This is a bit of a complicated review. It is a joint effort between me and my fellow assistant-instructor Angel Chernaev, who ordered his Aureus last year. We both tested the feder(s) extensively, but in the end, he wrote about how he chose the feder, the ordering process and the customer service, while I wrote the parts about its handling and construction. But these are all things that we have discussed together, so it is definitely a team effort.
Overall Length: 128 cm (standard); (custom)
Blade length: 97 cm (standard); (custom)
Handle length: 31 cm (standard); (custom)
Weight: 1390 g (standard); (custom)
Crossguard type: Variation of type 12
Pommel type: Variation of type T5
Point of balance: 8.5 cm (standard); (custom)
Flexibility: 18-21 kg stated by their method (not tested)
How it came to pass that I bought a feder
I visited AIMA Roma 2018 in March and gave some of the weapons that were presented there a try. As most were rapiers, my mediavelish soul didn’t really bond with them. One weapon did, however, and most surprisingly for me – a federschwert.
As in our school we work almost exclusively with Albion and Regenyei blunts, we only have a few longsword feders, just so we can give them a try. And I honestly hate them.
However, in Rome I actually really liked the Aureus Renaissance Feder. Had a bit of handling, too, and even made a video. Tried it out against other swords and feders in the hands of different people. I can say that I generally really liked it. Soon after I returned home I got in contact with Milena and Ireneusz from Aureus and ordered my very first feder. They had less options at that time but I did get a slightly customised sword. Slightly shorter (especially the handle), a bit stiffer, and with their “strong” guard.
Aureus Customer Service
Both Milena and Ireneusz were very quick to respond and extremely helpful. We discussed quite a bit of other sword-related stuff, actually.
They prepared and shipped the sword on schedule, very securely and everything went well.
They made the custom changes that I wanted without any hindrance.
The only thing that marred that great first impression was the fact that the blade bent near the tip after only a couple of training sessions – with no hard sparring, hard thrusting or stress.
When the warp issue occurred, they were quick to offer support and ultimately they sent me a new sword made from new steel. It took several months, of course, but it was no issue as in the meanwhile I continued working with and testing the current one.
The only slight variation that I didn’t really want was that the new sword has a 1 cm longer handle, but it is not something to die from.
Meanwhile, the warping of the first sword did straighten out a bit on its own.
It is to be noted that there were a couple of times when we struggled a bit with communication, but only because English is not the native tongue of either me or them.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the way they handled their service.
I usually don’t care a lot about looks, as it doesn’t really matter, but this is for sure one of the best looking feders I have seen. Everything looks and feels high quality, “shiny” and well made. There is one benefit of a very well-polished sword – it gains some rust resistance. Oxidation has a harder time entering the pores of steel in which you can see your reflection.
The Aureus is one of those “alive” swords that we hear about and only truly understand the meaning of when we handle one for the first time. The feder feels more like a sharp sword than standard Regenyeis and many other brands that offer more budget-conscious options, but also ones like Ensifer and Moc. The shortened hilt and blade also helps that feel, especially since we are a school focused on early Liechtenauer.
While it feels light, there is a degree of stability both when lying in a guard and when covering and parrying. In some ways it is like the Albion Meyer, but floatier.
Which makes it all the more surprising that cuts with it are moderate and don’t hit like a ton of bricks. But it has the capacity to do so if you put power into it.
There is less flex in the shortened variant than the long one, but better than the typical feder. Hard thrusts will hurt, but unless you go in to kiss your opponent, you won’t break any bones. The spatulated tip is absolutely enough with no extra coverage.
The dynamic balance is excellent, but what impresses more is the pure speed of the sword. It not only moves without a thought for a cut or thrust, but changes direction with ease and flows through motions that strain the wrists and arms much more with other feders.
It is also easy to control when sparring with little or no gear. That is useful for our school, as we pay a lot of attention to all kinds of sparring.
The feder was used in 2 tourneys, in one of them by Georgi, who at one point easily used it for a whole fight in one hand. He is almost 2 meters tall, but not especially muscular.
Construction and finish
The hilt and blade fit so well together, it is like they are 3D-printed.
In fact, the whole sword has a machined feel to it, but not in a bad way. It is not that industrial thing where you see the markings of the power tools used. It is a futuristic feel, like the sword was made by high tech elves with something that glows blue.
The blade is polished to a ridiculous level, but without feeling fake. It certainly helps in holding off rust. The signature convex schilt is beautiful and really gives you that feeling of a formerly sharp sword that was ground down into a training weapon when the schwech took too much damage.
The handle is incredibly nice, but it will suffer and need replacement soon. The leather over string wrapping is very comfortable, but simply won’t last long on a sword used multiple times a week and in heavy sparring, where hilt shots happen.
The pommel is peened, of course, and quite comfortable and simple. One could ask why the finish is a bit sloppy when everything else is so perfect, but that is a tiny issue.
Overall, an extremely solid and well-finished sword.
The great thing about the growth of HEMA is that we have more gear; not just on the budget level, but in the higher price-range as well. The Aureus feder is an excellent feder, well worth its price. The durability might still be under question, but we can hope that the first feder was a one-off aberration.
If you are looking for a high quality feder in Europe, or for some inexplicable reason you don’t like the Albion Meyer, this is an excellent feder, both as a general training sword and for tournaments.