“Repel boarders,” you bellow, the command almost lost in the spume. Those men nearest you catch the message above the din of cannon and crashing waves, and relay it down the length of the deck.
By this point, there is barely any need: it is painfully obvious what must be done. The improbable black-painted galleon is swinging round, already drawing level with your deck. Its jeering crew grasp at brightly-painted rails, swords in hand, ready for attack.
And in the midst of them, their captain. He wears a dented breastplate over billowing silk sleeves, a knotted cloth about his neck. His beard and moustache, neatly trimmed, only serve to enhance the smugness of his expression. You know this man, at least by reputation. He is the Dragon, heralded a hero in his own country, yet reviled as a pirate on this coast.
You watch with a detached horror as the man vaults the narrowing strait between ships and draws his broad-bladed sword, cutting through midshipmen as if reaping the fields. He does not heed the men he fells, making straight for you, as you knew he would: the Dragon is known for a methodical man. He boards by the book.
Seeing the length of his flashing, fullered blade you sense an advantage, and draw your nimbler weapon from its sheath. You back away slowly between the mainmast and the mizzen, drawing him into closer quarters amongst the shroud of rigging, where the wheeling of that mighty blade might be encumbered.
And yet the dragon only smiles, raising the sword to the centre line as he continues his slow, almost leisurely march. With a shout you bring your own weapon against his, and at once realise your error: the pirate has no need of space for swinging cuts.
He has already taken the line, leaving you to dance desperately about it.
Designed as a tribute to naval swords from the Tudor period, this sidesword rules the waves and dominates the central line. Its broad, eager blade and simple ribbon guard are inspired by Sir Francis Drake’s sword, housed in Her Majesty’s Naval Base in Devonport. A similar hilt structure can be seen in one of the sword stain discovered on the seabed at the Mary Rose wreck.
Continuing the Mary Rose link, the segmented pommel with brazed decoration is a copy of one recovered from the wreck. The same pommel construction can be found on our Mary Rose basket hilt replica, the Rosanglica. The hilt’s simplicity belies its effectiveness at providing hand protection when correctly angled.
Named the Drakamor, or “Dragon of the Sea” in reference to Francis Drake, the sword’s admiralesque grandeur shines forth in the fluted grip wrapped in a complex array of braided copper and steel wire.
A similar bespoke sidesword would come to £1000 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The hollow pommel has a segmented structure, achieved through brazed decoration, while the simple ribbon bar knuckle guard sweeps into a protective ring at the front. The oval-sectioned oak grip is carved into a fluted spiral and wrapped in a stunning pattern of twisted copper and steel wire, finished to top and bottom with Turk’s head knots. The blade features one broad central fuller and four additional decorative fullers to the ricasso.
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