The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Milan, Italy
  • c. 1610 - c. 1620 (guards)
    c. 1630 (pommel)
  • Iron or steel and gold, gilded
  • Length: 127 cm
    Length: 111 cm, blade
    Width: 2.6 cm
    Weight: 1.22 kg
  • Inscription: '.H.E.N.O.V.A.O.N.L.O. / .M.N.V.E.A.L.O.H.N.' In Spanish manner
    Maker's mark: Oval signature of 'PICININO' around castle or tower in centre
  • A629
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the semi-swept hilt made up of an oviform pommel decorated with flat gadroons or palmettes in low relief, the long tang button similarly decorated; wire-bound grip; single curving rear quillon balancing the recurved knuckle guard, joined by a loop to the ring guard and hilt-arms, the bars of hexagonal section and gilt; blade of diamond section, with single groove in the forte incised in the Spanish manner:

    . H . E . N . O . V . A . O . N . L . O .

    . M . N . V . E . A . L . O . H . N .

    Ricasso of rectangular section, gilt and stamped on each side with the oval signature of one of the Piccinino– cf. that upon the rapier A646. The pommel is probably associated. The fourth transverse-guard inside the hand has been broken off and the hilt re-gilded, covering the scar.

    The tower or castle at the centre of the mark is crudely incised, unlike that in the similar mark on A646, which is stamped. The marks of the Marliani family of swordsmiths (called Piccinino) were often faked, a problem the Milanese guild of swordsmiths tried to outlaw; see Leydi, Silvio, ‘The Swordsmiths of Milan, c. 1525-1630’, in Capwell, Tobias, The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe 1520-1630, ex. cat. (London: Wallace Collection, 2012), pp. 177- 201.