A Langes Messer of South German fashion, circa 1495-1515.

Originally produced for "The Sword: Form and Thought" trade show in Solingen germany, this is an example of the Germanic Langes Messer or Grossemesser.

All hilt components are hand-made from 100+ year-old antique wrought iron rather than modern steel, the parts forged to rough size and then finished by hand with file-work and hand-polishing. The blade shoulder is pierced, and the transverse nagel spike has been driven through both blade and cross before being riveted down.

The handmade blade is made of British EN45 specification carbon steel, forged with my maker's mark, and heat-treated to a spring temper before polishing. The finish has aimed to replicate the surface finish of the originals, and is entirely hand-worked. The single-edged blade is sharpened to a finely honed finish.

The hilt is bound in fine-grained vegetanned sheepskin leather over beech wood scales, pinned in place with copper-alloy tubular pins. The forged end-cap is peined into place on an extension of the full-width tang. The blade comes with a simple hand-sewn scabbard of vegetan leather over a wooden core, lined with woven wool.

This particular messer is based on a number of surviving examples, particularly a south German example auctioned by Dorotheum Auctions, Vienna in July 2012, and dimensional data from a number of messers in private and museum reserve collections I've studied. The hilt shaping, with the distinctive end-cap curl is based on contemporary woodcut illustrations of messers of this type, particularly from Hans Burgkmair's 1516-1518 "Triumphzug Kaiser Maximilians" plate of Messerfechten, or messer-fighters.


Overall Length: 1043mm (41.0 inches)
Blade Length: 800mm (31.5 inches)
Weight: 883g (1.94 pounds)
Balance point: 120mm (4 3/4 inches) from the cross