The sun streaming through the clear glass window is too hot on your maille-coifed neck. The crack between stone flags wears hard on your knee, and your upper arms ache from holding their pious position, palms upraised to the heavens. You utter another silent prayer: please, Lord, let this be over soon.
“You’re slouching again, boy” the cowled brother snaps, peering around his wooden easel. “Tilt your chin. Hips forward.”
You groan, rolling your aching shoulders, before settling back into the uncomfortable pose. Keen as you were when the abbot suggested you pose for the illumination, the honour is wearing a little thin. You could be out in the training yard now, trying your new sword for size. Instead it hangs spotless at your side, brass pommel gleaming in the high noon sun.
Your fingers itch to grasp the ridged red leather of its grip, to draw it from the scabbard with a flourish as you rise from your cramped and buckled knees – a glorious knight, rather than a penitent one.
As if reading your thoughts, the monk cranes his neck over the easel, eyes narrowed, and shakes his head slowly.
You give what you hope is an inaudible sigh, and turn your eyes heavenwards again, trying to block out the blade’s siren call.
This regal Type XII arming sword is based on an illumination from the Westminster Psalter – a manuscript from 1200. Intended for i.33 sword and buckler practice, it features a broad, evenly tapering blade with a single, wide fuller.
The unique flower-shaped brass pommel is canted counter-clockwise at a slight angle, which paired with a custom-length handle allows for a comfortable and controlled grip. The sword is nimble in the hand with strong rotation.
Named for Thorney Island, the Thames eyot upon which Westminster Abbey was built, the weapon is an homage to Medieval art, updated for the piste.
A similar bespoke arming sword would come to upward of £700 plus shipping
The hand-forged guard is polished to a satin finish with straight quillons. The brass disc pommel is hand carved into an eight-petaled flower.
The oak grip is wrapped first in linen twine and thick cord, and then in oxblood leather. The blade is adorned with a single, broad, central fuller.
Keen to recreate a piece of period art? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.