I have started collecting information and pictures that deal with classical fencing. Here are some of them, in no particular order. If you have more info about anything below, or if you have something you would like to contribute, please let me know.
I am studying classical Italian fencing and pedagogy with John Sullins. I've been looking at the differences between classical Italian and modern foils. Lets start with some differences between some classical foils though!
Many old fencing masks were made to deal with heavier weapons and/or singlesticks. They were generally more heavily reinforced and padded than todays standard fencing masks, which is all we really have available to use today. There are some projects to produce masks designed for use with the heavier sideswords, rapiers, and broadswords that many of todays Western Martial Artists are using.
These are pictures from 2 masks that were sold on ebay (pictures are links to larger versions).
John Sullins addressed the problem by attaching a catchers face guard to a modern mask, and adding some extra padding to the inside sides of the mask.
Here is a postcard picture of a great fencing outfit. Fencing pants closed at the cuffs, padded jacket, and of course the sash adds a certain swashbuckling touch :-)