The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Peter Wirsberg (active between: 1609 - 1628) , Swordsmith
  • Solingen, Germany
  • c. 1600 - c. 1620
  • Steel, blackened
  • Length: 116.8 cm
    Length: 100 cm, blade
    Width: 2.7 cm
    Weight: 1.24 kg
  • Inscription: '. PETTHERR . WIRSBERGH'
    Maker's mark: Bugle Stamped
  • A634
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the semi-swept hilt composed of a fish-tail pommel of hexagonal section, the button placed within the fork; spirally fluted, wire-bound grip (probably modern); diagonally curved quillons, one forming the knuckle-guard; single ring-guard and loop joining quillons to hilt-arms, the latter carrying a loop counter-guard of two vertically projecting prongs enclosing two small shells each pierced with a quatrefoil; the guards of blackened steel of diamond section, and all the ends of fish-tail form with a circular hole. Blade of diamond section at the point changing to hexagonal section at the forte, the double flute inscribed on each side:


    The ricasso stamped on each side with his mark of a bugle.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 88, 230 and 258. Peter Wirsberg was of the well-known family of Solingen sword-smiths (see A594). Peter was Burgermeister in 1617, and again in 1622 and 1627. Other blades by him are at Dresden (E 176 a-c); Paris, Musée de l' Armée (J.190); Munich; Stockholm, etc.

    A group of nine very similar hilts is in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum, Ingolstadt (for instance inv. no. A987).

    A Peter Wirsberg, recorded in the Solingen archives between 1609 and 1628, was Burgomaster in 1617-18, 1622-3, and 1627-8. A. Weyersberg surmised that some of the blades signed with this name probably antedate the working life of this man, and that, therefore, two generations must be involved. Another man of this name was Burgomaster in 1670 and again in 1680. (Weyersberg, Solinger Schwertschmiede, 1926, pp. 50-2).