Late summer. Long grass waving, dried and waxen in the sun; downy heads tickling the backs of your legs as you run across the meadow; a stream of seeds taking flight in your wake. It’s days like these that make you never want to return to the city – to the vomit-splashed cobbles and oppressive, leaning towers. To the purpose and the pressure to prove yourself, the constant critique of your master, the endless drills and duels. What wouldn’t you give, in this moment, to leave it all behind and stay here beside the jingling brook, trade your rapier for a sickle, and till the fields beside your brothers?
And yet, as you let your knees crumple beneath you, tumbling against the cushioning grass to watch the clouds above, a streak of red catches your eye against the flaxen gold. You raise your head, resting your elbows on the dry ground, and watch as a solitary ladybird makes its slow, solemn pilgrimage to the tip of a straw-hued stalk. You marvel at its graceless yet gravity-defying determination, tiny legs at work beneath the hard, polished shield of its wing cases.
As you watch, you cannot help but recall another gleaming shell: the steel dish of a rapier guard, steadfast about your hand, granting you assurance as you line up your opportunity. You recall how it flashed in the lamplight as you lunged, twisting your wrist just slightly, your opponent’s counterstrike slipping from the beetle-like shell as your blade found its mark.
With a wry chuckle, you pull yourself back to your feet. So this is love, you think. You can’t live with the sword, and you can’t live without it. There is truly no escape – nor, truly, do you want one. Winding your way back to the farm, you pause to cut a switch of ash from the bramble-bound hedgerow, brandishing it as a make-shift blade. Your master will be pleased to know you practiced.
This pair of beautiful solid-shelled weapons was made in close collaboration with our client, who sent us detailed sketches of his inspiration for a duelling set that prioritises hand protection. Both sword and rapier feature durable hardened steel shells offset by slender blades.
Named for the protective outer shell of beetle wings, the sword is designed to be sturdy yet lightweight and maintain blade presence, making it a formidable opponent on the piste. Both sword and dagger feature hollow pommels, reducing weight and – in the case of the dagger – pulling the balance slightly forward.
A similar bespoke arming sword would come to upward of £1500 plus shipping
The hand-forged guards on both rapier and dagger are polished to a satin finish. The ambidextrous guard of the sword features straight quillons with upturned terminals and a solid heat treated shell to each side. The dagger has S-shaped quillons with a teardrop-shaped shell to the front.
Both pieces feature hollow teardrop-shaped pommels. The oak grips are wrapped first in linen twine and then in black leather.
Want to turn your sword sketches into reality? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.