Skip to main content

Rapier: M.13 & A-1946

An image of Rapier

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Alternative views

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown (Possibly)




Rapier. Small button-like pommel, with a large well-formed tang-button. Wire-bound grip of oval section swelling slightly in the middle with plain steel collars top and bottom. Strongly arched knuckle-guard of circular section, the top end fashioned as a button-shaped knob of the same form as the pommel; at the midpoint are two opposed flat button-shaped elements with sharp ridges on either side. Long straight quillons, also of circular section, the tips finished en suite with the knuckle-guard. Deep cup-guard, decorated with a circular pattern of scrolling leaves around the bottom of the half-globe, where the blade enters the cup. This cup-guard is fastened to the branches with a screw on either side of the hole through which the blade passes. This hole is rectangular, with one each of the longer sides (in the plane of the blade) a small cutout to accommodate a long narrow steel spike protruding from the top of the scabbard. Inside the cup is a finely-wrought garda polvo, in the form of a solid circular plate with a pattern of scrolling leaves chiselled in relief, edged with a kind of frill of lace-like elements pressed à jour. Instead of true branches, a narrow steel rib runs upward from the Garda Polvo to the point where the quillons cross the top of the cup. The ribs are chiselled in a zig-zag pattern and terminate in circular shell-like plates above trefoils. Blade of very strong triangular section with a deep narrow fuller at the forte. This is inscribed, on the obverse XX MI SINNAL X SANTISMO X CRUCIFICIO XX' followed by a small mark, and on the reverse 'XX ENRIQUE COLL X ESPADERO X IN X ALAMANIA X.'
Scabbard of wood covered with leather. At the top, a steel locket underneath the leather covering with a tubular fitment on the side to take a belt-hanger of steel. This consists of a D-shaped element with a long rod of circular section parallel with and below the upright of the D, which fits into the tube on the scabbard. Pivoted to the midpoint of the D is a short arm ending in a circular buckle. Small chape of plain steel finished with a double moulding and a knot.
Norman hilt type 100.


History note: Ximenes d’Aragena sale, Florence, 1902, No. 305; Baron C.A. de Cosson; sold Sotheby's, May 23 1946, Catalogue of Armour and Weapons from the Collection of the late Baron C.A. de Cosson, Sold by order of C.A. de Cosson, Esq. . . ., p. 13, lot 154; bought for the Fitzwilliam Museum

Legal notes

Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum

Measurements and weight

Length: 111.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1946-12-23) by The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum


18th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1700


Although quite plain, this is an exceptionally good example of its type; the hilt-hanger is very rarely found, and is an example of the way in which these cup-hilted Spanish/Italian rapiers were fastened to the waist-belt.

Spanish or Southern Italy

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Grip composed of wire
Scabbard Locket composed of steel
Sword composed of steel
Scabbard composed of leather
Quillons Length 30.7 cm
Blade Length 98.2 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On the blade, obverse
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Inscription
  • Location: On blade, reverse
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Maker's name

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.13 & A-1946
Primary reference Number: 18983
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 August 2016 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) "Rapier" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-10-01 21:11:27

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-10-01 21:11:27|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:

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

<div class="text-center">
    <figure class="figure">
        <img src=""
        class="img-fluid" />
        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Rapier</figcaption>

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: HEN.M.226-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.225-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.241-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.221-1933

Sign up for updates

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