I spend hours at The Art of Swords, a Tumblr dedicated to, well, the art of swords. I often picture myself as a rough-and-ready mercenary for the German Landsknechte, a fierce and fabulously furred Balkan warrior, a noble medieval knight (with a fetching pageboy haircut), or perhaps a marauding Cossack soldier. Usually, I’m travelling with Jon Snow – I don’t know why he’s in all these various time periods with me – but we’re typically off on some grand adventure, and I always have my trusty sword (“Bitch-Slayer”) with me. At any given time, it could look like any one of these. From top, left: The dagger of the Grand Masters of the Order of Malta circa mid-16th century, to-die for 18th century Mughal rock crystal-hilted Khanjar dagger, 17th century Italian dagger in steel and horn, the rapier of Prince-Elector Christian II of Saxony, and the 19th century Turkish saber and scabbard of the Ottoman sultan Murad V made of steel, gold, gilt, brass, diamonds, emeralds, and pearls. Sigh.
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