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A Spanish Cup-Hilt Rapier dating to the late 17th century presented in fine and original condition mounted with an interesting engraved blade with the date 1689 and figures armed with rapiers and stylised ornament.
The deep guard cup is well shaped and typically turned outwards at the brim. Underneath, the centre of the cup is reinforced by a steel rivetted floret, decorated with radiating grooves and scalloped edge, through the centre of which the blade tang passes into the hilt. Inside the cup, the base is reinforced with a similar floret. From this the pas d’ane rings are forged to join the cross guard bar either side of the tang.
The cross guard bar (quillons) stretches 10.25 inches (26 cm) long and lies across the cup guard. It is forged tightly against the tang and further secured by 1 inch (2.5 cm) triangular langets which extend from the quillon block down the blade. Further reinforcement is provided by two crescents delicately cut into the cup brim, opposite each other, and into which the quillons partially sit to prevent lateral movement. The knuckle bow extends in an attractive semi-circular curve from the quillon block to the bun shaped pommel which is mounted with an integral ribbed neck and ribbed dome-shaped pommel button.
The grip is of wood covered with woven steel wire and mounted with steel wire “Turks Heads” top and bottom. The quillons and knuckle bow terminals, plus pommel button top, are identically shaped as knops, and all are decorated with a chiselled rope work design, as is the quillon block, langets and the cup guard brim en suite.
A distinctive feature of this sword is the high quality blade. Of slightly flattened, stiff, tapering diamond section it has a small ricasso and retains its full original length of 43.5 inches (110 cm). The first third of the blade length is finely engraved on each side with armed figures in different active positions holding rapiers, plus inscriptions, birds, pedestals and scrolls. Near the hilt on one side of the blade is the horizontal word “Anno” and on the other in the same place is a date which appears to be 1689.
Overall the rapier is well balanced in hand and in fine, attractive and original condition. The metal is in good condition, slightly age stained in parts but not rusted or pitted. The overall length is 50.25 inches (127.5 cm).