The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Estoc
  • Estoc
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany and North Italy
  • c. 1600 - c. 1610
  • Iron, steel, silver and gold, blued and overlaid
  • Length: 104.5 cm
    Width: 1.9 cm
    Weight: 1.63 kg
  • Inscription: Comet followed by 'VIRTVS OMNIPOTES (sic)'
  • A628
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Estoc, with a semi-swept hilt composed of a flattened, fig-shaped pommel; the button (which is pierced with a hole) is not secured by peaning over the end of the tang, but is mounted on a piece of tubing having a length of 1 5/8 inches; this has been tapped on the inner side for screwing onto the tang; the grip of pilaster form, oblong in section; curved rear quillon of oval section one end turned towards the pommel acts as a knuckle guard; the quillon is joined by a loop to the hilt-arms, from which spring two prongs, and on the inner side two transverse bars, all of oval section. The entire hilt decorated with conventional foliage and large arabesques heavily overlaid with a coat of arms: Quarterly: 1, a lion rampant; 2, 3, a stag salient; 4 (defaced). In chief a double-headed eagle displayed, surmounted by a barrel helmet to the dexter with a crest; the lion of St. Mark or, and the initials P/C with D/L below. The escutcheon bears a device resembling a comet, surrounded by the motto:

    VIRTVS OMNIPOTES (sic)

    Long, stiff blade of triangular bayonet section, the facets hollowed.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 38 and pl. 3

    The estoc is a military sword having a heavier thrusting blade than a rapier.
    The overlaid decoration includes both silver and gold. The tang-button unscrews allowing the hilt to be dismantled easily, perhaps for travelling or possibly for fitting an alternative blade. The coat of arms on the hilt is that of Count Pio Capo da Lista (died 1619). The device of the lion of St. Mark is the emblem of Venice, in whose service the Count was. The style of the overlay on the hilt differs from that of the blade.

    Blair, European and American Arms, 1962, fig. 102 and p. 85; Blair, Scottish Art Review, XII, pp. 22-7 and 30-2, fig. 11; Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 41, 87-8, 143, 227, 256 and 359, pI. 43.

    According to La Chronique des Arts, 10 February 1867, p. 41, no. A628 was bought by Nieuwerkerke at the Lochis de Bergamo sale, Pillet and Dhios, Delange, Paris, 4-5 February 1867, for 3,400 fr. According to Fillet's papers at the Archives de Paris (D 48E³ 58) it was lot 2 and was bought by Pillet for Nieuwerkerke at this price (S. Gaynor, personal communication, 1984).