How do you know your design is good? A hint may be seeing it used by other designers. :P
I've mentioned the LOTR movies as examples of very successful fantasy/historical swords and armour designs.
We should all be grateful for their influence, though I'd hope we'd learn the lesson we're being offered - always study what you're designing, know your history, know your competition, know what works, why and how.
So, remember Narsil and the reforged Andúril, Flame of the West?
John Howe talks about the design a lot on the LOTR DVDs and he's quite pleased about the fact the pommel is hollow. (A unique feature for a movie sword according to him. I'm sure he's right.) Notice that the ends of the crossguard mimic this design) Also note the specific way only the upper half of the handle is wrapped in leather.
Notice anything similar about the iron sword from the first Witcher game? :)
By the way, I'm super excited about the Witcher sequel - the armour, clothes and weapons look super nice!
(notice the very historical looking longsword here!)
Michael Komarck's Dragnipúr has a curved guard, but the shape of the pommel and the guard ends also suggests an Andúril inspiration.
Here's his previous take on the subject:
(I'd say the new one is definitely an improvement sword-wise. He's a great painter btw, be sure to check out his Game of Thrones stuff and also the paintings he did for Steven Erikson's books.)
I'm sure we've all seen the rather numerous spinoffs of the curved elven swords, right? Do you have any favourite ones?
Or just favourite sword designs you really like (and/or take inspiration from)?
Please, do share them in the comments!