The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Guard- North Europe, possibly Netherlands; pommel- probably Brescia; blade- Italy, possibly Milan
  • probably 2nd quarter of 17th century
  • Steel
  • Length: 106.5 cm
    Width: 2.3 cm
    Weight: 1.535 kg
  • Inscription: ' · DE · TOMAS · DE · AIALA ·'
    Maker's mark: Half-moon and 'M' surmounted by a shield
  • A643
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, of 'Walloon' or 'Pappenheimer' type., the hilt made up of an associated oviform pommel chased with floral scrolls in low relief, with button; wire-bound grip strengthened with four narrow, vertical bands; diagonally carved quillons with bifurcated riband ends; hilt-arms and knuckle-guard joined to the arms with symmetrical loops on both sides and the forward rings each filled with a large shell pierced with quatrefoils, and with a solid central disc chased with five small bosses in the middle; the entire hilt of bright steel, the bars incised with trefoils and scrolls; long blade of hexagonal section, with a single groove at the forte inscribed on each side:

    · DE · TOMAS · DE · AIALA ·

    The ricasso bears the half-moon mark, together with the letter M surmounted by a shield; these are not the marks usually associated with Tomas de Ayala, and there is no significance here in the name of the famous Toledo bladesmith (cf. the rapiers, A567 and A652, and the marks upon A630 and 637). The pommel is associated, the chiselled relief decoration resembling that on some Brescian gun mounts. The pierced plate inside the hand is a replacement.

    Probably second quarter of the 17th century; the pommel probably Brescian; guards, North European (Dutch ?); blade Italian (Milanese ?).

    Norman & Barne, 1980, p. 137. The so-called 'Walloon' or 'Pappenheim' rapier, with large shells within the guards, of which this is a characteristic specimen, was typical of the swords used by officers during the Thirty Years War in Germany.