Today we take an in-depth look at two historical rapiers from the Oakeshott Institute Collection and compare them to a German Rapier by Arms and Armor. This highlights the characteristics that set our rapiers apart from much of the competition, and in particular from most HEMA training rapiers and mass market reproductions. These important differences include a coherent historic design motif that is consistent and accurate, correct sizing that is tight to the hand and ergonomic, a standard of finish that is as high on the inside of the guard as on the outside, the full working of all surfaces so that no machined or anachronistic surfaces stand out, and the inclusion of historical asymmetries that are functional and aesthetic components of real rapiers.
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons