Skip to main content

Cup-hilt Rapier: HEN.M.235-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Cup-hilt Rapier


Maker: Unknown




Button-shaped pommel, with tall tang-button with collar. Chiselled with scrolls. Knuckle-guard of circular section, chiselled with spiral fluting, swelling towards the lower curve and terminating against the side of the pommel with a little flat umbrella-shaped hoop, long, straight quillons of the same form as the knuckle-guard; wire-bound grip with a longitudinal plate along each of its four faces. Turks' heads at top and bottom. Long pointed ecusson, chiselled en suite with the pommel. Deep cup-guard, the upper rim strongly turned over outwards (a rompepuntas). This rompepuntas is chiselled with running scrolls pierced à jour. The cup itself is chiselled with conventional scrolls and loops, rather poorly executed. There is a heavy garda polvo (dust-guard) inside the cup, chiselled en suite with the rompepuntas.
Long narrow blade of flat hexagonal section with a fuller pressed à jour at the forte which is flanked by little engraved flowers and tendrils. These extend nearly half-way along the blade, some of them below the fuller still retaining this original latten inlay.
Norman hilt type 101.


History note: Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson

Measurements and weight

Length: 124.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Mid#
Circa 1640 - 1660


The semi-spherical guard of this type of sword has given rise to the name 'cup-hilted'. This example has intricately chiselled and pierced decoration characteristic of many of this type of hilt and especially of those made in north Italy, particularly in Brescia.

Components of the work

Inlay composed of latten
Blade Length 104.5 cm
Quillons Length 26.3 cm

Materials used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.235-1933
Primary reference Number: 18972
Old object number: B260
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 20 April 2021 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Cup-hilt Rapier" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-01 06:58:52

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Cup-hilt Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-01 06:58:52|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: HEN.M.242-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.241-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.240-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.225-1933

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...