Rather pleased to have taken possession of a few goodies:

Main gauche, rapier and breastplate

Main gauche, rapier and breastplate

There are even grooves in the main gauche to let out the blood! The short left handed dagger was used as a parrying weapon in conjunction with the rapier, and together they were the principle side arms carried by any Elizabethan gentleman.

The longer rapier blade was used for initial attack and thrust, while the short blade of the main gauche came into its own in close combat when the rapier could no longer be effective. The most common design was like the one shown with a blade of about a foot, down swept quillions and a ring on the guard to protect the thumb of the left hand. The length of the sword blade is just over three feet and the entire length of the rapier is almost four (120 cm). The weight is around three pounds – a bit too heavy for me to handle (but I’m sure I could in extremis!). The openwork basket guard was light but functional in protecting the thumb and fingers of the right hand. The breastplate is the kind that would completely enclose the upper torso in conjunction with a backplate to form a cuirass. They’re all reproductions, but true to the design and materials of weapons and armour used in the late sixteenth century. I’m proud to have them. (They might just give my writing an edge!)

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