Tod and the mighty Toby Capwell discuss historical fantasy weapons:
…It’s possible you’ve seen this before, but it’s probably been a while since you have if such is the case. It’s a wonderful discussion, to say the least. While the weapon is likely a “cobble job” as suggested, it’s actually still very practical – note the following:
If the sword is carried with the simple guard bow facing away from the body, it will cover the area above the knuckles when drawn. That structure should do a fair bit to protect that part of the hand if the cross doesn’t catch an opposing blow.
Next, while the complex elements of the guard are oriented such that a right-hander could access the “finger ring” from the position described above, that structure, I feel, has a different purpose. As alluded to in the video, the “finger ring” allows the complex guard on the opposite side of the blade to actually rise over the blade itself: this is important, as this is (if the thumb grip is used) where the thumb will in fact be. So, there is a structure to protect the knuckles from a downward blow, and there is also a structure which will protect the thumb when the latter is placed on the blade. Perhaps the guard, be it original or not, is not the best design, but it certainly does work…
I suppose I am just seeing more potential purpose in this design now than I did when it first became an item of discussion on MyArmoury. Dammit, I need one to try this idea out now!