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An attractive Spanish Cup-Hilt Rapier with chiseled iron hilt dating to the second half of the 17th century and mounted with a fine quality blade with maker’s marks.
The deeply cupped guard is shaped as two clams supported at the brims with two rounded bars which join the knuckle bow to the front and rear quillon to the back. The long horizontal quillons stretch for 11.75 inches (just under 30 cm) and lie across the cup guard between the clams. The quillons have moulded terminals similar to the terminal of the knuckle bow which 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 pommel button.
The grip end of the blade passes through an aperture in the centre of the cup hilt beyond which it forms an oblong shaped ricasso secured as it passes through an aperture at the centre of the cross guard by downward pointing short langets. Pas d’ane rings emanate either side of this aperture from the quillons to join the cup guard at the base secured in two grooves cut on either side.
The outside of the cup guard at the edge of the clams is boldly decorated with a band of chiseled floral designs of similar style to the band of chiseled foliage which surrounds the pommel button. Below this feature, each side, two panels chiseled as scallops are formed, bordered front and back by vertical panels of scrolls. The baluster shaped wooden grip has an iron ferrule mounted top and bottom and between is bound with alternating twisted bands of copper and silver coloured wire.
A distinctive feature of this rapier is the high-quality blade manufactured in diamond section from hilt to tip. Cut into the blade, either side, is a deep fuller extending for 6 inches (15 cm) from the hilt into which is cut the marks of the blade maker: XX HEINRICH XX COEL XX MEFECIT XX on one side and: XX HEINRICH XX COEL XX SOLINGEN XX. After the end of each fuller into the ridge of the diamond section a small anchor-like mark is present either side.
The blade retains its full original length of 38.75 inches (98 cm). Overall the rapier is well balanced in hand and in attractive condition. The metal is in good order. The overall length is 46 inches (117 cm).