Measurements: overall length: 68.8 cm, blade length: 15 cm, hilt length: 89 cm. Width: 9.3 cm. Depth: 6.7 cm
Inscriptions: inscribed ‘Francisco (Ru)iz en Toleto’
This is an early example of a small sword. The hilt bears the mark of a goldsmith and is elaborately decorated with enamel and gold wire. Later blades were often mass-produced but this one has been cut down from a prized Toledo rapier blade of around 1620.
From around 1640, light swords with short, flexible, pointed blades appeared in response to new fencing techniques that emphasised thrusting at speed. They were worn increasingly with civilian clothes as ‘small swords’, offering a means of self-defence but largely denoting status for the well-dressed gentleman.
Small swords were items of male jewellery. By the 1750s, their elaborate gold and silver hilts, mounted with precious stones and fine enamelling, were the products of the goldsmith and jeweller rather than the swordsmith. They made fitting rewards for distinguished military and naval service. With their blades tucked away inside scabbards, it was their ostentatious and expensive hilts that carried their thrust.
Michael spends a lot of time arguing with himself about covers. Sometimes he’ll get all the way through the cover stage only to reject it. Sometimes he’ll get all the way through the cover stage and @hermanos and I will get on a call with him, and we’ll find ourselves proposing another image entirely.
This is called working “ass-backwards,” for the record.
This was the first cover for Lazarus #9, the end of the second arc, “Lift.” It is no longer. Totally different image will be used for the cover instead. This is not because the image here is bad, or even inappropriate; we just had an idea that we liked more.
Michael posted these to his Twitter account (@MichaelLark66, in case you’re not following him), yesterday. I’ve turned them into an awkward animated gif so you can see his b/w art, and then the color version.