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Old 2nd September 2017, 12:10 PM   #1
Cerjak
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Default Early 17th Century swept hilt rapier with ovoid pommel

Early 17th Century swept hilt rapier with ovoid pommel
O.L. 100 cm ; blade (certainly shortened) L. 81 cm incised with traces of an inscription within the short central fuller; blade width at hilt circa 2 cm.
Any comment on it would be welcome.
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Old 2nd September 2017, 02:44 PM   #2
fernando
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Bonjour Jean-Luc,
Vey nice but ...
No marks ... no inscriptions ?
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Old 2nd September 2017, 03:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Bonjour Jean-Luc,
Vey nice but ...
No marks ... no inscriptions ?

Hi Fernando
Yes ,there is inscriptions in the fuller but unfortunately unreadable
Best

Jean-Luc
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Old 2nd September 2017, 03:35 PM   #4
fernando
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Better an unreadable inscription than none at all .
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Old 3rd September 2017, 07:10 AM   #5
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Hilt appears to be a variation of AVB Norman's Type 61, pommel is his Type 29 and he does note that these two types tend to appear together on many rapiers. His chronology of 1600-40 for the hilt seems to match what we have here, and he notes several variants on the essential Type 61 theme on a large body of surviving examples -- including the C-shaped terminus of the knuckleguard.

What is interesting to me about this example is that the position of the guard seems to be reversed, i.e. designed to protect the left hand. If so it might explain the shortness of the blade. Could this not have been designed for an unusual fencing system that employed a shorter sword in the left hand, as opposed to a main-gauche dagger? There were schools of rapier fencing that called for identical rapiers in each hand (spada da lato gemelle), analogous to the Chinese technique of fighting with shuangjian, or a matched pair of swords. (see Boccia/Coelho, ARMI BIANCHE ITALIANE, 555/556 for an example in the Odescalchi Collection). So here, we may have the surviving weapon of a set of rapiers using a shorter blade for the left hand, which again has a Far Eastern counterpart in the combined use of katana and wakizashi in the "niten-no-ryu" technique.


In fact, there is a woodcut illustration of a fencer with two rapiers, the one in his left hand being visibly shorter albeit with the same blade width and taper, from Marozzo's OPERA NOVA (Venice, 1550) showing the technique of combat "alla due Spada" (published in LIVRUSTKAMMAREN, Vol. XIII:5, 1974, p 193, fig. 13
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Old 3rd September 2017, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Hilt appears to be a variation of AVB Norman's Type 61, pommel is his Type 29 and he does note that these two types tend to appear together on many rapiers. His chronology of 1600-40 for the hilt seems to match what we have here, and he notes several variants on the essential Type 61 theme on a large body of surviving examples -- including the C-shaped terminus of the knuckleguard.

What is interesting to me about this example is that the position of the guard seems to be reversed, i.e. designed to protect the left hand. If so it might explain the shortness of the blade. Could this not have been designed for an unusual fencing system that employed a shorter sword in the left hand, as opposed to a main-gauche dagger? There were schools of rapier fencing that called for identical rapiers in each hand (spada da lato gemelle), analogous to the Chinese technique of fighting with shuangjian, or a matched pair of swords. (see Boccia/Coelho, ARMI BIANCHE ITALIANE, 555/556 for an example in the Odescalchi Collection). So here, we may have the surviving weapon of a set of rapiers using a shorter blade for the left hand, which again has a Far Eastern counterpart in the combined use of katana and wakizashi in the "niten-no-ryu" technique.


In fact, there is a woodcut illustration of a fencer with two rapiers, the one in his left hand being visibly shorter albeit with the same blade width and taper, from Marozzo's OPERA NOVA (Venice, 1550) showing the technique of combat "alla due Spada" (published in LIVRUSTKAMMAREN, Vol. XIII:5, 1974, p 193, fig. 13

Dear Philip,
Thank you very much for your very interesting and instructive answer about this sword.
Also looking again to the tip and the blade shape I donít see any sign who could confirm tha the blade had been shortened
best

Cerjak
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Old 3rd September 2017, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Better an unreadable inscription than none at all .
at last may be readable !

Could be PAUL- U -- MEFICIT SOLINGEN
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Old 4th September 2017, 06:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerjak
at last may be readable !

Could be PAUL- U -- MEFICIT SOLINGEN


Played a lot with contrast, brightness, values, and levels in GIMP. Can't be certain. But I think the word on the left is Meigen.





Which according to google is a German surname. Furthermore according to pintrest there is at least one rapier attributed to a bladesmith out of Solingen named Clemens Meigen housed in the Philidelphia Museum of Art.

Looking at that example it appears he did put his name in the fuller in a similar manner and with a similar font/face. It's a lot of supposition I know. But it looks like a case that could be strengthened.

Last edited by Helleri : 4th September 2017 at 06:11 AM.
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