Concept art by
for larger images)
The famous artist Albrecht Durer dedicated
a large part of his Fechbuch to the art of the Messer.
Edition German Medieval Sword
Facht an das Messer. – Gott wöll vnnsr nit vergessen.
Here they fight with Messers. -- May God remember them.
Hans Talhoffer, Fechtbuch aus dem Jahre, 1467
combat knife has had a long tradition in Europe. Beginning with the Seax
and single-edged Germanic swords of the Iron Age, a weapon with a big
cutting blade mounted as a knife was celebrating a popularity as a functional
and no-nonsense sidearm of warriors and civilians alike through the ages.
In German speaking areas, the Falchion did not reach the same popularity
as elsewhere in Europe. Instead, the big war-knife saw a development of
These come in many forms and sizes, some more intended for stabbing, others
for cutting and yet other types that combined cutting and thrusting capability.
We know them today by different names: Rugger (a long, stiff and
pointy variant, primarily meant for stabbing), Hauswher (peasant
knife; an intimidating weapon of defence), Grossemesser/Messer
(litterally: big knife/knife, a single handed weapon with a
wide cutting blade with the dimensions of a short sword, popular among
commoners, nobles, civilians and soldiers alike) and Kriegsmesser
(war-knife of hand-and-a-half or even two-hand size. A weapon for the
professional soldier that also saw use among civilians).
The Meister is inspired by the classic shape of the Grosse Messer
we can see in German fencing manuals of the 15th and 16th centuries. The
famous artist Albrecht Durer dedicated a large part of his Fechbuch
to the art of the Messer. A dedicated student of this art might
in time become a master. But this was not a title that was to be taken
lightly. You had to prove your worthiness before a jury of accomplished
We made the ”Meister” to match this attitude of uncompromising dedication
and strife for mastery expressed by the swordsmen of the late medieval
and early rennaissance periods. It is at first glance an unassuming and
somewhat crude weapon. Looks are deceiving, however.
The blade is a simple but very effective design with a subtlety that is
easily overlooked. Because of overall size and shape the blade can be
made surprisingly quick in handling even without any real mass in the
pommel to act as counterbalance. The dynamic balance and heft of this
weapon arrives almost exclusively from the distribution of mass in the
blade and tang.
The cross section is a lean and slim triangle, allowing a stiff spine
and an acute angle of the main bevel. Such a blade is very effective in
the cut.The outer third of the blade is further lightened by a false edge
resulting in a blade that is surprisingly responsive and quick in the
We can see from the drawings of Albrecht Dürer that the fighting techniques
exploited with these weapons were in no way crude or simple: the moves
described require quick and expertly balanced weapons of offence and defence.
The hilt of the Meister is constructed with two grip slabs that
are secured with tubular rivets. The pommel cap shows a ”fuller” or hollowgrind
that continues the length of the grip to the guard. Secured by a rivet
through the guard is a lug on the outside of the hilt that protects the
knuckles of the hand. This is an important feature as the blade is used
in binding and winding techniques that otherwise easily might result in
damage to the sword hand.
The hilt components are investment cast in mild steel from original waxes
carved by Peter Johnsson, based on Peter's first-hand examination and
documentation of period originals of this type.
The blade is hand-ground from high-carbon steel to a fine satin finish,
heat-treated by hand for maximum flexibility and to take a fine edge.
These swords are sold sharp, unless otherwise requested by the customer.
A Limited Edition Hand Crafted Collectible Sword
is offered in a limited edition of only 100 collectible swords
The Meister is available in either right or left-hand versions. Please
be sure to specify when ordering.
Overall length: 29.72" (75.5 cm)
Blade length: 24.41" (62 cm)
Blade width at base: 1.77" (4.5 cm)
Blade width at widest point: 2.17" (5.5 cm)
Measurements approximate and subject to adjustments during development
before this limited edition collectible sword runs out!