Custom 16th C. Italian Sword

Here is a recently finished sword we have done for a commission. It is based on the style of swords popular in the North of Italy at the beginning of the 16th Century. These long single handed swords were robust complex hilted swords that were the transition from medieval swords to the rapier. They had a great deal of popularity around the Italian sphere of influence and are often seen in Venetian art of the period.

The hilt is a simple cross with slight S shaped arms and two side rings detailed with grooved beads at the center. The inner guard is a sweeping X shape meeting in the middle were there are two narrow grooved detailing the bars. This form of hilt adds protection for the hand but is not a full swept hilt. It would have been the pride of an Italian man-at-arms of the early 1500s. 

Italian 16th C Sword custom

 The use of this style of sword can be seen across the Adriatic region and almost certainly influenced sword design beyond. The Venetian traders that drove trade in this region would use the mercenaries and soldiers of the area to defend their ports and combat the attacks by pirates and the Byzantine Empire.

Custom Side Sword inner guard

Venetian Empire

Check out the video below were we look at this sword in detail.

divider swords

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 and armor since 1985

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