The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rapier
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1610
  • Iron, steel and silver, encrusted
  • Length: 107.7 cm
    Width: 3 cm
    Weight: 1.52 kg
  • Maker's mark: Resembles the crozier head of Basel Stamped
  • A555
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the swept hilt comprised of an oviform pommel with button, divided into four panels of decoration; spirally fluted, wire-bound grip; straight crossguard of flat oval section; knuckle-guard, hilt-arms, and two ring-guards, the largest connected by a swept loop-guard to the knuckle-guard. The entire hilt is encrusted with conventional flowers and foliage, in silver. In the écusson is a cherub's head on one side and a crowned lion on the other, and similar cherubs' heads on the centre of each guard. On the inner side three curved bars connect the hilt-arms to the knuckle-guard. The long, double-edged blade is of flattened diamond section, with a maker's mark stamped on each side of the ricasso; this marks resembles the crozier head of Basel (see A1278)

    De Beaumont Catalogue, No. 35

    This handsome, swept-hilt rapier with silver-encrusted hilt is similar in general build to A566-7. This type of heavy silver encrustation was specifically popular in England, cf. no. A511, the sword of Henry, Prince of Wales.
    It has not yet proved possible to isolate the centres of manufacture of this style of encrusting in silver on a cod's-roe matted ground (see Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 360-1). It seems to have had a wide popularity, particularly in the first twenty years of the 17th century, and was probably made in many different places.