The rapier was the quintessential sword of the late Renaissance and the first true civilian sidearm. In its early years of development the rapier was little more than a broadsword with a thinner, longer blade and an extra guard or two for the hand capable of either cutting or thrusting. As the rapier evolved, however, the blade became substantially longer, the guards for the hand became increasingly more elaborate, and the cut was almost totally abandoned in favor of the thrust. By the latter half of the 16th century we begin to find the form of the rapier with which we are most familiar: a long elegant sword with sweeping guards that encircle the hand; a beautiful marriage of function and form.
Our rapiers are in two general categories, characterized by their blade type: Epee or Schlager.