The old ammo box you’ve chosen as a bench is cold through the tattered canvas of your fatigues, but what’s a little discomfort in the field? A whistled tune pushes through pursed lips as you busy yourself cleaning your weapon – one of your father’s old songs, you think.
The incongruously merry ditty is underscored by the distant bass rumble of a tank – an endangered beast. Bertha, the boys call her. One of the last few workhorse vehicles that hasn’t given out. It’s only a matter of time, of course, but until then every jerry can has to count.
With a sigh you turn the weapon over in stained and calloused hands. You miss the routine of cleaning your old rifle, those working parts you knew by heart – but with bullets going the way they were, the ground troops had to get ahead of the curve.
The regulation tan leather and steel wire of the grip are new, but the rest is old. Very old. You recall the tread of your boots in the empty marble halls of the city museum, and how you unsentimentally stripped the shattered glass cabinets of anything that might make use.
For a brief moment you wonder who the last person was to use this hefty piece of steel – how they felt on the eve of battle, and what foe they wielded it against. You pull your mind back from the larger, looming question – has anything really changed in the thousand years since?
A horn sounds on the far side of the camp, weird and wavering. With a wince you don your dented M1, and pull yourself to your feet. Hefting the greatsword over your shoulder with a grunt of satisfaction, you start the slow march to your fate.
With its munitions-like aesthetic and imposing dimensions, this montante is every inch a “working sword”. Its slim lines, diamond section, long grip and abrupt fullering to the ricasso give the sword a willing central mass, while also srawing the eye along the blade, emphasising its length.
The half-and-half grip features a steel wire wrap and tan leather, which was naturally dyed with coffee grounds and multiple layers of wax.
A similar bespoke montante would come to £1300 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The guard features two side rings and rectangular section quillons with carved detail to the terminals. The pommel is disc-shaped with a recessed center.
The waisted oak grip is in two halves: the lower wrapped in linen thread and tan-coloured kidskin, and the other wrapped in twisted steel wire with a Turks head knot to the top and brass studs to the bottom. The blade features three deep fullers to the ricasso and squared parrying lugs.
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