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.
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Culture:Italian, possibly Naples
Dimensions:L. 46 3/4 in. (118.8 cm); L. of blade 40 3/16 in. (102.1 cm); W. 11 3/4 in. (29.9 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 14 oz. (1304.1 g)
Credit Line:Gift of Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 1951
Inscription: Stamped on obverse of the blade: ·:·MARIA·:· CONCEBIDA·:· ; on the reverse: ·:·SIИPECADO·:·ORIGIИAL·:· .
Ex colls.: Baron C.A. de Cosson, Florence; Rutherford Stuyvesant, Allamuchy, New Jersey
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor," February 6–April 16, 1911, no. 132 (lent by Mrs. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant).
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–March 18, 1953, no. 91.
San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–June 7, 1953, no. 91.
Pittsburgh. Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1953–April 1954, no. 91.
Christie, Manson & Woods. Armour and Arms, or, Catalogue of the Famous Collection of Armour and Arms Formed by That Well-Known Connoisseur, The Baron de Cosson, F.S.A., Which Has Been On Loan to the South Kensington Museum for the Last Two Years. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, May 2–3, 1893. p. 30, no. 196
Dean, Bashford, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February the Sixth to April the Sixteenth. New York: Gilliss Press, 1911. p. 56, no. 132, pl. XXXVIII (lent by Mrs. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant).
Dean, Bashford. The Collection of Arms and Armor of Rutherford Stuyvesant, 1843–1909. New York: privately printed, 1914. p. 66, no. 71, pl. XXVI.
Laking, Guy Francis, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. V. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1922. p. 70, fig. 1483, ill.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1953. p. 25, no. 91, ill.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The New Galleries of European Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (May 1956), pp. 214, 231, ill.
Seitz, Heribert. Blankwaffen: Geschichte und Typenentwicklung im Europäischen Kulturbereich: ein Waffenhistorisches Handbuch. Vol. 2. Brunswick: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1968. p. 139, fig. 153.
Nickel, Helmut. Warriors and Worthies: Arms and Armor Through the Ages. New York: Atheneum, 1969. p. 81, ill.
Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: eine kulturhistorische Waffenkunde mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 169, ill.
Grancsay, Stephen V., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V. Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. pp. 421–439; fig.107.18.
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