Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 17th May 2012, 05:39 PM   #1
fernando
Member
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4,513
Default A cup hilt rapier

I am picking up this one next Staurday.
The legend VIVA PORTUGAL in the blade has generally appeared in swords by the end of Spanish domination (1580-1640), when the first steps for Restoratation of Independence took place. This sword may therefore be dated second half XVII century.
The knuckle guard not being fixed to the pommel would mean this is a civilian weapon ... as also the type of blade, within the rapier classification, with its 23 m/m width.
The quillon arms being fixed to the cup by screws would be more of Spanish taste; Portuguese are generally welded to the cup rim.
The pierced/chiseled dust guard (guarda polvo=guarda pů) is a bit broken, but still resists.
The grip wiring is a replacement ... i ignore (yet) what else.
I shall take better defined pictures when i bring it home.
Any comments will be welcome.

.
Attached Images
     
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th May 2012, 07:31 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
EAA Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 5,157
Default

As you might well expect Fernando, I am in agony with envy !! This is a beauty. Thank you for adding the nuances on the hilt construction characteristics.
I am curious on the pommel type, I know I could consult Norman, but want to know from your experience...is there any particular chronological or regional classification for these. Some are very flat, while some have an almost urn shape to even spherical.
The blade seems consistant with rapier blades seen on Spanish rapiers of c.1680s and it seems many were made in Solingen (not saying this one is German though it seems possible as they were adept at adding these inscriptions).

All the best,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th May 2012, 08:58 AM   #3
M ELEY
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,047
Default

Ditto on the envy part, my friend! One of these days, I've got to find that 'loose back window to the museum' you seem to be robbing these days-

Just curious...do you ever remove modern hilt wrapping to inspect the wood core beneath? Replace it with period or very old wire? I've got a smallsword with modern wire that I've considered stripping.

Mark
M ELEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th May 2012, 11:56 PM   #4
Chris Evans
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 498
Default

Fernando,

Congratulations - What a beauty!

Once it arrives, would it be possible to describe how the various portions of the blade were sharpened, weight, point of balance (from quillons) and other vital stats?

Cheers
Chris
Chris Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2012, 01:33 PM   #5
fernando
Member
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4,513
Default

Thank you all guys for the nice words.
I am taking some time to post technical data as, instead of one sword, i ended up acquiring two of them and have not yet installed nor took all measurements and pictures.
Coming back to the one discussed here, Jim, i don't feel comfortable associating the pommel with the examples shown by Norman; i was actualy expecting you to do that for me ... and all interested . It is a plain pommel, like most seen in cup hilt swords. No grooves, no decoration, just as you see it in the pictures which i will try, as said, improve soon.
I can not deny the blade being from Solingen. But i beleive the words VIVA PORTUGAL were applied in Portugal and not a 'marketing' detail made by the (German?) sword maker. Particularly the words are engraved (punched) inside the short blade grooves, which they fully occupy, whereas one can discern some faded decoration on the edges, with the same extension as the grooves.
So sorry Mark. The museum guard made me swear i don't transmit the loose window secret; i would be loosing bat and ball.
I am not the right guy to tell you how and what should be done with wire re-wraping; don't have those skills. Eventually my grips have either original wiring or very well executed re-wiring; no need for adventures. I guess that, if the recent wiring is a decent work, there are easy ways to put some age on them; there are members here whom know what to do ... be it iron, brass or copper.
Thank you for coming in Chris. I just took a little time to check that the blade has both sides progressively sharpened (not razor) in all extension, except for the tiny forte.
The point of balance is 11 cms from quillons, the blade length is 83 cms. with a width of 23 m/m, as already stated. The quillons extension is 30 cms. The cup bowl measures 14 cms. The sword weighs 865 grams.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2012, 04:10 PM   #6
fernando
Member
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4,513
Default

Some (maybe not) better pictures .
Such a pity that, as i feared, one of the beautiful extensions that hold the dust guard washer is missing

.
Attached Images
       
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th May 2012, 11:17 PM   #7
Chris Evans
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 498
Default

Fernando,

Thanks for the measurements.

As I commented on the other rapier, this one's blade is also on the short side for a rapier. Again, was the length taken from the cup or the quillons?

Cheers
Chris
Chris Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2012, 01:08 PM   #8
fernando
Member
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4,513
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Evans
... As I commented on the other rapier, this one's blade is also on the short side for a rapier. Again, was the length taken from the cup or the quillons? ...

Sorry Chris .
I have an amateur manner to measure blades as from the cup bowl .
87,5 cms from the quillons. Still not so long, but there are no signs of it having being shortened.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2012, 11:04 AM   #9
Chris Evans
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 498
Default

Fernando,

Thanks for the measurement.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Sorry Chris .
I have an amateur manner to measure blades as from the cup bowl .
87,5 cms from the quillons. Still not so long, but there are no signs of it having being shortened.


This morning, our time, I thought I posted a reply, but it appears to have vanished, so here I go again:

That length corresponds to a transition rapier, intermediary between the classic long rapier and the later small sword. If my recollection is right, Castle told us that the cup hilted transition rapier was still in use in Spain, (Portugal?) during the 18th century - Though probably not in refined circles, as the Spanish Bourbons affected French customs and by that time the small sword superseded the rapier in France.

So your sword either pertains to the transitional period or was made for a man of very small stature, a child perhaps.

Cheers
Chris
Chris Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd May 2012, 05:43 PM   #10
fernando
Member
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 4,513
Default

Thank you for your input Chris,
In fact, cup hilted swords kept being built in both Spain and Portugal until the XVIII century and, those that survived, were used in local conflicts still in the beg. XIX century, when the various civil wars forced the population to seek resource in every weapon at hand.
I don't think these (somehow) short swords were made for boys; in such cases cup bowl and grips should also be smaller ... and the blade would be even shorter.
Small adults abounded in those days in the Peninsula; no surprise if several swords were commissioned or later shortened for those guys.
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 07:58 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.