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Old 2nd January 2018, 05:43 PM   #6
Lead Moderator European Armoury
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 7,017

Let me still take some shots before more knowledged members show up to correct me ... which is not so difficult.
Hortuño Maria instead of Maria Hortuño makes all the difference ... in gender.
Hortuño being male, is not uncommon to have (female) Maria as a second name over here. Still i gather that this smith doesn't figure within this issue, nor he figures in listings by Palomares, Leguina, Gestoso or even Lhermite, who has been in Toledo around 1600 and listed its smiths and their marks. It could well be a less published smith, working for a contract; however his ambiguous mark (a H or maybe a small animal) on a rapier doens't appear to to fit in your case.
I had a further reading on these swords, a subject as vast as a bottomless well. The Boca de Caballo (assymmetrical shells) hilt had its beginnning in the XVII century, with the so called modelo 1650. It is also registered that such model had straight quillons.
Concerning blade markings ant their meddling with, authors like Juan L. Calvó admit the possibility of blades imported from Germany (Solingen) (before the opening of the Toledo factory in 1760) having their original inscriptons changed to more fit Spanish (Castillian) legends, but also possible that smiths installed in Spain marked their blades as produced in Germany to favour their commercialization.

On the other hand, one may notice that the Carlos IV initials (Cs. IV) in blades are rather identical to the one you have in your example, as may be seen in swords mounted for other military branches like Infantry, and such blades having a square back along more than 1/3 and double edgded until the point.
So for the approach of the blade predating the hilt, in another angle is the hilt that predates the blade. Definitely the (doubtful) H mark in the ricasso from (misterious ) Hortuño Maria would give a great push to cracking the riddle.

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