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Old 1st August 2021, 05:12 AM   #1
CSinTX
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Default A Globular Pommeled Rapier

Slightly better than relic condition. Would this have likely been a water find?

In the blade, SAHAGON on each side, a serpent mark, and a crest like makers mark on the ricasso. I believe I've seen the serpent mark before but cant recall where. I believe the style of the hilt would be Saxon but what of the blade?

Approx age? Similar examples? All thoughts and comments are always welcome.
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Old 1st August 2021, 06:02 AM   #2
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A very interesting study piece! On the one hand, we shudder at a fine sword which has suffered so much from exposure to the elephants. On the other, the corrosion reveals the fine, controlled lamellar forging of the blade. And a similar layering of the bars comprising the hilt, likewise to enhance resilience and impact resistance.

Staffan Kinman's listing of swordsmiths contains entries of swordsmiths of Toledo with names similar to that on your blade:
1. Alonzo de Sahagum "el viejo" (the elder), career spanned roughly 1560-73. Used two marks, crowned S in a mushroom shaped cartouche, and the globus cruciger symbol often associated with German workshops of the same century.
2. Alonzo de S "el mozo" (the younger), 1609-14. Mark is an S under a crown surmounted by a small cross, in a beaker-shaped cartouche.
3. Luis de S "el Sahaguncillo" (little Sahagun), 1620-35. Mark is an S under a simplistic 5-pointed crown within a cartouche with the profile of an acorn, the crown reminiscent of the format used by Alonzo the Elder.

The name was undoubtedly used on "knockoffs" made elsewhere in Europe as well.
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Old 1st August 2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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If I recall correctly I have seen a snake maker’s mark attributed to Milan.
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Old 1st August 2021, 10:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix View Post
If I recall correctly I have seen a snake maker’s mark attributed to Milan.
Exactely.

I wonder what kind of exposure this sword was submitted to; one consistent with the wood of grip looking (almost) intact .


.
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Old 1st August 2021, 04:26 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Good call Victrix (and image by Fernando) of the serpent mark, which is the 'biscione' (=grass snake) of Milan , attributed to makers in that location and apparently in neighboring centers such as Ferrara. Actually the image in Kinman shows this snake as ANDREA FERRARA.
Actually Andrea Ferrara (long believed a fictitious name) worked with his brother at a forge in Belluno or in regions in or near Ferrara. As far as known, only a very few blades with his name exist, but it seems his name became popular as a quality image.

The heraldic symbol of the snake was used by various influential families in these regions since 11th c. It seems most important in the arms of Milan.
Brescia is also situated in this general area and was key in arms making.

In Wallace (James Mann, 1962, p.318, fig. A627) is a rapier from Milan c.1600.
The guard system is similar to this and others into mid 17th c. The globular pommel seems about mid 17th and to correspond in some degree to German examples of rapiers in this period.

The use of Sahagom was of course of the famed earlier Toledo maker which was often applied to blades made in Solingen and spuriously marked. In this case the use of the makers mark on the ricasso (as done in Spain) rather than on blade is notable.
The combining of Spanish name and in this case, Italian mark, further identifies this as a German product and of probably mid 17th c.

To the surprising survival of the wood grip, it is quite possible this was in a context enclosed rather than in outdoor elements. Deep pitting can be the result of long accumulation of dust and absorbing of moisture which of course eventually causes corrosion. Wood does not rot away in the way it would in outdoor elements, at least thats my take.

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Old 1st August 2021, 08:50 PM   #6
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Its German as Jim explained , its a military rapier and a bit earlier ca 1580
here are some variations

Military Rapier Dated: circa 1570-80 Culture: German Measurements: length 127cm/50 inches Provenance: The Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; Clarence H. Mackay; Hans von Schulthess, Schloss Au, near Zurich, Switzerland
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Old 1st August 2021, 08:53 PM   #7
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and another one, this one with a back blade , sold at Christies in 2008 for 10.000 £
A GERMAN MILITARY RAPIER
CIRCA 1570-80
With flat blade double-edged over the upper third of its length, both sides cut with a near full-length narrow fuller, an additional fuller parallel with the unsharpened back, the inner-face struck with so-called 'eyelash' marks, and with further arrangements of 'eyelash' marks on both sides of the ricasso, iron hilt of rounded bars, comprising a pair of long horizontally recurved quillons with pointed swelling tips, upper and lower ring-guards swelling in the middle, a pair of arms, inner-guard of three diagonal bars with thumb-ring, large globular pommel, original fishskin-covered grip reinforced by four moulded iron longitudinal bars, strongly cusped iron collars at both ends, the hilt retaining traces of its original blued finish, the greater part lightly oxidised to russet, and in fine untouched condition throughout.
40½in (103cm) blade
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Old 1st August 2021, 08:55 PM   #8
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A German rapier dating from c.1560—70. It has a large spherical pommel that counterbalances the weight of the blade.
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Old 1st August 2021, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfberth View Post
Its German as Jim explained , its a military rapier and a bit earlier ca 1580
here are some variations

Military Rapier Dated: circa 1570-80 Culture: German Measurements: length 127cm/50 inches Provenance: The Dukes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; Clarence H. Mackay; Hans von Schulthess, Schloss Au, near Zurich, Switzerland

Thank you so much!!!! Its GREAT to see you here!!!

That makes this sword so much better to know these insights and that the period is actually earlier by about a generation! As I was looking at the condition of this, I was hoping you would come in as your keen eye on swords of these periods and regions is much needed.
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Old 1st August 2021, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Thank you so much!!!! Its GREAT to see you here!!!

That makes this sword so much better to know these insights and that the period is actually earlier by about a generation! As I was looking at the condition of this, I was hoping you would come in as your keen eye on swords of these periods and regions is much needed.
Thanks to Philip for the detailed description of the blade marks and thank you Jim for explaining the historical background and tying the dots together!
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Old 2nd August 2021, 01:22 AM   #11
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Wow! Thanks for all the info and comparable examples! Yall are quite the resource, with your minds combined!

Of course, we all love the pristine examples but items like this are very interesting. Lots can be learned by being able to see further down into the metal.

I didnt take detailed pictures of the grip because it is my impression that the wood is a quality restoration. Even if it did survive intact, it should be dry and cracked much more than it is.

Thanks again!
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Old 2nd August 2021, 03:13 PM   #12
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I believe I remember seeing this same sword at an auction somewhere (?) and it had been found at a ditch of a fortified city in the Netherlands (Breda?, s'Hertogenbosch?) some 5 or 7 years ago.
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Old 4th August 2021, 03:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midelburgo View Post
I believe I remember seeing this same sword at an auction somewhere (?) and it had been found at a ditch of a fortified city in the Netherlands (Breda?, s'Hertogenbosch?) some 5 or 7 years ago.
I didnt get it from an auction but its very possible. Any chance you might remember which auction? Would love to know of any possible history.
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Old 4th August 2021, 03:37 PM   #14
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Possibly Hermann Historica, but it could have been just ebay. Sorry.
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Old 13th August 2021, 04:23 PM   #15
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round pommels are simple in shape but very rare on rapiers and swords. In the Netherlands they appeared frequently on civic guard paintings in the last quarter of the 17th century. According to Jp Puype, the round pommel would be characteristic of Dutch rapiers or rapier worn in the Netherlands.
I wouldn't be surprised if the rapier under discussion indeed was found in the Netherlands.
The dating of Ulfberth a 1580 is absolutely right, this is the second time I come across this type of hilt, I have one in my collection of which the blade bears the name IOHAN DE LA ORTA (made by the hand? or referring to Juanes de la Horta a blade smith working in toledo).
BTW Alonso de Sahagun was also active in Toledo between 1570-1600.
What is very interesting of this Hilt type is that it is depicted on a painting by van haarlem dated 1583. see attachement
In the upper ring guard of this hilt type there was a paring plate, probably visible from an incision on the inside of the upper guard ring.

best
Jasper
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