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I offer for sale just about the finest example of a very rare, early 17th century Pappenheimer rapier I have personally come across. This particular, original antique sword - circa 1630 has had it's hilt-guard and pommel expertly and sensitively restored and it's gilding retouched. The sword now looking very much to how it would have appeared some 390 years ago.


The Pappenheimer (the War Rapier) was a German innovation of civilian rapier, having a wider and stronger blade fitted but the same far-reaching length, perfect for cavalry use in battle. This particular sword has what appears to be it's original, Spanish manufactured, diamond section, 38 inch long rapier blade, the ricasso of which is heavily stamped with a different mark each side. One one side within an escutcheon are seen I believe "three sheves of wheat bound together below a crown" with the capital letters "D S" seen below. On the reverse at the ricasso is seen a double escutcheon with the capital letter "M" below an Orb or a Wheel


The blade is in superb condition for it's age. I can only see and feel two tiny nicks to the blade edge and the tip may be missing it's absolute point, but only just. There is also hardly any tarnishing to the blade surface, just a nice satin patina. The blade is nice and firm in the hilt, the grip is almost certainly a replacement during the lifetime of the sword. The blade still retains a nice sharp service edge to it.


The elegant symmetrical hilt has been fashioned of forged, rectangular-section iron bars, which you can seen in the photos have lamination lines running through them. The quillons are horizontal and recurved having small buttons finials. Emanating from the quillon bars are a series of interconnected looping guard bars, enclosing two integral round dish-guard plates, one on each side, which have a number of pierced holes, framed by an incised double diamond pattern. For it's age and the fact that it is of gilded iron construction and a military sword, the hilt is in wonderful condition.


The grip is covered with two sizes of twisted iron wire and has a 'Turks head' top and bottom. The Pommel is faceted and pear shaped having a button.


The Pappenheimer was a light sword with a strong, long, flexible blade designed for slashing and thrusting whilst on horseback in a military setting. It is worthy of note that the Swedish king - Gustavus Adolphus was carrying such a rapier when he was killed at the Battle of Lutzen in November, 1632. Also, one of his Catholic opponents - Field Marshal, Gottfried Heinrich Count zu Pappenheim, was mortally wounded while reinforcing Albrecht von Wallenstein's Imperial army against the Swedish king in this battle. He was leading his Cuirassiers known as "The Pappenheimers", and may have been armed in a similar fashion.


The sword I offer was surely carried and used by a cavalry officer during The Thirty Years War of Northern Europe.

Rare, gilded Pappenheimer rapier c.1630

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