By Oliver Farrimond
An Edinburgh swordmaker has taken on two Italian apprentices.
Paul MacDonald, of MacDonald Armouries, has employed Marco Danelli, 30, and Dario Batzella, 20, to keep on the age-old tradition.
The two men – both from Rome – hope to rekindle the ancient link between Scottish and Italian sword-making.
Mr Macdonald said: “There are no formal courses as such, so this is still the old traditional way of apprenticeship.
“There are very few sword-makers in Scotland, only a handful. It’s not quite a dying art, but it is a rare craft and important to keep alive.”
The tradition of Scottish-Italian swordmaking dates back to the 16th century, when legendary bladesmith Andrea Ferrara was a Highland household name.
Both apprentices will spend two years working at the armoury in Brunswick Street Lane, and they plan to support themselves by working part-time elsewhere while they learn their craft.