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Old 13th July 2014, 11:59 AM   #13
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906

At the first half of the 17th century, a radical change took place in the sword fencing style. The French school" escrime francaise" began to supplant the Italian and the Spanish fencing schools.

The main feature of this French school was smooth/loose manner of holding the sword with thumb and forefinger on each side of the the grip.
This manner of holding had great influence on the design of the hilt.
Since the focus of French fencing was merely on the thrust. the hilt was closed by a guard plate. (instead of a complex system of bars)
In order to make the sword more agile it became lighter in weight and shorter in blade length.
This eventually led to THE small word.

This development is attributed erroneously as a french development, however, Dutch paintings Rotius and Van der Hellst show an interest-rich phase in the development of the rapier to the small sword in 1648 and 1649. namely the transition rapier (The transition from rapier to small sword).
There is no historical evidence for this term transitional rapier.

It is not possible to allocate the origin of your transitional rapier, however,
it is not unlikely that your rapier is made in the low countries, Netherlands Belgium.

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