The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cup-hilt rapier
  • Cup-hilt rapier
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • possibly 3rd quarter of 17th century
  • Iron, steel and copper alloy, inlaid, chiselled, pierced and engraved
  • Length: 102.2 cm
    Width: 2.5 cm
    Weight: 1.04 kg
  • Incised mark: Running wolf inlaid in copper alloy
    Maker's mark
  • A659
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cup-hilt rapier, the hilt comprising a flattened spherical pommel, with button, chiselled with conventional flowers and leaves in low relief; octagonal, wire-bound grip; straight quillons, spirally roped, swelling towards the ends; deep cup, pierced and chiselled with scrolls, birds and conventional leaves and flowers, incorporating on either side a shield ensigned by a helmet in profile, the helmet and the charges to sinister: charged with a chevron between the three Moors' heads erased impaling checky and a bird upon a chief, possibly for Moreau, impaling Kerchove. The edge of the cup decorate with a border of interlaced loops, the base, round the blade, engraved with a conventional double rose: broad blade of hexagonal section, singly grooved at the forte, inlaid with the running-wolf mark in brass; the ricasso stamped on each side with a maker's mark, see A623.

    The left-hand dagger A840, which belongs to it, is of like design and workmanship, and bears the same arms.

    Possibly third quarter 17th century; blade almost certainly associated, German (Passau or Solingen).

    De Beaumont Catalogue, no. 52 and pl. 4; Laking European Armour V, fig. 1486.

    Provenance: Joyeau (Une épée cuillier à pot ciselée à jour fin XVIème siècle et une dague main gauche Espanole 1,200 fr.; receipted bill, 27 April, 1868); Comte de Nieuwerkerke.

    This appears to be a German imitation of the Spanish type of cup-hilt.

    Both the description of the two impaled coats and their tentative identifications are reversed in the 1962 Catalogue. In any case the arms of Kerchove are a flying dove holding an olive branch in its bill. The birds on the hilt of A659 resemble wrens and are not flying. The hilt of the left-hand dagger A840 seems to be of slightly different workmanship.

    Possibly third quarter 17th century; blade almost certainly associated, German (Passau or Solingen).

    Exhibited: ? Musée Rétrospectif, 1865, nos. 1841-2, with A840 (Nieuwerkerke), but with coat of arms described as La Mirandola. If this information is correct, the Joyeau provenance in the 1962 Catalogue does not refer to A659 and A840.

    A hilt of a different form but chiselled with identical impaled arms was in the Dupasquier collection (C. Thoumas, Exposition rétrospective militaire du Ministère de la Guerre en 1889, 1890, illus. on p. 65).

    L' art ancien, I, pI. 26; Norman & Barne, 1980, pp. 175 and 179.