The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Rapier
  • Rapier
  • Workshop of Caino
  • Spain and Milan, Italy
  • probably 3rd quarter of 17th century
  • Iron or steel, chiselled and engraved
  • Length: 109 cm
    Width: 2 cm
    Weight: 1.13 kg
  • Incised mark: '·EH (or N) EH·EH·'
    Maker's mark: Crowned 'S' and 'Caino' 'Caino' is very faint
  • A649
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cup-hilt rapier, the hilt comprised of a round flattened pommel, with button, hollow and pierced with coarsely worked leaves; hollow grip, pierced and chiselled with scrolls of conventional leaves and flowers; straight quillons, chased with acanthus leaves at their base, spirally fluted and finished with flat knobs engraved with rosettes; cup, with edge turned over, pierced and chiselled with scrolls, foliage, berries, snakes and exotic birds; inner shell (guardapolvo), pierced with scrolls of conventional eaves and flowers; plain hilt-arms, knuckle-guard en suite with the quillons, broken in the centre by turned moulding; blade of flattened hexagonal section, grooved at the hilt and bearing a series of letters (now nearly obliterated) which appear to be:

    · EH (or N) EH · EH ·

    The ricasso is stamped on each side with a maker's mark of a crowned S used by a Caino bladesmith. The workmanship of the cup, although old and good, seems to differ from that of the remainder of the hilt.

    Probably third quarter 17th century; blade Italian (Caino).

    L' Art Ancien III, no. 368 (?); V, no. 580

    Provenance: Frédéric Spitzer

    Norman & Barne, 1980, pp. 178.

    For the inscription CAINO see a note under A516, and for the bladesmith's mark see a note under A539.