The Dhakris, from
past to present…
I came to Antonio, about two years ago, with a lot of envy, and
a lot of projects.
As a dreamer, I have always been attracted in swords, mainly for the
adventure perfume they have. Of course, I have been a “child knight”,
and to be honest, I didn’t really let my suit behind me across the
years. So, as a sportive and artistic fencer, I’m also aware of the
effectiveness of a sword, of its balance. Well, in a sense, I guess
I’m looking for the perfect sword, somewhere between aestheticism and
efficiency, as we all do.
As the wise man that he is, Antonio helped me to sort my ideas,
and let emerge some of my feasible ones. The Dhakris was one of
them. It was a special demand from me, because the Dhakris was
not at all one of my personal projects in its original form, but
Antonio was ready to give the baby to someone else, and I have to
thank him for that. With Antonio and Paolo, we took the
time to discuss the feasibility of the initial design, and to look for
alternative solutions when it was needed.
Antonio has an incredible experience, and a clear and sharp
designer view, which is really helpful when you have to create
something new with something ancient, when art is as important as
efficiency. He’s a reflection of his times with clear opinions, but
he’s also a gentleman, and always had the kindness to let me express
myself, even if the Dhakris was a complete project of his own
in the beginning.
About Paolo and the Dhakris, I could repeat myself, but
I’d rather prefer to copy what I’ve already said to him in a mail.
“Well... I have to begin with a "thank you", firstly, for the
Dhakris itself. I took it in hands, and it has a powerful presence.
Without a doubt, it's an exceptional piece. It is of course beautiful,
and the materials we choose are just looking incredible. The mix
between oosic, horn and wood offers something natural, essential, but
with the modern touch of your finish and of this special look. The
oosic handle has something sensual; it is an invitation to unsheathe
the sword. Plus, the work you've done with the scabbard and fittings
looks fantastic, really. It's heavy, but the balance gives its energy
to the Dhakris. And, well, did I have to mention the precision of your
work with the spine? It is a big part of its personality, even if I
think that the Dhakris succeeds in the fact that we forget its origins
to see it as a particular piece of its own.”
Moreover, Paolo has been just exemplary in all things with that
commission. He shares the pictures and facts of the process; he
discussed every detail and has always kept in mind the customer's
As you will understand as you read my words, this story is not just
about swords and art, but also about people and encounters. I have
been lucky, when Paolo and his lovely wife came to Paris for a
short stay. We met, and we shared a nice day around the Musée de
L’Armée, in Paris. So, we had the occasion to discuss our project,
but also, we had the occasion to really meet each other. I’m not here
to say all the good I think about Paolo, but let just say it was a
very nice moment (well, at least for me). I got a sword in this story,
but I also got some friends. Even when Paolo and I were
desperately looking for a nice piece of oosic, as we were deeply
attached to the original idea of Antonio and because Paolo
was interested in working with that kind of material, I had the chance
to meet Henrik Ussing, the man who provided me the piece. He
was very kind and we had some interesting discussions at two
occasions, in Paris, for different cutlery shows, and on the internet.
He is absolutely a part of the story of this particular sword.
So, what is the Dhakris now? I guess it’s somewhere between the
past, and our present. It is, of course, proudly showing its heritage,
but it is different, new, as a child from different parents could be.
It is a piece of art, a truly impressive sword, but with a taste of
sharing and friendship. I learnt two or three things (well, I hope I
did) about design, sword smithing and craftsmanship, and I enjoyed
very much the journey.
This sword is a piece with a long story to tell, and its “catching
look” will certainly bind me to narrate it again and again in the days
to come to my guests. Plus, I developed a lot of new projects since
then, and my imaginative creative process is certainly more mature.
That is to say that the Dhakris turned me to the future.