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Weapon as a symbol
The sword is a cold edged weapon that has got a long, wide and straight blade and a simple handguard in the form of a cross. The massive handguard used to balance the blade's weight in a way.
First bronze swords appeared two thousand years B.C. Iron swords appeared in the first millennium B.C.
In the second half of the seventeenth century the sword was already a symbol of authority and justice only.
Swords as ceremonial weapons were custom-made for persons of high rank and possession, higher military authorities and civil affairs representatives. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were ordered for momentous events. As a rule, they were made in imitation of Romance antique swords. Their decorations were strongly marked with magnificence.
Today swords are made as symbolic and highest awards for the most significant dates and most important people. There is no armour collection without an exquisitely manufactured and richly decorated sword. Very often a shield is designed as part of the unit. The shield bears the owner's main emblem (state or family emblem).
The court sword is a further transformation of a simple sword. In Western Europe court swords were very popular in the sixteenth century. Until the end of the eighteenth century it was an essential part of the nobility dress. It was a common combat and duel weapon.
In Russia until 1917 court swords were used as part of certain costume. They were distinctive status weapons of honor of the nobility.
Nowadays court swords still preserve their status and create a special attitude. If in the heirloom collection there is a beautiful and professionally manufactured court sword (especially with the owner's emblem), it is a sign of nobility or of an emergence of a new influential clan.
The broadsword (in Hungarian pallos) is a cold edged weapon used for cutting and thrusting; a weapon with a long straight and wide blade and a massive handguard, consisting of a bowl and a few bails.
In Western Europe broadswords were appeared as a type of cavalry cold arms in the first half of the seventeenth century, when regular cavalry troops were organized.
After 1882 broadswords were remained as part of city and parade uniforms in a few troops only.
Today in Russia broadswords are basically navy weapons of honor. Modern collection items are as a rule award and gift weapons, given to people who have devoted their lives to the navy.
The sabre (from Hungarian czablya) is a cold edged weapon for cutting or cutting and thrusting; a weapon with a long curved one-sided blade and a hilt.
The sabre appeared in the East. It was very popular and used by nomads of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in seventh and eighth centuries. From the fourteenth century the sabre was mainly used as a cutting weapon, which light and curved deeply. The combination of a blade curve and a shifted from the hilt center of gravity gave a bigger blow power and damage area. This peculiarity was highly effective, when made of hard steel, tougher and more tenacious edged weapons were used.
In 1881 in the Russian army sabres were switched for cavalry swords. They left only for the guard as parade weapons and for some categories of officers to wear out of ranks. In foreign armies sabres had been in the inventory till the end of the Second World War. And after that they were used as parade weapons.
The sabre is an arms "long-liver" and it is the most popular weapon on earth.
Today a sabre is a must to be item in any armour collection. According to its importance and significance of the award, it stands right after the sword. The sabre, as a weapon of honor, is given at the most crucial events to the most important in those people.
The shashka (Kabardian-Circassian Seshkhue) is a cold edged weapon for cutting and thrusting (in the foreign literature it is considered a type of the sword) with a slightly curved blade, and a hilt with a simple handguard or without it.
The main structural advantage of the shashka was favorable weight proportions. Due to the light hilt the center of gravity, and consequently the blow point were located closer the end of the blade as if, the weapon were longer. Often fighting in Caucasus and armed with sabres Cossacks got elbow stricken with shashka before they could reach their enemies with seemed to be long sabre. Because of a small blade curve of the shashka, it was possible to make fast and cutting blows to either side.
The main difference between the shashka and the sabre is that shashka's sheaths were close-fitted with leather, when in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries sabres normally had all-metal sheaths. A shashka was hung with its blade backwards, so that the ring for fastening a waist-belt was on the arched side of a sheath. A sabre's sheath had the rings on the curved side. Besides, shashka was rather worn on shoulder-belts, unlike sabres that were worn on waist-belts.
Since 1968 shashka was used only as award and gift weapons. And today for many people the shashka is the main type of the edged weapon and the weapon of honor, which is a symbol of honor and an acknowledgement of person's services and importance.
The dirck (Italian Coltello) is a cold edged weapon with a straight, short or mid long (rarely curved) blade, which can be sharpened on one side or both sides. Its handguard usually corresponds to a cross which can be complemented with a fore bail.
Dircks appeared in the end of the sixteenth century - the beginning of the seventeenth century. At the beginning they were used as weapons of boarding fights. Later on dircks became part of navy uniforms. Then they were part of uniforms in the army, air and government units.
Today in the majority of European armies and navies dircks can still be found on the stock list of army regulations in regards of cold weapons. There is a tendency to give them as award and gift weapons because of their symbolic meaning of honor and valor. The tradition of giving gift dircks to people that have nothing to do with the military service has recovered and got implemented in personalized, family, and corporate weapons.
А knife is a cold edged weapon with a short and more often a one-sided blade.
In the most common meaning of this word it is just a blade with an edged side. It came into existence in the earlier period of humanity, and it was used for different purposes.
If we speak about the knife as about a piece of decorative, applied and armoury arts, we often have to forget about its practical use, even though functional qualities of any collection knife have to be at the very least same as of a simple knife that we use every day. However the more important characteristics are an artistic design and high quality of the manufacturing. Such items will be a decoration for any armoury collection. They will symbolize honor, strength, success and prosperity.
The dagger (Persian Hanjar) is a cold edged weapon for thrusting and cutting in hand-to-hand fighting. Usually it has got a two-sided blade, which can be either straight or curved.
The dagger is a most ancient type of cold arms, it originates from the late Stone Age era. For many centuries it played the role of a secondary weapon. It was as well an accessory to a military and civil dress. Because it was easy to carry and use it (unlike for example, the use of a sword, there was no need in learning), in the sixteenth century and the first half of the seventeenth century widespread by military and civil people.
Modern collection daggers a re symbols of their owners' dignity, pride, and honor. Men's natural marshal spirit finds its embodiment in personalized and family weapons in the form of the daggers, which were manufactured as an imitation of historical combat weapons.
The stiletto (Italian Stiletto) is a cold edged thrusting weapon, a type of the dagger. It originated from a metal instrument for writing (that is how it got its name). As a rule it has got a thin triangular tapering blade and a grip with a handguard in the form of a cross.
Stilettos came to an existence in the early Middle Ages. To reach through knights armor, warriors needed a weapon with a sharp and thin in the cross-section blade that would fit in between of narrow openings of the armor. A classic stiletto is a weapon that came from Italy in the fifteenth century. A thin triangular blade so sharp that it could pierce not only an armor, but a chain mail as well. Usually a stiletto was held in a small sheath in a boot or it was hidden in clothes folds. Besides it was worn on a waist belt as a parade weapon (decoration). It was widely used from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries in Italy and other West-European countries.
Modern armourers artistically manufacture sophisticated stilettos' struct ures and create true armoury and jewelry masterpieces.
Such stilettos will decorate any collection and they will characterize their owner as a person of an exquisite artistic taste.
A walking-stick is a straight stick with a handle, which was used for support during walking, and if necessary for defense.
The use of the walking-stick has got a very long and rich tradition. Originally it was a staff (a stick that helped in walking). Later on it went through the quality change. In the seventeenth century it was part of the dress, which showed the social status of its owner.
The walking-stick had another important for that time function - it was a hand-to-hand weapon. Fighting walking-sticks (heavy short "bludgeons", hollow scissor walking-sticks with stilettos inside) and even normal walking-stick made of solid wood became a dangerous weapon in an experienced hand.
Centuries have been passing, and this gentlemen toy came in and out of fashion. But nevertheless a walking-stick has been and it will stay a characteristic feature of a real man, and a symbol of smartness and dignity.
Today a collection walking-stick is a tribute to the tradition, which is still recovering, and it is an unusual and exquisite gift, which will never get lost among many others.