Pale moonlight is all that illuminates the crumbling mosaic beneath your bare feet, but you know its design by heart. The snaking black patterns around the folly floor, and the three figures entwined at its centre: the Graces. Thalia and Euphrosina lounging to each side of the circle, and within their embrace, Agalia. Three sister goddesses, bringers of beauty and joy.
You never had a sister. Not one who lived long, anyway. As a girl, you liked to make-believe – to lay an extra place at the table, and insist that your mother serve the invisible other. Agalia, you called her, bringing to mind the tumbling hair and gleaming eyes on the folly floor. Bright, beautiful Agalia. But as with all make-believe, you grew out of such things when the war came. You stood then beside your brothers, sword in hand, every inch a woman grown.
You’ve not turned your mind to the Graces for a long time now. Gods know, there’s so little grace about. Beauty? Splendour? Brightness? What use are they in times of war? Better to be hard; to stick to the shadows. Yet something called you here, to the remains of the folly where you used to play – and you cannot help but find comfort in the once-loved image. Something almost like sorority. The slender, brilliant hand of a sister, reaching for yours across the ether.
With a sigh you draw the sword from your side, its laurel adornments sparkling in the half-light. The long metallic fingers of the guard cup your own in their silvery grasp – comforting, or leading you on into the unknown? A sister would do both, you think.
Smiling you fall into guard, moving at first clumsily through the cuts your brothers taught you. Perhaps, you muse, as you focus on finding fluidity, a little elegance is due.
Named for one of the three Greek Graces, Agalia was built to embody her namesake’s values of splendour, elegance, beauty and brightness. Our client was taken by the idea of an ethereal hand reaching out – both to lead and to protect – and this became the central motif of the piece.
This unique sword posed some interesting aesthetic challenges, particularly in creating a recognisable hand shape which would span the necessary distance without losing proportionality. While the resulting guard offers hefty protection, its volume is offset by meticulous drilling and filing, lightening the basket’s appearance and adding a spark of femininity to the design.
The hand-forged hollow pommel is partially filled with pewter, refining the balance to a precise degree and allowing a larger pommel for added comfort and control in cutting actions. The cord-wrapped grip is a sturdy and vegan-friendly option, offering good purchase and offsetting the bright polished steel.
A similar bespoke basket-hilted sword would come to £1200 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pear shaped pommel are polished to a satin sheen, representing Agalia’s bright splendour. The rounded bars of the quillons come to a ball tip at the terminals. The dished hand-shaped front guard features a piercework pattern of trailing leaves. The grip is wrapped in a sturdy resin-soaked brown cord.
Inspired by your muse? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.