Malleus Martialis di Rodolfo Tanara
The Art of “Spadai” lives again in Florence from the meeting of craftmanship and design. This is Malleus Martialis.
Malleus Martialis recovers the ancient art of swordsmithing, whose tracks are in original findings, figurative and plastic art, illuminated manuscripts and in the ancient european swordmanship treatises, in order to give the sword a new function in our time.
The comparative study allows the crafting of quality blunts, intended for museum exhibition, re-enactment and Historical European Martials Arts (HEMA): the concept planning and design process rely on the historical period and the connected combat techniques as reference.
“Once upon a time a sword sang…”
This is the story of two kindred souls.
Rodolfo Tanara is the founder of Malleus Martialis, and after treading his inner path for nearly a decade he realised that swordmaking was his true calling.
In 2014 Malleus Martialis started in Florence, as Rodolfo won a selection held by the City of Florence. He had the chance to begin in a tiny workshop along the ancient walls, in the historic district of Santo Spirito.
Rodolfo dreamt of crafting historical blunt arms and cutlery relying on his passion for fencing, history and re-enactment. In the meantime, he silently followed the flourishing of the Historical European Martial Arts. Despite his passion, he never loved being under the spotlights.
In 2015, Rodolfo moved to the green hills of Impruneta, near Florence, and there he met Commander Sampo, a fluffy and talkative alley cat who started spending more and more time in the smithy.
“And then… A nightingale answered.”
In 2018, Eleonora Rebecchi, as Rodolfo’s partner in life, decided to join Malleus Martialis. Before starting as a designer in the company, she was studying Italian Belcanto while graduating at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. After the degree, she specialised in CAD design and in the end decided to quit with music to follow this ambitious project alongside with Rodolfo.
In 2019 Paolo Monetti Lucianer joins the team as apprentice. He studied Teaching and Education at the university but he reinvented his career in traditional wrought iron workshops before joining the Malleus Martialis team. A man as good with a flex shaft motor as he is with the scheduling, his help is truly invaluable: in the smithy he’s improving his sword-making abilities, showing a particular talent in refining the hilts.
In 2020 Simone Turco joined the team as apprentice. He followed our journey from the very first days, always supporting our work and training through the years to hone the skills he has then put to use in our company. After his degree in foreign languages, he decided to change his path and, through later studies, he has deepened his knowledge attending courses of woodworking, leatherworking and jewellery in some of the most prestigious institutions in Tuscany, acquiring some fundamental skills which have perfectly matched our company’s requirements.
Research and education are some of the pillars of the company: during these years the team also had the chance to analyze original swords from the Solingen Klingenmuseum in Germany, Museo delle Armi Luigi Marzoli and MAM – Museum of Martial Art in Brescia, and several other private collections.
In Malleus Martialis, the principles of research and education are applied for the workers’ professional growth too.
For example, in 2018 Rodolfo attended to a swordmaking class at Bushfire Forge in England, under the guidance of the master swordsmith Owen Bush.
Thanks to the academic approach and the attention to detail, Malleus Martialis offers four collections:
Ancient Collection: Entry-level blunt arms & tools for re-enactment and practice.
Sport Collection: HEMA blunt arms, flexible blades with thickened tip.
Armerìa Collection: High-End faithful blunt reproductions based on period references and tailor-made on commission.
All Malleus Martialis’ arms are blunt and with rounded point. [Read more]