The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Gonzalo Simón (active between: before 1615) , Swordsmith
  • Toledo, Spain
  • c. 1590
  • Iron or steel, gold and silver, chiselled, encrusted, once gilded
  • Length: 120.4 cm
    Length: 105.5 cm, blade
    Width: 2 cm, blade, above the ricasso
    Weight: 1.155 kg
    Width: 21.1 cm, guard
    Balance point: 10 cm, forward of the guard block
  • Maker's mark: '· GONCALO · / · SIMON EN T'
    Stamp: Crowned 'G' and Toledo mark Toledo mark is deeply impressed in the tang on one side
  • A569
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the swept and fluted hilt, made up of a melon-shaped pommel with a flat button; original wire-bound grip; knuckle-guard branching into loop-guards, the outer joining the straight crossguard which swell slightly at the ends, the other branch dividing in three before joining the hilt-arms at the forward end of which is a side-ring enclosing a pierced shell. All the bars are of circular section, the outer chiselled with rosettes alternating with lozenge-shaped panels of dots encrusted in silver on a russeted ground originally gilt, traces of the gilding remaining on the inner side. Blade of flattened diamond section, the single flute at the ricasso being incised with the bladesmiths' name:

    ∙ GONCALO ∙ / ∙ SIMON EN T ∙

    The ricasso stamped on each side with his mark, a crowned G, and that of Toledo; the latter is also deeply impressed in the tang on one side.
    In the Real Armería at Madrid is a rapier (G 77) inscribed GONZALO . SIMON . EN . T . His name is given in the list of Toledo swordmakers drawn up by Palomares, no. 35; Rodríguez del Canto also mentions him, but ascribes to him a different mark.

    Gonzalo Simón must have been working in or before 1615, since C. Suarez de Figueroa included him in his list of the best swordsmiths in Spain in his Plaza universal de todas ciencias y artes, Madrid, p. 334. His name has not yet been traced in the Toledo archives, but a man of this name is included under no. 35 in the list of Toledo swordsmiths published by Francisco Palomares in 1762. His mark is there given as a shield charged with an inverted chevron, between an anulet in chief, and the letters G° in base, all beneath what may be a crown with a rather prominent central cross (Seitz, Blankwaffen, II, pp. 266-7). De Leguina lists him in Toledo in 1617 and describes his mark as G° with a cross above, in a shield (1897, p. 158). A blade signed with the name of Gonzalo Simón, but without a mark, is in the Real Armería at Madrid, No. G77.