Rapier

Date:
early 17th century
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Iron, steel, brass copper
Dimensions:
L. 44 in. (111.7 cm); L. of blade 37 7/8 in. (96.2 cm); W. 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm); D. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 8 oz. (1134 g)
Classification:
Swords
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
04.3.52
Not on view
The rapier was the principal civilian sidearm throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Designed for cut-and-thrust fencing of progressively complex techniques, the rapier is characterized by a double-edged blade with an acute point and an elaborate guard for the hand. The guards, usually of iron or steel, were subject to a variety of embellishment. They were engraved, chiseled, gilded, damascened, and encrusted in gold and silver in keeping with fashionable styles.

Unless otherwise noted, the materials, attributions, and dating given here refer to the hilts. Rapier blades, invariably of steel, bear a variety of maker’s marks denoting their origin in the two principal centers of blademaking, Toledo in Spain and Solingen in Germany.
Inscription: Running wolf (in groove of blade, obverse, retaining fragments of brass inlay)

Also, there are markings on both sides of ricasso. See cards for illustration.
Richmond. Agecroft Hall, Historic House Museum. "No title entered 08," September 1978–August 18, 1997.

Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 1901. p. 64, no. F. 37 (Our rapier called German, first half of XVII century).

Norman, A. V. B. The Rapier and Small-Sword, 1460–1820. London: Arms and Armour Press, 1980. hilt type 66, datable to c. 1620-1640s).