The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy, probably
  • c. 1620 - c. 1630
  • Steel, blackened
  • Length: 109.8 cm
    Width: 2.8 cm
    Weight: 1.87 kg
  • Stamp: 'MMMMM' Stamped five times
  • A574
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the swept hilt comprising an oviform pommel with turned base and large cylindrical button; wire-bound grip; long straight crossguard of circular section, thickened at the ends; hilt-arms, triple ring and knuckle-guard, a swept loop-guard joining the largest ring to the knuckle-guard, the whole of blackened steel. Double-edged blade of hexagonal section; a single groove at the forte is stamped on each side with the letter MMMMM five times alternating with a device resembling a thistle; the ricasso bears faint traces of what was thought to be a maker's mark, but now seems likely to be a simple flaw in the metal.

    For the repetition of the letter M, cf. A598; Royal Armouries, IX. 55 (Antonio Picinino) and IX.98; and other series of disconnected letters on the blades of rapiers. A considerable number of very similar swords survive in the armoury of the Knights of St. John in Valetta, Malta (C. Blair, personal communication).