Del Tin 2161 Early Rapier
Original: 16th century Italy
Del Tin makes this sword and refers to it as an "early rapier." This is both accurate and inaccurate. Many would argue that this sword is not a rapier at all because the blade is rather short and it is not dedicated primarily to the thrust. While this can be accepted, it is not universally true, as many early "rapier" manuals depict this type of sword, and in English use the term "rapier." The Italian masters Vincentio Saviolo and Giacomo DiGrassi had manuals that were published in England that used this term. (Though in the original Italian version, DiGrassi used the term "spada
" which merely meant "sword". Many modern collectors use the term "side sword", which is another difficult term as it is hard to say whether it was used in period.) Based on this evidence, calling this sword an early rapier is accurate.
On the other hand, swords with complex hilts used for the cut and thrust existed side-by-side with the more thrust-oriented rapier throughout the Renaissance. Later period examples often had lavish decorations on the hilt, and oftentimes had tremendous chiseled reliefs. Because of this, I don't know if I would necessarily call this sword an "early" rapier.
Either way, this replica by Del Tin is a very attractive piece, especially considering its price point. It feels very light in the hand despite its actual weight and moves easily and gracefully. It has been left blunt the way Del Tin leaves their swords as it is used for western martial arts practice. Neither thrusting nor cutting actions are difficult when using this sword.
See our hands-on review
for more information on this sword.
Overall length: 44.25"
Weight: 3.1875 pounds
Width of guard: 9"
Blade: 35.25" long; 1.375" wide at base, tapering to .625"
Fuller: 25" long
Grip length: 6.5"
Point of Balance (PoB): 4" from guard
Center of Percussion (CoP): ~21.5" from guard
Maker: Del Tin Armi Antiche