An interesting aspect of being a sword maker is trying to create swords to fit particular historical uses. In today's case we examine our attempt to make a sword suited to the sword work in Fiore de'i Liberi's ~1404 fight book, the Flower of Battle. In this manuscript the author, a soldier, fencing master, and diplomat, lays out a martial system utilizing, among other things, a sword in one hand or two, both armored and unarmored.
Many of the swords depicted in this manuscript appear to be of Oakeshott type XV, a style of medieval sword well-suited to use against both armored and unarmored foes, such as our Black Prince Sword, shown below. A training sword suited to both these uses should be different from most modern feders, which are styled on later training sword examples and built to have characteristics suited to blossfechten, or unarmored fencing competitions of the 16th century.
Our Spada da Zogho, was designed specifically for use in the Flower of Battle system, with a shorter grip and blade, and a somewhat stiffer cross section than most competition feders today.
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.