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Rapier: HEN.M.237-1933

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Unknown (Hilt)




Rapier. Hilt of blackened iron. Large fig-shaped pommel with prominent button. Guards of flat oval section, consisting of knuckle-guard, the top flattened and turned through a right-angle and screwed into the side of the pommel, swelling at the midpoint to an oval cartouche. Below this, a loop-guard springs from the knuckle-guard to sweep across and form a ring-guard across the top of a shallow cup. This is joined to the top of the cup with curved bars. Short quillons, strongly scrolled over at the ends, which are carved in the likeness of beasts' heads. The whole hilt is decorated with rather coarse chiselling, most of it now worn and unidentifiable. There are oval cartouches at the midpoint of the loop/ring guard over the edges of the cup, which bear traces of crude full-face human heads, repeated on either side of the cup which is roughly chiselled with scrolling tendrils and is pierced à jour. There is a stout quillon-block, deeply chiselled with vague and indeterminate lines. The guards show traces of having been ribbed long ways. The original grip is spirally fluted and bound with brass wire, fine twisted strands horizontally and plain, thicker wire following the spiral flutes. Turks' heads at the top and bottom. Blade of flat horizontal section with a short narrow fuller at the forte ending in a ricasso, most of which is contained within the cup. There are traces of letters in this fuller, only two Roman capital Es, a C and an N being decipherable.
Norman hilt type 88, variant 2.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 115.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century#
Circa 1635 CE - 1650 CE


A similar example is the sword of Miles Scandish (1584-1656) who was elected Military Captain of New Plymouth in 1621. (H.L Peterson, Arms and Armour in Colonial America, 1526-1783, Harrisburg, Pa. 1956, pls. 84a and b).

Components of the work

Grip composed of brass (alloy) ( wire)
Hilt composed of iron (metal) Length 19.9 cm
Parts composed of steel
Blade Length 95.3 cm
Quillons Width 17.9 cm
Blade At Hilt Width 2.0 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: TOLEDO
  • Location: On blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

Inscription present: only two Roman capital Es, a C and an N being decipherable

  • Location: In fuller
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.237-1933
Primary reference Number: 18975
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 11 January 2016 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

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: 2024-06-22 13:41:55

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{{cite web|url= |title=Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-22 13:41:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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