Fighting with sword and buckler is one of the oldest medieval styles of armed combat. Manuscript I.33 (Royal Armouries Leeds) is the oldest known manuscript that we have depicting the European fighting arts. It is a record of German sword and buckler fighting in the 13th century. The manuscript is dated to approximately 1295. A buckler (French bouclier 'shield', from Old French bocle, boucle 'boss') is a small shield, 15 to 45 cm (6 in to 18 in) in diameter, held by one hand and gripped in the center. The buckler was more widely used than is commonly known. It was simple yet effective and generally used as a companion with a single handed weapon (short sword, messer, falchion, or rapier) in hand-to-hand combat during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It was popular circa 1100 to 1600. The buckler had a variety of roles when used during swordplay. There were five primary uses which recognized the bucklers small size and maneuverability: Hand protection, Deflector, Blinder, "Metal fist", Binder. Its small size made it poor protection against missile or large weapons (e.g., arrows, axes, great swords, pole weapons) but useful in deflecting the blow of swords or large fighting knives (e.g., messer, dussak). There are two major forms of medieval bucklers documented. The first is a simple round or oval shield with the grip positioned directly behind the boss with a variety of shapes of face and depths of rim. These could also have projections from the top and bottom as illustrated in the fight books of medieval German fight master Hans Talhoffer. The second major form is a corrugated rectangle as seen in fight books from the renaissance. Hans Talhoffer was a 15th-century German fencing master connected to the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer, the grand master of the Medieval German school of fencing. He authored at least five fencing manuals during the course of his career. His writings cover a wide assortment of weapons, including the arming sword and buckler which we have recreated and offer here. Pair with our Single Hand Sir William Marshall Sword (Item Number: IN5101) or the Conqueror 1066 Norman Arming Sword (Item Number: IN5102) and you are set to bout with sword and buckler! The Talhofer Grand Master Buckler Shield is constructed of 16 gauge forged mild steel. This is a perfect addition to any armor collection.
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