AN ITALIAN MILITARY RAPIER C.1580-1600
About the piece
Armor evolved in the 16th century to reduce covering for the extremities and concentrate the weight for protection of the torso and head. In response, swords evolved from the armor crushing broadswords to lighter weapons which could attack the extremities and provide added agility. Of horsemens swords, the best known is probably the Pappenheimer, which is a large swept hilted rapier for military use on horseback. This rapier is a scarce example for mounted use, which mounts a long rapier blade to a hilt of a form in use from the 14th century on. It is a variation of the cruciform hilt with oval ring guard and large balancing pommel modeled as a fir cone. The quillon terminals and ring expansion are modeled to match. The length of the blade gave the owner a half foot advantage over enlisted horsemen. Elegant in its simplicity, its form is nothing short of iconic.Blade length: 38 3/4"