The advantage of the sword point over the edge became increasingly evident by the end of the 16th century. The rapier, with its long, elegantly thin profile which emphasized its point, became the popular choice in civilian self-defense. It was however a somewhat unwieldy weapon especially when it was used in narrow, crowded streets and alleyways. Eventually, by the end of the 17th century, a more sophisticated, shorter, and lighter version of the rapier emerged - the small sword.
Civilians carried it for as long as swords remained an integral part of fashionable dress. Its primary advantage was its stiff, lightweight blade which was forged in a triangular cross-section. It was a highly lethal weapon, ideal for thrusting, and hung conveniently from a sash, baldric, or belt. The hilt, compared to the Rapier, was simple and smartly functional, consisting of no more than an elliptical plate, or two shells and a light knuckle guard.
This modern version from Cold Steel duplicates the best features of many historical examples but uses 1060 carbon steel, heat-treated to a tough spring temper. The hilt features two shells with functional finger loops and light, but strong, knuckle guard. Perfectly balanced, the Small Sword comes complete with an attractive leather scabbard that features an intricately decorated throat and chape.
- Overall: 38-1/4"
- Blade: 31-1/4" long, 7/16" thick
- Wt: 24.6 oz