-- Colichemarde
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Time Period: 17th-18th century
Location: Europe
Common Construction: Steel

Just like the rapier before it, the colichemarde was a civilian sword used for personal defense and dueling. It developed in response to the rapier's popularity and was designed specifically to defeat current rapier designs. This was achieved by making the colichemarde smaller and lighter, but retaining a thick blade towards the guard in order to parry the heavier rapier. Its weight is concentrated towards the hand, making it a faster weapon for placing precision thrusts on an opponent.

Just as the colichemarde replaced the rapier, it too was supplanted by the small sword. The definitive feature of the colichemarde, its thickness towards the guard, was no longer necessary once the rapier was out of vogue. The small sword did away with this feature, making it even lighter and faster. The use of swords among the civilian population rapidly declined in the 18th century, after which the small sword became ceremonial rather than functional.

CE 17th Century, CE 18th Century, History, Medieval Europe, Sword, Weapon

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Recent Reader Comments:

Comment From: ROUDIL --

Super! It would be interesting to give the origin of the name ( "graf von koenigsmark") Thanks. A.R.

Comment From: sector24 --

That is a common misconception actually. Here's the wikipedia excerpt: "Colichemardes are widely thought to have been an invention of Graf von Konigsmark, due to the similarity in pronunciation of their names. However, the first blades of this type dated from earlier than the Count's lifetime." I haven't read the book that the article references though.