This variation of the swept hilted rapier is from a group identified by Norman (The Rapier and Smallsword, 1460-1820, 1980). Norman’s hilt forms 24-28 are distinguished by the form of defense of the right side which comprises a pair of parallel bars rising from a U-shaped ring projecting from the terminals of the arms. Variations within the group are based on the form of the side rings and quillon. This example accords with #27 for those features with the exception that the knuckle guard terminal is extended and curved away from the pommel as with #25. Far more notable, however, is that while the right side of the guard for all examples in the group is composed of two upturned bars joining a U shaped bar at the base of the arms, this example mounts a similar pair of bars to the left as well.  That variation is evidently unique for this group. Its quality is demonstrated by the cubical blocks at the junctions of the terminals of the arms and the U shaped bars from which the side defenses grow. It is further distinguished by its 41” blade with narrow fuller for about half its length, counterbalanced by its large faceted pommel. A classic example of the swept hilted rapier from its period of primary use demonstrating a quite rare, if not unique, variation.
Item ID: A5217

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