The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sword
  • Possibly Caino , Swordsmith , Milan
  • Italy or France
  • c. 1550
  • Steel and gold, gilt and chiselled in high relief
  • Weight: 0.94 kg
    Length: 117.8 cm
    Length: 102.3 cm, blade
    Width: 30 cm, blade at guard
    Width: 21.4 cm, guard
    Balance point: 16.6 cm, forward of the guard block
  • Maker's mark: Crowned 'S'
  • A551
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Sword, the swept hilt composed of a pommel (with spherical button) decorated with entwined serpents and two mermen in high relief; spirally fluted wire-bound grip; straight crossguard fluted and widening at the ends where they terminate in small volutes; knuckle-guard terminating in a ram's head; double side-rings; the first molded at the centre with the entwined heads of two serpents whose tail cross the hilt arms and form a forward loop on the other side of the blade, the hilt-arms being decorated with two mermen. The entire hilt is of steel, chiselled in high relief at the gilt. Double-edged blade of bi-convex section at the point, faceted, of hexagonal section in the middle and octagonal at the hilt; the ricasso is stamped on each side with a maker's mark; a crowned S.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 118 and 337, pI. 28.

    The crowned S upon this rapier resembles the mark used by Alonso de Sahagun the Elder, of Toledo, but it is much too worn for certain identification; compare the mark upon the rapier, A669.

    J. F. Hayward has compared the design of this hilt with those of both Pierre Woeriot of Lyons and Filippo Orsoni of Mantua (Livrustkammeren, VIII, 1958-60, pp. 79-110).

    The crowned letter used by Alonso de Sahagun, as recorded by Francisco Palomares in his list of Toledo swordsmiths published in 1762, is in a shield-shaped compartment, rather than in a rectangle as on A551.
    (Seitz, Blankwaffen, II, pp. 266-7).