The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rapier
  • Rapier
  • Caino , Swordsmith , possibly 'Master S of Caino'
  • Hilt- possibly Italy, decorated in Milan; blade- probably North Italy
  • c. 1610
  • Iron, steel, silver and gold, overlaid
  • Length: 114.1 cm
    Width: 2.6 cm
    Weight: 1.23 kg
  • Inscription: 'PRSBPRBPRBB'
    Inscription: 'RSPBRP BRPBB'
    Maker's mark: Crowned 'M / S'
  • A573
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the swept hilt made up of an oviform pommel with eighteen hollow facets, and tang button; wire-bound grip of oblong section; straight crossguard, of hexagonal section, thickening towards the ends; side-ring, hilt-arms and knuckle-guard, joined by a swept loop-guard from the hilt-arms, and the usual three bars on the inner side; the hilt minutely decorated with arabesques in gold and silver on a russeted ground. Double-edged blade of flattened diamond section, grooved at the forte and inscribed:

    P R S B P R B P R B B

    on the one side, and :

    R S P B R P B R P B B

    on the other; the strong tapering ricasso is stamped on each side with a crowned M/S, the mark once thought to belong to a Caino bladesmith working in Milan (see A560). However the word CAINO, which usually accompanies the crowned mark, is here absent.

    A rapier with the same mark and also the name of CAINO and the letters BRFSRFSB is in the Royal Armouries (IX.65). Cf. also Museo Stibbert, no. 2137; Musée de l’Armée, Brussels, cup-hilt rapier, V, 57; and a rapier in the German Historical Museum at Berlin which bears the crowned MS mark but accompanied by the wolf mark, stressing the fact that it is a German imitation.
    The combination of the word CAINO and a mark combining the letters MS also occurs on a blade in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan (inv. No. 2562; 1980 cat., no. 528); and, with a jumble of letters in the fuller, on a blade at Windsor Castle (1904 cat., no. 719).