With the carefully conditioned shuffle of the pious, you hobble over the cobbles toward the city gate. You can smell the capital’s telltale mix of piss and entrails from here – and you have never been so glad to breathe it in. It’s been a long journey and an unpleasant one, mired in rain and mud and ill-spilled blood, and now it is at an end.
“Name?” the guard asks indolently as you find shelter from the drizzle beneath the gate’s stone arch.
“Brother Placido,” you respond, allowing a beneficent smile to crease the corners of your eyes. In the last town you were Brother Symeon. The one before that, Brother Donizo.
The guard barely glances at you. “What’s your business?” he drawls by rote.
“I come to complete my pilgrimage,” you reply, holding out your hands at your side to display a road-worn cloak and knotted rope belt.
The guard sweeps his stupefied gaze over your humble visage and waves you through the gate, making a mark on a piece of parchment. You sweep a low bow and continue your steady progress into the capital.
“‘Ere!” a cry comes from behind you. You wince. “What’s that under your cloak then?”
You paste a smile to your face and turn back to the guard, pulling aside your cloak to reveal the rapier.
“Only my faithful companion,” you explain, patting the black scallop hilt. “For personal protection, you see. The road can be unkind to wayfarers like myself – and the Lord helps those who help themselves.”
“I don’t much like the look of that,” the guard grumbles. “How long’s the blade on it?”
“As long as it needs to be,” you reply through your teeth, patience wearing thin.
“Only it says ‘ere you’re not supposed to carry a blade longer than a yard and ‘alf a quarter.”
“Is that so?” you ask, drawing the sword from its sheath with a flourish. “And are you going to come over here and measure it?” You fall easily into a defensive stance, facing the paling guard.
“What kind of Christian are you anyway, threatening folks like that?” he mutters, hand sliding to hilt of his own sword.
“Oh you mistake me,” you laugh. “I said I was on a pilgrimage. I never mentioned Christ.”
The Wayfarer is a homage to the Stibbert Collection, with elements inspired by a number of swords held in the collection.
The distal taper reflects that of original rapiers, with a stiffness that lends a lot of presence. This is balanced out by a fine-tuned handling that ensures a responsive feel while maintaining the character of a heavy rapier.
The hilt is likewise an amalgam of a number of extant originals. The double scallop shell resting in the lower guard is a common feature of rapiers from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is from this detail that the sword takes its name, as the scallop is a symbol of pilgrimage.
A similar bespoke rapier would come to £1250 plus postage.
The hand-forged and heat-treated crossguard and lathed pommel are blackened to a matte finish. The complex hilt features hand-carved detailing to the scallop shell guard, quillon terminals, and the centres of the rings.
The waisted oak grip is wrapped in steel wire with Turk’s head knots to top and bottom. The blade features a deep central fuller, extending to two thirds of the blade.
Want a rapier that handles like an original? Get in touch to discuss your vision.