Description of the Product

Side Sword aka Spada Da Lato (in Italian) is a sword that sits between a medieval one handed arming sword and late 16th century rapier. The transition from a classical knightly sword with a wide cutting blade and a straight guard into a thrusting weapon with a slender blade and a complex hilt that covered the whole hand didn’t happen overnight. Firstly the blade became more narrow and tapered fast to make controlling the tip of the blade easier and to make thrusts more efficient. This however meant that cuts were less effective than with heavier swords but the compromise was clearly a success as these swords capable of both cutting and thrusting became popular during the renaissance.

As the next phase of development the guard of the sword was made more complex to give better hand protection than the bare straight cross guard of the middle ages. Steel gauntlets that were used by soldiers during war were absent in civil life and even on the battlefields gauntlets were used less and less by light infantry, crossbowmen and soldiers using pole axes or early firearms so added protection on the sword guard was a good solution. On the first side swords of 15th century there are only small rings added onto the simple straight guard and the fully developed side swords of 17th century have as complex and fully protecting hilt construction made of several bars as rapiers giving the swordsman as good protection as if he was wearing a gauntlet. This Side Sword has clearly a hilt that is quite late development from the 16th century giving your hand almost full protection similarly like the rapiers of years to come. The only difference of a Side Sword like this and a rapier is the blade. A rapier could have a hilt like this but the blade would be narrow and meant only for thrusting as this blade has enough beef for cuts as well.

These swords were carried on the hip/side in civil life and this gives the sword-type its name Side Sword or Spada Da Lato (side sword in Italian). Naturally knights carried swords during the medieval times but this became more of a fad during renaissance and eventually the sword became part of a gentleman’s attire.

As this new sword protected the hand better and the blade became lighter favoring thrust over cut a new way of fighting with this new weapon was needed. Throughout the whole 15th century Italy had the best masters and schools teaching the use of this new weapon and the school of Bologna was most respected of them all.

Side Swords were used from the 15th century till the 17th century and the evolution encompasses a full change in appearance, dimensions and in the way the sword was used. It should come to no surprise that we don’t have a one type of Side Sword but that this term covers a lot of different swords with different dimensions, weights and styles. What is common is that these were one handed swords that were carried both in civil life as well as on battlefields and the use was versatile as Spada da Lato was used in other hand leaving the other hand free for a dagger, cloak, small buckler, large round shield or even for a other sword.

This blade is made for safe practice with blunt edges and a rounded tip. The blade is stiff enough for parries and strong swordplay. This is made possible without adding any extra weight by the blade design of a wider bottom and narrower top part of the blade. A wooden scabbard covered in leather is included. The wooden handle is covered in leather. Made by Hanwei. Specs may vary.

Overall length:113,5 cm
Blade length:97 cm
Handle length:15,2 cm
Weight:1,3 kg
Point of Balance:12 cm
Width at Guard:2,5 cm
Width at Tip:1,3 cm
Thickness at Guard:7,6 mm
Thickness at Tip:2,6 mm
Blade material: 5160 carbon steel
Sharpness: Blunt

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