This Swept-Hilt Rapier features classical lines, with a high-carbon steel flex-tempered blade, a stainless steel hilt (for reduced maintenance) and a hardwood grip. The hilt is of the same size as the museum piece on which it is based, providing an authentic �feel� in the user�s hand and weight and balance also match originals. The blade is interchangeable with our �Practical� blade (OH2255) which is designed for safety in rapier sparring. The matching Main Gauche (SH2117) may also be equipped with a sparring blade. Our Renaissance-style Rapiers trace their origins to early 17th century Europe, where swordplay with the Rapier was considered an essential part of a gentleman�s education and was often used in resolving gentlemanly disagreements. Blades generally originated in one of the blade making centers such as Toledo or Solingen, but many differences in styling and hilt materials resulted from the local manufacture of hilts all over Europe.The Main Gauche, or left hand dagger, was often used with the rapier, providing an added dimension in both offense and defense, and the �Schools of Fence� which proliferated in Europe during this period taught the use of the two weapons in combination. The Main Gauche would often match the Rapier in styling, while incorporating features which maximized the effectiveness of the piece.Replacement blades, both live and blunt (for sparring), are available for most of the Rapiers and Main Gauches.