Fine Antique Arms & Armour

English Duelling Rapier of the early 17th Century Ref: 010.15


Price £3,950

Item Description:


A fine English duelling rapier mounted with a chiselled steel hilt of superb execution dating to circa 1620 to 1645. The shallow dish guard is formed on the convex surface with five concentric circular bands of different design. The first is a central solid roundel through which the tang passes and is decorated with scrolls and foliage in raised relief against a stippled background of punched dots. The second is a finely formed delicate band of open work quatrefoils. The third is a ring of punched dots formed in raised relief against a stippled background similar to the central roundel. The fourth band is a further ring of quatrefoils with the last band, the outer rim, cut with a band of feather shapes which form a scalloped outer edge to the dish.


The quillon block is fluted as is the tall ovoid pommel mounted with a pronounced neck and pommel button. A pair of straight quillons with pronounced scrolling terminals project from the block secured to the dish mid way by a pair of scrolled arms of the style seen on other English sword types of the period. The attractive grip is formed from a wooden tubular core covered with narrow copper twisted wire on top if which a spiral of thicker copper chain-work has been applied plus "Turks" heads top and bottom.


The long slender tapering blade is of stiff diamond section and was originally decorated with a blue and gilt finish for the first 5.25 inches (13 cm) of its length of which circa 60% remains. The blade retains its original duelling length of 42.25 inches (107 cm) and overall the length of the rapier is 50 inches (126.5 cm).


The hilt conforms to Norman type 97 - for a discussion of the group see A.V.B. Norman 1980, p. 172.


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