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Old 15th October 2020, 04:00 PM   #1
shayde78
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Default Cuphilt sword for comment

Well, I took another swing on an unnoticed (or dismissed) piece. I'm not sure this can properly be called a rapier, but it seems to fit the style/proportions for bilbo swords circulating among the Spanish colonies. It is well worn and, to me, this lends it a character that more pristine examples lack (not to say I wouldn't happily take any 'extra' pristine beauties anyone might have lying about!). I know many of you agree.

So, given my track record, I acknowledge there is a good chance this is not an authentic period piece. I will offer the elements that convinced me to take a chance, as well as those that give me pause.

First, dimensions:
Overall Length - 43.5"
Blade length (point to guard) - 36"
Width of quillions - 8.25"
Cup diameter - 4.75"

The point of balance is right where it should be. The blade's original length appears to be intact.

What seems correct to me:
The blade appears correct and consistent with these mounts.
The quillions/quillion block appear correct. The fact that the knuckle guard is missing and the damaged remnants remain present suggests authenticity.
The grip appears correct, although missing the 'posts'. However, the detail of the grooves in the grip into which these posts would have fit is another detail that seems to indicate authenticity.
It also has what I think is termed 'guardo polvo', although this seems to strengthen the guard and would do little to protect against dust. Indeed, there is a good amount of dust from the previous owner evident in the pictures Given the damage to the guard, this extra bit of reinforcement makes a lot of sense in a proper fighting weapon.

What gives me pause:
Looking at the ricasso, it is out of alignment with the grip. This could be the function of less than perfect colonial assembly. It could be dislocated due to hard use. Or, it is poor marriage of composite parts at a much more recent date.
The pommel doesn't seem quite right. Everything balances correctly, but the shape seems 'off'.
The ferrules at either end of the grip have little oxidation. The do seem to fulfill the appropriate purpose of holding the [missing] posts to the grip, but they don't seem to have aged consistently with the rest of the piece. Still, if a later addition, why add them at all?

So, for the most part, I think I did well here. As always I welcome your comments, and value your insights.
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