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Rapier: HEN.M.212-1933

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Object information

Current Location: In storage






Rapier. Large, barrel-shaped pommel, boldly decorated with vertical ridges which are alternately roped and reeded. Grip bound with steel wire, consisting of alternating strands of narrow plain wire flanked on each side by a strand of narrow twisted wire, each of these treble strands being separated by a thicker twisted wire. There are Turks' heads at top and bottom. Knuckle-guard of flat, rather thick ribbon section, widening to a flat oval knob where it meets the pommel. A loop-guard joins an outside ring-guard which springs from the ends of the branches where there is a second, smaller ring-guard. Long, single rear quillon whose tip widens in the same manner as the top of the knuckle-guard. There is a strong, cusped ecusson. All of these guards are of the same flattened section, and all are decorated with a strong roped ridge running along the middle line of them. Plain back-guards of three elements. Very long narrow blade of flat hexagonal section with a deep single fuller on each side at the forte below a strong ricasso, the broader faces of which are hollowed. The tip of the blade is broadened and flattened. This characteristic flattening of the tip is to facilitate the use of a slashing sideways cut in rapier-and-dagger swordplay, called 'stramazzone'. In the ricasso are punched marks; on each side a crowned B surmounted by the crowned TO of Toledo. On each of the narrow faces of the ricasso are also crowned TO marks. In the fuller, on one side engraves in very elegant decorated letters DE PEDRO DE VELA, while on the reverse is MONTE EN TOLEDO.
Norman's hilt type 57, pommel type 32.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 120.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


16th Century-17th Century#
Circa 1590 - 1620


This sword, though somewhat dingy, is in immaculate condition; the hilt retaining the original blue colour, now turned black.

Western European

Components of the work

Grip composed of wire ( steel)
Sword composed of steel
Blade Length 112 cm
Hilt Length 19.5 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: In the fuller
  • Method of creation: Engraved
  • Location: In the fuller
  • Method of creation: Engraved

Inscription present: a crowned B surmounted by the crowned TO of Toledo

  • Text: TO
  • Location: On ricasso
  • Method of creation: Punched
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: 212H.
  • Type: Tag

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.212-1933
Primary reference Number: 18928
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 15 February 2024 Last processed: Thursday 15 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Rapier" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 06:54:41

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