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Cup-hilt Rapier: HEN.M.238-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Cup-hilt Rapier






Ovoid pommel with a tall collared button. Knuckle-guard, loop-guards and straight quillons, all very narrow and of rectangular section. Deep cup-guard, and long triangular ecusson. The cup is deeply chiselled à jour with floral scrolls enclosing panels with double borders, the outer one plain and inner one pearled. Each panel - one on either side of the cup, and one below each quillon, are of a double oval shape, each enclosing a reclining putti in low relief. Each putto is in a reclining posture, holding different objects raised in the right hand - two hold a bird, one a flower and the fourth, an object rather like a Tau-cross. The pommel is similarly chiselled, though less skillfully, with vague floral patterns and putti. The grip seems to be too long for the hilt, and is probably a modern replacement. This suggestion is confirmed by the fact that the top of the tang projects through the top of the button without having been hammered over. The pommel also may be a replacement, rather crudely made to match the cup-guard. Blade, long and narrow, of hexagonal section with a broad and deep fuller at the forte. The shoulders splay out strongly, just below the joint where the blade enters the cup, to the width of the ricasso within it. There is no garda polvo. In the fuller, the name SAHAGUM appears.
Norman hilt type .

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 127 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Mid#
Circa 1650 - 1660


Southern European of Spanish styling

The cup guard is pierced and chiselled with putti holding emblems and with flowers and foliage. Swords become increasingly decorated with time and not only display the wealth of the owner but also make a statement about his fashion sense.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Blade Length 105.2 cm
Hilt Length 20.2 cm
Quillons Width 25.2 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: SAHAGUM
  • Location: On blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Text: 238H
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.238-1933
Primary reference Number: 18977
Old object number: B246
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: 2023-11-29 22:07:49

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cup-hilt Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-11-29 22:07:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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