The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cup-hilt rapier
  • Cup-hilt rapier
  • Juan Hernandes
  • Toledo, Spain
  • 2nd half of 17th century
  • Steel, pierced and chiselled
  • Length: 116.8 cm
    Width: 1.8 cm
    Weight: 0.96 kg
  • Inscription: 'IOHANNES HERNANDES'
    Maker's mark
    Incised mark: Toledo mark
  • A670
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cup-hilt rapier, the hilt composed of a spherical pommel, the lower half spirally fluted, large button; oval, wire-bound grip (modern); long, plain straight quillons of circular section with buttons at the ends; knuckle guard en suite swelling at the centre; the hilt-arms are shaped to support internally the cup, which is elaborately pierced and chased with scrolls of conventional foliage; the upper edge has been turned over. The base of the cup in front has been reinforced with a circular plaque roughly pierced and chiseled, probably later in date, but not recent. Long, slender blade of flattened hexagonal section, the short groove in the centre of the forte inscribed:

    IOHANNES HERNANDES

    Square ricasso stamped on each side with the bladesmith's mark and that of Toledo.

    Second half of 17th century; blade probably Spanish (Toledo).

    A similar bladesmith's mark is to be found on a rapier in the Hermitage, St. Petersberg (Lenz, 1908, p. 162, no. B 467).

    For other blades by members of the Hernandes family, see nos. A532-3, 571, 586.

    Juan Hernandes is the least frequently met with. There was a cup-hilt rapier with blade by him sold by Fisher, Lucerne, September, 1932, lot 177.

    This hilt of this piece has been considerably altered and repaired, probably in the 19th century, principally by the patching of the centre of the cup. On the side towards the blade, the patch, which is slightly embossed and pierced with foliage, was probably reused from some other object. Towards the hand, the patch is plain and probably of 19th-century date.

    Second half of 17th century; blade probably Spanish (Toledo).

    Juan Hernandes is not recorded by Francisco Palomares in his list of Toledo sword-cutlers published in 1762 (Seitz, Blankwaffen, II, pp. 266-7) but a rapier blade signed JUAN HERNANDEZ EN TOLEDO was sold at Fischer's, Lucerne, 6-7 September 1932, lot 177.