The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- possibly North Europe; blade- Italy, possibly Milan
  • c. 1625 - c. 1635
  • Iron or steel, gold and copper, chiselled and gilded
  • Length: 98.1 cm
    Width: 2.6 cm
    Weight: 1.27 kg
  • Inscription: '· RESPICE · FINEM ·'
    Stamp: Half-moon between shields charged with two arched bars and ensigned by a crown over 'M'
  • A637
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the swept hilt having an egg-shaped pommel (with button) carrying four chequered, oval reliefs on a herring-bone ground, chiselled and gilt; copper wire-bound grip with a herring-bone pattern; straight quillons with chequered escutcheon and ending in chequered knobs; roughly symmetrical guards broken in the centres by chequered knobs; knuckle-guard joined by a loop to the hilt-arms with a ring-guard on both sides. The forward rings on each side filled with a pierced shell decorated with a vase from which springs scrolled foliage. All the guards are of diamond section chased with a herring-bone pattern and gilt, relieved and terminating in mouldings. The blade of flattened hexagonal section, the single fuller inscribed on both sides:


    The gilt ricasso is stamped on each side with a half-moon between shields charged with two arched bars, and ensigned by a crown, over the letter M; cf. The marks upon the rapiers A630 and A643.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 42, 137 and 372, pI. 61. The same marks and motto also occur on a rapier in the Museo Stibbert, Florence, no. 3477, and a motto on a rapier that was in the Spengel sale, Paris, 1869, lot 407. They are all probably Milanese. Juste the Elder, who was buying for Nieuwerkerke at the time, purchased a sword with the same inscription on the blade at the Philippe Vaillant de Meixmoron sale, Contet, Dijon, 27 April-7 May 1868, lot 65, for 540 fr. (marked catalogue in the Metropolitan Museum, New York). However, its length is given as 122 cm.