The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cup-hilt rapier
  • Cup-hilt rapier
  • Johannes Tesche
  • Solingen, Germany
  • possibly 3rd quarter of 17th century
  • Steel, copper and gold, chiselled, pierced and gilded
  • Length: 105.2 cm
    Width: 1.8 cm
    Weight: 0.92 kg
  • Inscription: '· IOHANNES · TESCHE'
  • A658
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cup-hilt rapier, the hilt made up of a small, rounded pommel roughly chiselled in low relief with leaves, gilt; grip diagonally bound with hands of copper wire alternately plain and twisted; straight quillons and knuckle-guard spirally fluted and terminating in animals' heads, gilt; hilt-arms (the two ends joined to a pierced rosette); cup, of gilt steel chiselled and pierced with large with large leaves supported by crude, grotesque animals, six times, also gilt; a band of grotesque animals at the top and a circular panel of masks at the bottom; blade of flattened diamond section, the flute at the forte inscribed on each side:

    · IOHANNES · TESCHE

    the Solingen bladesmith; strong ricasso.

    Possibly third quarter 17th century; blade German, Solingen.

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 51; Laking European Armour V, fig. 1477.

    Provenance: Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    Other rapiers by Johannes Tesche (or by Johannes Tesche Wirsberg) are at Madrid (G 89), and at the Livrustkammaren, Stockholm, nos. 591 and 591:1. This is a German adaptation of the Spanish type of cup-hilt.
    This hilt only resembles the 'Spanish' cup-hilts, such as A647, rather superficially. Was it possibly made abroad for a foreigner visiting Spain? Illustrated as 'Else' no. 6 among Dassi's drawings of the Ambrogio Uboldo collection in the Castello Sforzesca, Milan.