Hi Jeff and Fernando,
Jeff, good call on the ME FECIT SOLINGEN inscription, which typically was with a makers name, presumably at least. It seems that the catalogued items in the Wallace Collection carry a number of examples of this combination, the ones I found mostly 17th century rapiers. I think what is most interesting about these presumed Latin inscriptions is that the spellings, wording and syntax are typically somewhat inconsistant. Also the weapons carrying these blades in the period suggested are actually Italian, and while there are the discussed inscriptions such as one c.1650:
PAVLLV WILLEMS ME FECIT SOLINGEN
there are two others, both Italian rapiers with suggested Spanish blades:
G.N.A.C.I.O.F.R.Z. IHN TOLEDO (c.1670)
and IN.TOLEDO (c.1610)
Having considered that Italy had primarily its own blade making centers, it seems interesting that these rapiers, all Italian, were mounted with what quite possibly were all German blades. Yet another Italian rapier c.1625, was mounted with a blade inscribed :
Conversely, a French, possibly Dutch 'pillow sword' had a blade inscribed:
Another with the a version of the famed name:
ANDREA ME FECIT Italian c.1600
It would seem that even during these early times, the remarkable commercialization of German blades reveal many adaptions in the inscriptions placed on them. The variations of suggested places of manufacture were meant to appeal to apparantly clientele in a number of countries, and it seems the inscriptions are placed somewhat accordingly. The marketing acumen of this German industry seems amazing!
I think the most interesting factor with these inscriptions is not only the varying combinations, but what seems to me to be transliteration and unusual spellings, especially with intermingled Latin. If I am not mistaken, and please help me with this Fernando
the familiar 'Spanish motto'
NO ME SAQUES SIN RAZON ; NO ME EMBAINES SIN HONOR
is not entirely Latin, nor Spanish linguistically, at least this was once suggested as I tried to learn more on the phrases. As you have noted, the sequence or syntax as with the ME FECIT wording may be off.
Jeff, although using 'Occams cigar'
as you noted often reveals nothing especially unusual....its always possible there is more to it than means the eye!! ....and you can NEVER spend too much time in musty old books!!!!but keep the cigar outa there!!!
All the very best,