The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Milan, Italy and North Europe
  • c. 1600 - c. 1620
  • Steel and gold, overlaid and blued
  • Length: 113.5 cm
    Width: 2.2 cm
    Weight: 1.355 kg
  • Inscription: '·ANDREA · / ·ME FECIT·'
    Maker's mark
  • A627
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the semi-swept hilt made up of an oviform pommel, with button, ten-sided; short steel grip of octagonal section; diagonally curved quillons, widening towards the ends; side-ring, joined by a prominent loop to the hilt-arms, and on the inner side a looped bar crossing in saltire; the ends of the hilt-arms are connected by a loop joined on one side to the ring by a diagonal bar; the other has a short projecting prong; all are of flat, oval section. The entire hilt is of blued steel richly overlaid in gold with minute arabesques and ovals containing human figures; the quillon-block bears on one side a conventional star, and on the other a shield tierced in pale (the charges obliterated), as borne in the full arms of the Duke of Ferrara and Modena (Este), of Urbino (della Rovere), of Parma (Farnese), more probably the first. The nombril point of the coat of arms on the quillon-block appears to be divided per saltire. The blade (much worn) of flattened hexagonal section, with ricasso and a short, single groove stamped:

    · ANDREA · / · ME FECIT ·

    It bears a maker's mark which is possibly that of a Milanese bladesmith.
    Several rapiers or swords bearing the same mark are known: Royal Armouries, inv. no. IX, 43; Leningrad, Hermitage, no. B 454; Max Kupelmayr Collection, sold Munich, 26-28 March, 1895, lot no. 227; and at Kremsmünster. See also Z.H.W.K., IV, Heft 3, p. 81; VI, Heft 6, p. 183.

    Compare also the cross upon the dagger, no. A794.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 95 and 227, pI. 49.