Crafted by Del Tin of Italy, this Late 16th Century Rapier has an unsharpened blade of Chrome-Vanadium steel that has been tempered to a Rockwell Hardness of 50. The complex guard and pommel are of cast, antique-finished steel. The hardwood grip is surmounted by two cast brass knotwork wire ferrules. The grip is wrapped in antique finished brass wire.
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. Though commonly associated with nobles, the rapier was used by men of many classes. It is a blade design given almost wholly to thrusting attacks – ideal for tight spaces. Long and slender, the blade in conjunction with good thrusting technique had plenty of reach to keep the foe at bay. 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.
The fighting qualities of the rapier 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 its 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.