childish fingers as your father told you, “one day it will be yours.”
Well, that day came – heralded by blood and mud and frenzied shouts – and now the sword of the window’s luminous knight, passed down from father to son for generations, hangs at your side, its tip resting on the ground behind you.
This commission is a close replica of a sword depicted in a stained glass window from the 1460s, intended for use with a full reproduction of the armour depicted in the same window. It is therefore like an original sword in terms of everything aside from sharpness, unlike our usual fencing swords.
Chris enjoyed the opportunity to employ historical methods, basing his methods on an amalgam of German longswords from a similar time period. This includes a hot-forged pommel with a brazed peening button and brass peening block, and a hot-punched slot in the guard for a close, durable construction.
The sword has a thick spine and has the stiffness of an original sword of this type, with centralised weight but different handling to a typical fencing sword. The taper on the sword is inspired by a museum piece currently housed in Berlin, which Chris had the opportunity to examine a few years ago. Historically, a blade such as this would have been used for half swording techniques and thrust-centric actions rather than cutting, resulting in a particular feel in the hand.
A similar bespoke longsword would come to upward of £1,000 plus shipping
The hand-forged, heat-treated crossguard and extended pommel feature hand-carved facets and are polished to a satin sheen. The oak grip is half wrapped in braided steel wire and half in thin oxblood red leather, with decorative brass pins to the join. The quillon block and blade shoulder are protected by an oxblood leather rainguard, tooled with details from the window rendering. The construction is finished with a brass peening block.
The sword’s scabbard closely follows that represented in the window, fashioned from red leather over a steamed wood core. Cord risers provide a central ridge and trap the simple leather frog, while a cast brass chape (purchased from Tod’s Workshop) protects the tip.
The frog attaches to the sword belt via a large brass ring. This takes the form of a buckled low-slung belt which loops through a further ring to the rear of the likewise buckled waist belt.
Found sword inspiration in artwork? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.