The Great Sword is often thought to be a purely medieval weapon, a brutish death instrument relegated to a more brutal age that was to be superseded by more gentlemanly weapons. Patently untrue, Great Swords saw their greatest use in the Renaissance, and they evolved into the yet larger forms of the massive true two-hander / zweihander – the apex sword in terms of size. Many Renaissance fighting masters taught the Great Sword as a battlefield weapon of weight, able to use its mass not only to deal devastating damage, but also to use its size as a defence. Great swords would develop progressively longer crossguards, a guarded ricasso and hilt rings, all designed to deflect and entrap the foes weapons. With its durability and mass, the Great Sword could withstand the shock of dealing with any battlefield weapon. The Masters of the Great Sword innovated surprisingly complex fencing techniques for two handed swords, proving them to be a weapon of finesse beyond raw brutality with a technique focused on footwork, entrapment and counter attack.
This German example, deemed a Hand-and-a-Half sword, has a handle length and balance that requires the use of two hands for all but the strongest, but with two hands it is surprisingly agile and responsive. Crafted by Del Tin of Italy, the unsharpened blade has been ground from Chrome-Vanadium steel and tempered to a Rockwell Hardness of 50. The grip is covered with form-fitting brown leather and the hilt fittings are of cast steel. The sword comes unassembled, requiring the crossguard, grip and pommel to be fitted over the swords tang and held into place with a pommel nut tightly screwed over the tang end.