Today we take a deep dive into our design aesthetic and how real medieval swords guide what we do. In the past few weeks there has been a lot of discussion within the sword community about how makers and consumers negotiate the differences between historical and modern sword design.
Arms and Armor Italian Three Ring Rapier, shaped by hand
Here at Arms and Armor we have been actively thinking through this problem for more than forty years. We value producing historical replicas that capture the form, function, and feel of authentic historical originals. This means embracing the subtle asymmetries and handmade characteristics that are emblematic of real swords from the medieval and Renaissance periods.
Arms and Armor Bohemian Broadsword, sculpted and crafted by hand.
We don't use modern machine tools to produce perfectly symmetrical pieces. Instead, we hand sculpt our products, or, in many cases, we have made molds directly from historical original pieces from museums and private collections. This is what gives our products the handmade character that all real swords had. When we make a pommel we don't design it on a computer or turn it on a CNC machine, we hand make it as close to the original piece as possible.
Check out our video below.
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