The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Rapier
  • Alonso de Sahagun (active between: 1570 - 1599) , Swordsmith
  • Hilt- possibly Netherlands; blade- Toledo, Spain or Germany
  • c. 1635 - c. 1645 (hilt)
    c. 1570 - 1600 (blade)
  • Steel
  • Length: 98.4 cm
    Width: 2.6 cm
    Weight: 1 kg
  • Inscription: 'S·A·H·A·G·V·N / EL·VIE·10'
    Maker's mark: Crowned 'S' Stamped
  • A669
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rapier, the hilt composed of a spirally fluted pommel, skillfully chased in low relief with vines, and topped with acanthus, with a small projecting scroll on one side, into which the upper end of the knuckle-guard is inserted; large button; spirally fluted, steel grip of circular section chased with vines like the pommel; short quillons bifurcated into four, issuing from the mouths of marine monsters at the escutcheon, and finishing at the heads of sea monsters; the knuckle-guard has a similar head in the centre; shallow, saucer-like cup with scalloped edge, with eight shield-shaped panels, chiselled with vines in low relief; the cup is worked on both sides and the escutcheon is extended to form a short ricasso (the portion of blade so covered retains its original burnish); the blade of flattened hexagonal section, the single groove incised:

    S · A · H · A · G · V · N / EL · VIE · IO

    The tang, beneath the escutcheon, is stamped on each side with his mark, a crowned S. Alonso de Sahagun, the Elder, the famous Toledo bladesmith, was working during the latter part of the 16th century.

    Hilt about 1635-45; blade Spanish (Toledo) or a German imitation.

    Norman and Barne, 1980, pp. 169 and 274, pI. 71. Laking, European Armour, V, fig. 1467.

    A town sword with a similar hilt was in the collection of Sir Archibald Lamb, Bt. (sold Christie's, 15 May, 1922, lot 129). This type of hilt is discussed by C. Blair (1974 cat., no. 34).

    For the bladesmith's mark see A491 and A551.