Fine Antique Arms & Armour

Outstanding North German Rapier of the Early 17th Century Ref: 063.16


Price: 6,550

Item Description:


An outstanding North German Rapier dating to the early 17th century. The complex hilt is formed from  finely worked rectangular and square section rounded bars of varying widths, depending on function, and is formed around a robust vertically fluted quillon block, shaped with downward facing triangular langets, which hold the blade tang tightly in place. Two horizontal quillons emanate with filed waists from the block to form a cross guard and terminate in downward facing scrolls which end in swollen knops.


From the centre of the cross guard two horizontal guard rings are forged with swollen middles. From underneath the centre of the cross bar, two pas de ane rings curve in convex manner downwards to meet and form a secondary cross guard bar, on to which is attached two smaller, horizontal, outwardly upper sloping guard rings. The strength of the attachment of these is reinforced by the addition of four "S" shaped guard bars which reach downwards from the primary guard rings above, to connect with the secondary rings. Each secondary guard ring is infilled with a sprung guard plate, each finely pierced with a lattice of delicately fretted squares of exquisite workmanship.


The onion shaped pommel is formed with an integral cone shaped neck and button. The pommel is filed with decorous vertically aligned conjoined grooves and ridges


The blade is of excellent quality, of stiff diamond section, with flattened ridges, it possesses a short ricasso and tapers to its point. From the hilt, either side, a central tapering fuller extends for 5 inches (10.25 cm) down the sentre of the blade. At the hilt, the shoulders of the ricasso either side of the fuller, are cut with "thumb nail" marks.  Along its flanks the fuller is incised either side with narrow delicate lines interspersed with rows of dots. Inside the fuller on one side is the mark:  L V P V S    A U G U L A and on the other: I R S V S   M A R I A , both inscriptions interspersed with dots. At the end of the fuller either side a stylised cross is punched into the blade. The blade is probably of Northern Italian origin, manufactured by a Toledo trained smith working in an area under Spanish control, possibly Milan.


The consistency of the taper shows that the blade retains its original length. The wooden grip is vertically fluted and covered with a decorative wrap of bands of twisted steel wire. "Turks Heads" are present top and bottom.


The sword is in fine condition, its parts tight together, slightly age stained, with minor darkened patches in some parts. Overall the metal is in very fine condition and the piece is lovely to handle in hand despite its long length. The blade length is: 41.25 inches (105 cm) and overall is:  49 inches (125 cm) long.


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