Our Renaissance-style Swept Hilt Rapiers trace their origins to early 17th century Europe, where swordplay with the Rapier was considered an essential part of a gentleman's education and was often used in resolving gentlemanly disagreements. Blades generally originated in one of the blade making centers such as Toledo or Solingen, but many differences in styling and hilt materials resulted from the local manufacture of hilts all over Europe.
The swept-hilt rapiers and their attendant main gauches have now been redesigned to provide lighter, better balanced pieces than earlier models. The hilts are now of the same size as the museum pieces on which they are based, providing an authentic feel in the user's hand. All of the rapier and main gauche blades shown on Pages 80, 81, 82 and 83 of the catalog are interchangeable with the Practical blades (OH2255 - rapier, OH2256 - Main Gauche), which are designed for safety in rapier sparring. This gives the user a wide choice of swept hilt styles for use with both live and Practical blades.