The Artful Dodger: Rapscallion's Small Sword

This project is an 18th century loop hilt small sword. Small swords were descendants of the rapier and pre-cursors to the small, light foils and epees that became the tools of modern fencing. Compared to rapiers they are short (27″-30″ blades) with very thin, light blades. They were often highly decorated and considered as a sort of fashion accessory. Although of limited use in battle, they were highly effective 'dueling' weapons and resulted in countless wounds and deaths when used in this manner. Capable of delivering deep punctures, the small sword often killed by secondary infections which manifested after the duel.

The 'Artful Dodger', while not a replica of a specific sword, is based on a number of historical pieces and almost all aspects have been seen on actual swords. The 28″ hexagonal blade was forged from Aldo 1075 high carbon steel and given an antique patina. The loop hilt style knuckle guard/ring are forged from a single piece of 19th century wrought iron salvaged from Lake Superior. The pommel comes from wrought iron salvaged from the Globe grain elevator in Superior, Wisconsin (see this season's 'Axe Men' show!). The grip is Wisconsin white tail deer bone and there is heat tempered nickel silver wire wraps held in place with copper nails. The weight of this sword is 1 pound 6 ounces which falls in well with historical examples. The total length is 34.5″. POB is 2.25″ from guard. The blade is 1/8″ thick at the guard with gradual distal taper to less than 1/16″ at tip. This makes for a blade stiffness sufficient for use as an actual dueling weapon. It is tempered such that it can take a wonderful C-shaped bend without taking any set. This sword IS NOT intended for fencing or any kind of mock combat…. it is a real historic weapon and could cause severe injury if used in this manner. The bevels have a slight hollow ground to the edge and is hair shaving sharp along most of the length except for the last couple of inches where it transitions into a strong awl shape intended for the puncture wound. The blade bears a late 17th century Passau mark.. a running wolf as well as my own maker's marks.

The styling of the sword is that of a relic or antique and could have been the weapon of an 18th century rapscallion or rogue.. somebody that has come into some money by disreputable means. He walks the streets with a swagger and won't hesitate to accept terms for the duel.
The 'Artful Dodger' is now available for purchase. $1200 (no scabbard) and will include shipping within the continental United States. Additional charges will apply to overseas transactions. Options for scabbards can be discussed.

Dimensions: 27"-30"

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