The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rapier
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • 1580 - 1899
    c. 1580 - c. 1590 (pommel)
    c. 1600 (blade)
    19th century (hilt)
  • Iron or steel, copper and gold, chiselled
  • Length: 102.5 cm
    Width: 2.8 cm
    Weight: 1.46 kg
  • Maker's mark: Cross and 'S'
  • A593
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the large, swept hilt composed of a pommel of flattened cylindrical form, chased with four arch-shaped panels divided by columns (undercut and spirally fluted), the two larger ones chiselled in relief with scenes representing Mucius Scaevola before King Porsenna, the two smaller ones have a single Roman figure; oval grip bound with iron and copper wire; reversely curved crossguard with slight diagonal curve; knuckle-guard, joining the hilt arms by a loop-guard, single side-ring, all of oblong section, the ends of the crossguard and the centres of the other guards have been richly chased with oblong panels containing classical figures in combat, masks and dolphins in low relief on a matte gold ground, the intervening surfaces filled with floral scrolls, acanthus leaves, masks and herms the edges chiselled to a pattern of scales. The three transverse bars on the inner side are restorations. Long, two-edged blade of flattened diamond section, the ricasso stamped on each side with a maker's mark, a cross with the letter S.

    Pommel possibly German (Saxon); guards 19th century; blade about 1600.

    J.F. Hayward, (Apollo, June, 1947), noted the similarity of this hilt with the work of Othmar Wetter of Munich (later Dresden), and drew a comparison with swords from the Dresden Rüstkammer now (1) in the Metropolitan Museum, New York: (2) W. Koeller Collection, sold Amsterdam, April, 1930; and (3) one at Sotheby's, July, 1930.