The Schwabacher Sword

∴ A Font of Power ∴

From the moment you first wrapped you hand around that broad leather grip, in turn embraced by swooping whorls of black metal, you knew there was no turning back. The image of the thing was imprinted on your mind, and you would not rest until it was yours.

You remember kneeling that night at the foot of your bed, the leather bound Bible – your most prized possession – open on the blanket before you. Yet as your lips formed the words of familiar psalms, it was not the sounds you fixated on – no, it was the letters. The beautiful, printed letters, bold and black on the off-white page.

You traced them with careful fingertips as rote praise spilled from your mouth, noting how each oft-read symbol was an artwork in itself: the rising and falling curves, swelling then slipping just as swiftly into a whisper-thin line, the flares and flicks of terminals. How the proud, bisected round of the capital “G” in “God” was so very, very reminiscent of that dark, elegant hilt which had enclosed your fist only hours before. Was that a sign?  Did the book of Ephesians not bid you to “take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?” You smiled and shook your head – the thought was close to blasphemy.

Nevertheless, the following morning found you guiltily leaving the bookseller’s shop with a heavier purse in hand, a prayer of repentance on your lips, and a lilt in your step as you made your way to the armourer’s.

∴ Specs ∴

Chris was thrilled to have an opportunity to reproduce this 16th Century German original, which is housed in the Wallace Collection (A552). The complex hilt closely resembles that of a dussack, featuring a thumb ring and protective plate, while the blade is more like that of a sidesword, giving the whole a look of unmistakably Germanic elegance.

The Wallace Collection A552 – Photo credit to the Wallace Collection

The commission was for a slightly lighter version of the original, so Chris adjusted the amplitude of the durable heat treated bars, and made a slightly hollow pommel to balance out the beauty of the iconic 3cm wide quillon ends.

Our interpretation is named for the Schwabacher typeface, which was commonly used in German printing presses at the time in the 15th and 16th centuries. The recognisably “Gothic” typeface features the same swelling curves and flared terminals as the sword’s hilt.

A similar bespoke sword would come to upward of £1000 plus shipping

 

  • Total length: 105cm
  • Blade length: 91.5cm
  • Blade width at base: 2.8cm
  • Blade stock: 6mm
  • Grip length: 8.3cm
  • Grip and pommel: 11.5cm
  • Quillon span: 27.5cm
  • Weight: 1200g
  • Point of Balance: 8cm
  • Right-handed
  • Fencing safe flex, 2mm edges and swollen tip

 

 

∴ Notes ∴

The hand-forged heat-treated guard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The flat bars of the quillons flare at the terminals, and are finished with small circular knobs. The squat mushroom-shaped pommel features a carved ridge about the centre, and is finished with a copper peening block.

The custom-sized oak grip is wrapped first in linen twine and cord risers, and then in black leather. The blade is adorned one central fuller, and two smaller decorative ones that extend only to the end of the ricasso.

∴ Gallery ∴

 

Seen an original you’d love to reproduce? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.

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