∴ A Murderous Chase ∴
The valley winds winter-stark and lovely below you: a maze of dry-stone walls, rough with lichen. Wind-bleached grasses lap at them like waves against harbour walls. The glowering slate sky is mirrored in the winding River Eden, a steely horseshoe meander amidst the green-grey grass.
Were you to pause, you could take the familiar view in from your precarious precipice path. But all you can do now is run. Breathless and red-faced, you run with your pulse outpacing your steps, hands full of bundled-up skirts to speed your way.
The bandit lopes after you with a stream of stumbling curses. It is clear he doesn’t know this land, and you use the fact to your advantage, leap-frogging styles and loping over hidden ditches. Still, his pace is longer, and you can feel him gaining ground.
Scrambling over a low stone wall, you note some slabs displaced – a crumbling concave in an otherwise uniform crest. A glint catches your eye between the loose stones. Something buried. Or something half dug-up.
Letting impulse guide you, you throw yourself down behind the wall, scrabbling between fallen stones with chapped, raw hands. Your fingers brush cold steel, and your heart thrills to think you’ve found a spade or a bill – something you might use as a weapon.
Desperately you claw at the stones still holding your treasure fast. Fingernails tear and knuckles split, worn through by the rough rocks, but you manage to get a hand around the strange metal bar and pull.
Suddenly the bandit is upon you, leering down from the other side of the wall. Your heart sinks as he reaches for the sword at his hip, yet you can’t give up now. With all your remaining strength, you heave.
With a sound like a giant’s sigh, the wall gives way, stones shifting over stones to land at your feet. You stand taken aback amidst the tumult with a longsword in your bloodied hands. To your surprise and confusion, you are holding it by the broad triangular blade, its dark green handle and gleaming orb of a pommel extended skywards.
The bandit is surprised too, reeling back in a moment of uncertainty. Unthinking, unable to wait, you raise the sword up by the blade with both hands, bringing the smooth-polished pommel down with a crack against the brigand’s skull.
He slumps over the wall, a look of sheer bewilderment frozen across his craggy features. Taking only a moment to reposition your hands around the sword’s emerald grip, you turn away and run.
∴ Specs ∴
This classic longsword was made as a wedding gift for a family member. Chris saw this opportunity as a chance to create a purely designed artistic piece based on the strong geometries of the German Renaissance. The result encapsulates a beautiful utility, understated and yet immediately captivating.
The sword’s aesthetic is based around the blade’s 6cm shoulders, which look all the wider in proportion to the narrow handle. Combined with a strong triangular taper, this gives the weapon a certain waspishness.
The taper creates a centralised balance and an eager rotation. As this sword was made as an heirloom piece for non-fencers, Chris gave it a historical stiffness rather than a sparring flex, with its non-linear distal taper inspired by an original seen in Berlin. This steps rapidly down from 8mm stock, lending itself to swift thrusts.
Chris noted that in handling the finished sword, he began to understand why the infamous “murder stroke” or mordhau, in which the wielder holds the sword by the blade and administers a blow with the pommel, was so popular in Renaissance German manuscripts. By foregoing the sparring-safe flex and creating a historically correct balance, he discovered a dynamic not unlike a poleaxe in its central rotation.
The furniture is entirely hand-forged and detailed, then polished to a high shine. These simple statement details give the finished piece a certain hyper-reality. The name is a reference to the happy couple, being the Anglo Saxon name of the Cumbrian village they live in.
A similar longsword could be commissioned for £1,000 plus postage.
- Total length: 116cm
- Blade length: 90cm
- Blade width: 6cm at the shoulder
- Blade stock: 8mm
- Quillon span: 27.5cm
- Grip length: 18cm
- Grip and pommel: 25cm
- Point of balance: 8.1cm from the cross
- Weight: 1750g
- 2mm edges, swollen tip and fencing flex.
∴ Notes ∴
The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommel are polished to a high shine. The crossguard features long, straight round-section quillons with buttons at the terminals and hand-carved detailing.
The pommel is pear-shaped and polished to a mirror finish, with hand-carved details to the neck. The oak grip is waisted and wrapped first in linen thread, then in dark green leather
∴ Gallery ∴
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