Category: swords



A beautiful Kilij with silver fittings and an ivory grip,

  • OaL: 36.6 in/92.9 cm
  • Blade Length: 31 in/78.7 cm
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs/966 g

Cairo, Egypt, ca. 16th century, housed at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.


A beautiful Complex-Hilted Longsword, South German, ca. 1520, from Hermann Historica.


A beautiful swept-hilt Rapier,

  • OaL: 45.7 in/116 cm

blade made in Toledo, Spain, hilt in Saxony, Germany, ca. 1600, from Hermann Historica.


A beautiful gilt Khanda,

  • OaL: 36.25 in/92.1 cm
  • Width: 4 in/10.2 cm
  • Depth: 2.6 in/6.7 cm

India, ca. 18th century, housed at the Detroit Institute of Arts.


A late Longsword with side rings bearing the inscription “IN TE DOMINE SPERAVIT” (He trusted in Thee, o Lord,)

  • OaL: 45.3 in/115 cm
  • Grip: 9.5 in/24.1 cm
  • Width (Blade): 1.5 in/3.9 cm
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs/1.62 kg

Italian or Spanish, ca. 1540, housed at the Wallace Collection.

Thank you for the answer on rapiers! Could you ELI5 me on what a sidesword is, and how it differs from the rapier? Google shows me some pretty similar looking swords, so I assume they are used quite differently.

They’re basically the same thing.

Well, technically, a sidesword, by modern definition (and not period pefinition, where a sword is just “sword”), the sidesword is like a rapier with somewhat thicker, shorter blade. Still much thinner than an arming sword or longsword.

Here’s a sidesword example from Regenyei:

And this is a rapier, by the same smith:

The definition is a bit loose though, as one could argue they are different variations of the same sword. Importantly, within the period both swords exist, there is not a special name given to either, both are just “sword”. In the late 16th Century, we see Meyer instructing on using a rapier that looks more like what we think of as a sidesword:

Compare with Alfieri, who was born the same decade Meyer died, and thus wrote a generation later:

Thus from the transition between the late 16th century to early 17th, the sword becomes much longer and slender, into what we think of as a “rapier”.
This does not, however, mean earlier sideswords, or even possibly arming swords went out of use in these periods – single handed swords, even out-dated kinds, may have remained in use so long as they were maintained. Also worth noting is that fencing masters (such as Alfieri) would generally ‘recommend’/promote a personal opinion on the ideal length and distinction of a weapon they use, such as in the above plate.


An Oakeshott type XIIa Longsword,

  • OaL: 50.25 in/127.6 cm
  • Blade: 37.75 in/96 cm
  • Weight: 4 lbs/1814 g

Germany, ca. 1500-1515, housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


368 – Ritterfest Jedenspeigen 2015 by Uwe Brodrecht

Is there a Sidesword masterpost on this hellsite at all?