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Dark Rocks

The Gratia Sword and Dagger

This beautiful matched set is yet another variant on the much-beloved

Wallace Collection A535. The sword is a fine example of a broad, bladey "war rapier" with a long single-edged blade and a Norman type 43 guard with a thumb ring and filled port. It handles with a lot of presence in the blade, with inspiration taken from early rapier forms that Chris handled at the Royal Armouries. The distinctive hilt allows for a variety of grip styles, depending on how the wielder approaches the fight. This allows nuanced control over the length and weight of the blade. The matching dagger is based on the Wallace Collection's A862, and is an ideal parrying partner. It features downturned and inward facing quillons to aid in catching and binding the opposing blade, and a filled ring for additional hand protection. The sword is named for the adage "ars artis gratia" or "art for art's sake", drawing out the notion of beauty and artfulness in the fight. Please see our pricing structure for an idea of what a similar sword would cost.


∴ Specs ∴

  • Total length: 122cm

  • Blade length: 108cm

  • Blade width at shoulder: 3.5cm

  • Blade stock: 6mm

  • Quillon span: 24cm

  • Grip length: 8cm

  • Grip and pommel: 13.5cm

  • Point of balance: 15.5cm

  • Weight: 1750g

  • Right handed

  • 2mm blunt edges

  • Swollen tip

  • Historical stiffness

  • Total length: 52cm

  • Blade length: 38cm

  • Blade width at shoulder: 3cm

  • Blade stock: 6mm

  • Quillon span: 13cm

  • Grip length: 9cm

  • Grip and pommel: 12.5cm

  • Grip to guard: 4.5cm

  • Point of balance: 2cm

  • Weight: 715g

  • Ambidextrous

  • 2mm blunt edges

  • Swollen tip

  • Historical stiffness


∴ Notes ∴

The hand-forged and heat-treated guard and pommels are blackened to a matte finish. The sword's guard features rounded barwork, horizontal S-shaped quillons with swollen terminals, matching swellings to the centres of the rings, and filled and pierced ports to the front and rear guards. Its pommel is formed from tessellating heart shapes, resulting in a cushioned effect. The dagger's guard features downturned and inward-curving quillons, and a ring with a filled and pierced port. Its pommel is a smaller version of the sword's. Both sword and dagger feature oak grips carved into fluted spirals, wrapped in steel and copper braided wire and finished with Turks head knots.


∴ Gallery ∴


∴ A Gratuitous Dance∴

Your feet fly over the wooden floorboards of the salle, and you hear them creaking in protest as you leap and lunge. You pay the sound no mind, consumed by the wooden waster dancing before you as you slip into a stoccata against your shadow partner.

As you drill you imagine the clash of steel against steel, the purity of that ring, the gasps of ghostly spectators as you cede away from a thrust in perfect time. You picture the long lines that you draw with your body as you pass and parry, the kaleidoscopic shapes you leave in your wake.

At last, out of breath, you land in a low lunge with a flourish. Your already pounding heart quickens as you hear slow, singular applause from the doorway of the salle.

Turning, flushed, with no hint of your practiced elegance, you see your master leaning languidly against the doorframe. In one hand he holds a single-edge sidesword, its grip a fluted column of brass and copper wire, its black guard curving in an S-shape around his bony fingers. In the other hand is a dagger, the sword’s unmistakable partner, alike in all ways but the size and complexity of its guard.

“Apologies Master,” you pant, hurrying to replace the waster in the rack you took it from. “I got here early, and I wanted to warm up.”

“Why do you practice?” the old man asks, toying with the dagger as he speaks. “Is there some dispute you wish to settle? Some competition you seek to win? Some woman you hope to impress?”

You have no answer that makes any sense, so you simply shake your head, staring down at your feet.

At this the master chuckles, stepping into the room with a catlike ease that belies his years.

“I’ve made a living out of teaching fighters. Hot-headed young men - they train to win. But it’s been a long time since I’ve taught an artist. Someone who trains simply to fight.”

You snap your gaze up to meet his, unsure whether or not he means this as a compliment. With a wink he tosses the elegant dagger to you, and out of surprise more than dexterity, your hand shoots out to catch that glittering grip.

“Let us begin,” the master says.


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