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Arms and Armor Cup-Hilt Rapier - AA127

Arms and Armor Cup-Hilt Rapier

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Overall Length: 45 5/8'' Blade: 43 3/4''

No Longer Available
Blade: 6150 High Carbon Steel
Weight: 2 lb 5.1 oz
Edge:  Sharp
P.O.B.: 6 3/4''
Thickness: 6.4 mm - 2.9 mm
Width: 17 mm - 21.7 mm
Grip Length: 3 1/8''
Pommel: Threaded

The rapier was the Renaissance swordsmith's response to demand for a light, civilian weapon that could be used in tight alleys, urban streets and duels. It is a blade design given almost wholly to thrusting attacks - ideal for tight spaces and the duelist who likes to strike first, or keep his foes at bay. Long and slender, the blade in conjunction with good thrusting technique had plenty of reach with which to threaten opponents. The thrusting attack, while creating wounds not as outwardly impressive as slashing weapons, were usually the more dangerous, and fatal of the two. Even a wound of a few inches was difficult to treat and critical organs lie not far beneath the skin.

These qualities further emphasized the swordsman's need for timing and skillful strikes for little strength was needed to make a killing thrust to an unarmored enemy with the rapier - thus contemporary swordsmanship schools emphasized these qualities. Rapier fighting however, was not just timing and distance control, for its manuals show ample evidence of more brutish grappling, kicking and hilt strikes.

This replica, by Arms and Armor is based on an original Spanish cup-hilt rapier from around 1600. Today it resides in a private English collection. The cup-hilt was the favored hilt style of wealthy Spaniards and the rapier was actually, by Royal Decree a required item for appearing at the Spanish Court. Spanish fencing schools taught fencing with the long cup-hilt rapier until the 19th century - long after the rest of Europe had abandoned the rapier for the shorter, lighter smallswords.

This Arms and Armor rapier has a sharp blade of high carbon steel. The hilt fittings are of antique-finished steel.The cup has a downward-turned lip that prevents an opponent’s blade from deflecting off the cup and into its target. A rondel of leather is inserted into the cup to protect the knuckles of the hand from scuffing. The wood grip is tightly overwrapped with twisted wire.

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