- Cup-hilt rapier
- Unknown Artist / Maker
- Hilt- Spain; blade- Solingen, Germany
- probably 3rd quarter of 17th century
- Iron and steel, pierced, chased and etched
- Length: 119 cm
Width: 1.4 cm
Weight: 0.94 kg
- Inscription: 'CLEMENS WIRSBERG / ME FECIT SOLINGE[N]' With scrolls and oval panels
Inscription: 'FIDE SED CUI VIDE / SOLI DEO GLO / RIA / PRO ARIS ET FOCIS / VITA SPE AUT MORI'
- European Armoury II
Images & Media
- Cup-hilt rapier, the hilt made up of a round, flattened pommel, solid and spirally fluted, with button; wire-bound grip; straight quillons, round in section; plain, except at the ends, which are chased and terminate in rosette-headed knobs; cup, with edge turned over, pierced and chased with scrolled foliage, berries and birds, plain hilt-arms and knuckle-guard en suite with quillons, chased in the centre; long, narrow blade of diamond section, becoming flatter and wider at the point, and so capable of giving a slashing cut (delivered from the wrist with the extreme edge of the blade and as known as the tramazone or stramazzione); it is etched on each face with the scrolls and oval panels inscribed:
ME FECIT SOLINGE[N]
It also bears the usual mottos:–
FIDE SED CUI VIDE
VITA SPE AUT MORI
SOLI DEO GLO/RIA
PRO ARIS ET FOCIS
The cup probably did not originally belong to the rest of this hilt, nor to this blade.
About 1660; cup Italian (Neapolitan); blade probably Spanish (Toledo).
Boccia & Coelho, Armi bianche, 1975, fig. 697, 'about 1670-80'; Norman & Barne, 1980, pp. 176 and 337. For other examples of the work of the Wirsberg family, see A594. There was more than one Solingen swordsmith of this name. A sword of Johann Georg I, Duke of Saxony, dated 1638 and signed by Clemens Wirsberg, is in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum at Munich.
There is also a rapier at Madrid (G 61) by Wilhelm Wirsberg bearing, in part, the same inscription. See also the rapier A594, by Clementes Wisperch.