Overall Length: 117 cm or 46 inches

 

Blade Length: 102 cm or 40 inches

 

Blade: Straight blade (measuring 40 inches including ricasso ) tapering, double-edged of diamond cross-section, having a short narrow, deep, single fuller, having the following inscription in Latin letters "A N N A" engraved within the fuller.

 

The blade has an engraved decoration mark after the fuller which is almost identical to an anchor(?) mark for a German manufactured blade of c.1610 illustrated in Staffan Kinman's book- "European Maker's of Edged Weapons, Their Marks", and there appears to be a side profile of a Moor's(?) head stamped either side of the Ricasso, which would point towards a Solingen, German manufactured blade. There is some very minor lamination close to the ricasso and a lateral pinch line and some minor chipping very close to the blade point. The blade is nice and firm in the hilt.

 

Hilt: The Iron hilt of this sword has many of the characteristic features of the type 70 rapier hilt, found in A.V.B. Norman's book "The Rapier and the Smallsword", very similar to the rapier owned by Lord Astor of Hever Castle and on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is believed to be of English manufacture. The hilt of this rapier could very well be of English manufacture and date to between circa 1600 to 1615 (the flat-ended quillon and guard bars with the small button on the end strongly suggest this). However, the rapier also shares some similarity to certain Northern European rapiers of Dresden, German manufacture, which date to between circa 1610 to 1620.

 

The hilt comprises a set of re-curved, square-ended, quillon guard bars with tiny buttons at the end. From the escutcheon shaped langet at the center of the quillon project a pair of looping bars, which meet together and hold a curved dish guard.

 

A set of 'Arms' curve downwards from the center of the quillon to meet and support the looping bars, which continue on the other side, terminating in a pair of parallel, square-ended, guard bars with an arched guard bar set between them. These guard bars touch a figure of eight side bar and there is a looped side bar opposite, to complete the defense.

 

The long oval pommel is of type 35 with a small button on the end. The grip is wrapped nicely in oblique folds of steel wire, just a single wire spread but firm. There is some simple geometric engraving to the hilt parts.

 

Altogether, an extremely rare and finely made, English or Northern European German/Saxon rapier dating to the first 15 years of the 17th century and in wonderfully good condition.

English or German Rapier, circa 1600 - 1615

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