The snap of a twig beneath thick-soled boots breaks the silence. You choke back a cry with a nervous laugh. It’s only you. Only your own footsteps on the fabled forest floor.
There are stories told about these woods. Tales of children who never come back, of wolves who prowl along the path. And yet to recall only the darkest rhymes would be to forget the others: welcoming cottages and wish-granting grandmothers, fairy rings and forgotten castles. There are two sides to every tale, your mother always said. And this is yours.
Besides, you have the sword. Worthy of any story-book hero, smuggled out from beneath your mother’s bed and slung at your side. The weight of it comforts you, swinging with your stride. Your hand, trembling only slightly, finds strength in the unicorn curves of its copper-wrapped grip.
And now you see copper, glinting between shadow-trees. Your eyes, already acquainted with darkness, are confounded. A candle? It can’t be. And yet, drawing nearer, erring almost unconsciously from the safety of the path, you realise that’s just what it is. A candle, warm and welcoming, perched in the window of a cottage so small and sweet and unexpected that it may as well be made from gingerbread.
Strangely compelled, you slip from your hiding place and step toward the arched and bright-painted door. And then, with a start, you spy the knocker: a ribbon-like ring of black metal with two interlocking hearts at its centre. You’d know that symbol anywhere. Drawing your mother’s sword from your belt, you lift the black-hearted hilt to compare, finding just what you expected: the ring of the guard is door knocker’s twin.
Swallowing fear, you keep the sword in your right hand, ready to defend. With your left hand you lift the heavy heart-adorned ring, and let it fall.
Created as an experiment in hot forging and hot punching, this enchanting sidesword is notable for its pierced heart detailing to the quillons and guard. The black ribbon bars offer contrast for an elaborately carved and wire-wrapped grip. Such ornate decoration does nothing to detract from the sword’s performance though – she is a willing a well-balanced weapon, nimble in the hand with a strong taper and central weight.
The sword’s name is the German term for “enchanted”, as the heart detailing and black-and-copper colouring reminded us of German fairy tales and enchanted forests. Equal parts charming and dangerous, this piece will be the pride of any fencer’s collection.
A similar bespoke sidesword could be made for £1350 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The guard features flat bars and heart-shaped piercework to the terminals and ring. The faceted pommel is formed from tessellating heart shapes, resulting in a cushioned effect and finished with a steel nut. The oak grip is a particularly arresting feature, carved first into a spiral shape and then wrapped in twisted copper and steel wire, finished to top and bottom with turks head knots. The hollow-ground blade features a stepped ricasso and a deep central fuller.
Enchanted by black and copper? Get in touch to discuss your ideas.