Ultimately this blade turned out better then I was expecting. One of the pictures on this site shows the blade with very ugly looking lines on it, but what I received was well made, and very obviously hand forged. The only possible complaint is that the temper of the steel wasn't great, because it turned out a little bit more bendy then I feel would be optimal.
For the price however, 5 stars!!
For those considering this sword, here are a few observations:
*The Pommel is Peened.
(This is good for historical accuracy and durability.)
*Bone handle not terribly bleached.
(Expected whiter, but natural looking is good.)
*Guard and Handle larger then expected.
(This is good, sized for actual use.)
*Blade bends a little too much.
(Often swords like this are described as "Whippy".)
*Blade returns to True after a bend.
(Quality high carbon tempered steel.)
*Distal Taper is present.
(Not only tapers in width but in thickness, this is good.)
*Scabbard is tight fitting.
(A rare quality for swords of this price.)
*Scabbard has no wood core.
(Aside from a bit of wood at the top, entirely leather.)
Wanted this years ago and missed out. My wife got the repop for me for Valentine's Day! Excellent quality with an even, regular blade and excellent temper (I bent the heck out of it; returned to True). Fits well in the scabbard. This was the rapier I wanted, and it's a great blade.