We often review our items and incorporate feedback we receive from those who use our swords to find areas to improve our products. Recently we had some requests to get a longer blade for our Meyer Training Rapier. We decided to add an option for a longer blade with an added schilt, the flared area right in front of the guard, seen on some period training blades.
New Blade Option
So now you can choose a Schilt blade with standard 36" length as an upgrade option on the Meyer trainer. We still offer the original form of the trainer and the ability to request different blade lengths when ordering.
This is an example of one of the issues of modern sword making, the reliance on standard lengths for pieces. This is different than the period way to purchase a blade were the customer would go to the cutler and get the blade of their choice mounted on a hilt of their choice. We strive to provide an element of that experience for our customers today.
Usually when we develop an item to add to our line we are basing it on a surviving example that exhibits good attributes and we think it will sell. We also sometimes do a sword cause it's cool :-).
Working from an illustration in a manual to develop a training sword can be more of a challenge to arrive at the dimensions that work best than just doing a reproduction. One sword like this is the Meyer Training Rapier. We wanted to replicate the piece as shown by the fighters illustrated in his work creating a training tool as accurately as we could for Meyer's teaching.
Sword from Art
The challenge arises when calculating the specifications for a sword from works of art. This is not only true for period art but even today's artists. The illustrator is not constrained by the laws of the physical world such as weight and the third dimension. One can draw an image that seems plausible to the eye but in fact becomes impossible in reality. It also leads to a wide variety in dimensions when trying to derive such things as blade length from a series of images.
Meyer's work is better than most due to the importance of perspective and the architectural layout of his illustrations.
To arrive at dimensions, we calculate the proportions of the blades to the human bodies depicted. Humans are remarkably similar in certain body proportions in the majority. Then we look at the perspective of the art and choice examples to minimize foreshortening and other factors. Meyer is particular in this case as he has shown such images as the fighter practicing a thrust to a target which gives one a relatively square on view to the length of the sword. In this case looking at the average human the blade works out to about 32" in front of the guard. This is the dimension on our standard Meyer Trainer.
But in other depictions in the same work one can make a considered calculation for longer lengths, some being 36 or 37 inches or more. So we provide a variable option and allow the customer a choice to fit their needs as they would have had in Meyers day.
Enjoy your Meyer! One note though ...lower.