You’re not sure whether it it’s the young man or the sword in his hand which leaves you agape. You do know that the moment’s indiscretion costs you a blow to the head from your training partner.
The stranger stands in the corner of the practice ring, leaning casually as if he has not a care in the world. He wears a wine red doublet, mustard hose, and a look of wry amusement, as if everything around him gives him cause to hold back laughter.
“The master’s bastard,” your partner whispers, noting the direction of your gaze. “A proper rapscallion, that one. Only comes this way for two reasons: to beg his old man for money, or to make mischief.”
With that he falls back into guard, and reluctantly you turn away from the mishchief-maker. The rest of the drill passes in a blur. You are clumsy, you know, making mistake after pedestrian mistake. But you cannot stop thinking about the weapon the youth held in his hand, turning it this way and that to reflect the dying light.
It’s unlike any you’ve ever faced before, a single sharp edge and a thick, fullered spine. The grip is red – wine red – transforming into neat coils of braided copper at the waist. It is a showy thing for certain, but even at a glance you could tell it had bite – its length and breadth spoke for itself. You imagine yourself wielding such a thing when you pass your trial, and smile, earning another hit to the head.
Dizzied by the blow you shake your partner’s hand and stumble from the ring, only to find your way blocked by a pair of pointy-toed shoes. You draw your gaze upward, taking in the yellow hose, the wine-coloured doublet, and the grinning face of the devil himself.
“You, boy,” the rapscallion commands, “I have an errand for you.”
This unusual longsword was created as part of an ongoing armoury. Combining elements of past commissions Rascal, Knave and Scoundrel, the Rapscallion boasts a strong aesthetic and a victory-eager balance. The blade is remarkable for being single-edged. Extant originals of single-edged longswords can be seen at the Wallace Collection, as can the A535 blade which this one was modelled on.
With a name to fit in with its scandalous siblings, the Rapscallion favours the blade in its balance. It has a notable presence in the hands, but is weighted in such a way that keeps it nimble and active in both the cut and the thrust.
A similar bespoke longsword would come to £850 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated crossguard and wheel pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The lower half of the hexagonal waisted grip is wrapped first in linen thread and then in wine red leather, while the upper half is wrapped in braided steel and copper wire with a Turks head knot to the top. The two halves meet at the waist with a row of steel studs. The construction is finished with a carved copper peening block. The single-edged blade features a double fuller to the spine, and a single decorative fuller at the very base of the edge.
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