A CUP HILT RAPIER, SPANISH OR ITALIAN C.1680
About the piece
This large rapier epitomizes its type. Its large deep cup, which protected the fingers gripped ahead of the cross guard, is pierced in scrolling foliage, yet sufficiently thick to arrest the most aggressive thrust or slash. The pommel, modeled in the full round as a demonic face with hair morphing into foliage matching the cup decoration, represents a fashion of the period. Human heads, particularly curious ones such as classical figures or negroes, modeled in the full round, often with exaggerated features, were the subjects of rapier and other sword pommels. In this instance, its weight in combination with the large proportions of the hilt serves as a counter balance to the exceptionally long blade. The elegant form of this weapon belie its substantial proportions which clearly required an owner of significant stature and highly developed skills to use effectively. In such hands, however, it was a match for any on the street or field of honor.Blade length: 42 3/4"