Category Archives: rapier

FencingClassics to release “missing link” late 17th-ct. German fencing manuscript!

fool

This recently re-discovered transcript by an anonymous German noble could fill an important gap in the documentation of German fencing approaches between Paschen and Schmidt.

Under the sponsorship of the new Administration, we’re preparing a limited release of the manuscript.

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Old School: Four Kreußlerian Foils

kr3From the late 1600’s until the first decade of the 20th century, the Kreußler method of thrust fencing dominated the use of the foil and “Rappier”. Here are four representative varieties of the weapons used…

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Salvatore Fabris 1st edition for Sale

Salvatore FabrisThe most important figure in the history of Western fencing was the Italian fencing master Salvatore Fabris.

While in the services of King Christian IV of Denmark, he wrote and published his De lo scherzo, overo scienza d’arme in Copenhagen in 1606. 

This is a complete copy of the Italian-laguage first Waltkirch edition.

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Secret History of the Sword: Dead Poets Society—Rencontre in Hog Lane, 1589

Despite their distinct dislike for things Catholic and South European, Elizabethans were suckers for Italian fencing techniques and concepts of honor and dueling.

Some of the most prominent figures of the cultural elite of the period engaged in Italian-style swordplay. Among them was the poet Christopher Marlowe, whom we’re catching on an Indian summer afternoon on the outskirts of London, sword in hand, and ready to engage in moderate mayhem… Continue reading

Current Auction: Another “Transitional”

A few weeks ago, we examined Eight Dueling Épées.

Today, we noticed a variant of one of the older specimens up for auction: A cousin of “The Transitional”… Continue reading

Free Resources: Fabris’ German edition

Who’d have thought that university archives would ever change their time-honored policy of keeping non-academic riffraff out of their collections—and even throwing their rara open to the Great Unwashed?

The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where I spent many a semester doing things other than visiting libraries, has recently put a copy of Salvatore Fabris’ “Italiänische Fechtkunst” online… Continue reading

Research: Tudor Fencing vs. Tudor Soccer Fatalities

Despite the occasional death on the fencing strip, modern competitive fencing is a safe sport. Heck, more kids have died taking a Little League baseball on the chest than have even been nicked by a blade!

Despite a higher degree and frequency of serious injury or even fatality, it looks that 16th-century fencing practice (as opposed to the duel, we suppose) was a civilized affair compared to archery. But the most deadly of pastimes in Tudor England apparently was football…

Read on…

Rapier Fencing: A Scottish-Italian Duel in Elizabethan London

The old Hammerterz Forum approach to filling quarterly issues with rare and novel accounts of historical swordplay  can be compared to a drag net:

We’d read hundreds of books we suspected of containing worthwhile material, often coming up with a pertinent sentence or a paragraph for every 300 pages perused. Some snippets were academic and boring, others boring and academic, but all seemed catalytical to the progress of research. There also were some that were downright entertaining.

Among the material we mined was this story of a young Highland Scot making a nuisance of himself in Elizabethan London… Continue reading

Tricks of the Trade: Johann Andreas Schmidt, 1713

Don’t you hate when that happens? Your opponent suddenly turns Luke Skywalker and starts using his foil with two hands…

No worries! Nuremberg’s Exercitienmeister Schmidt knows exactly what to do! Continue reading

Swords of Shakespeare: “Hurt Him in Eleven Places”

How much did Shakespeare know about contemporary Italian rapier fencing?

William Gaugler follows the clues from his plays into the Italian fencing literature of the 16th and 17th century. Continue reading