The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Sword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • possibly c. 1620 - c. 1630
  • Steel, blackened
  • Length: 100.2 cm
    Width: 2.7 cm
    Weight: 1.19 kg
  • Incised mark Mark of a Milanese blacksmiths
  • A614
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the blackened swept hilt made up of a spirally fluted, oviform pommel with button; wire-bound grip of oval section; single curved rear quillon; knuckle-guard, which stops a short way from the pommel. The guards are formed like those of A613, with two prongs rising from the hilt-arms to the loop-guard; double ring-guard (the larger ring joined to the knuckle-guard) and with a small loop on the inner side. The bars of the guard are of flattened diamond section. The single-edged blade of triangular section is back-edged to within twelve and three-quarter inches of the point, grooved the whole length, with two additional grooves towards the hilt; on one side is incised a mark of the type used by the Milanese bladesmiths; strong ricasso.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 90, 219 and 256.

    This type of bladesmith's mark resembling the Greek letter pi under a crown is very common on sword blades. K. Kamniker suggested that it might be a Styrian mark of some sort because it occurs frequently on blades in the Zeughaus at Graz in Styria (Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 1979, pp. 71-81). H. Nickel, however, more recently suggested that, since it was very widespread, it was probably a mark used spuriously at a number of centres to indicate supposed quality, in the same way that the Toledo mark and the signature of Andrea Ferrara were widely faked (Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 1981, pp. 101-9).