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Rapier: M.15-1947

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Palumbo, Onofrio




Rapier. Large, well-formed button-shaped pommel with a prominent tang-button. Knuckle-guard and long straight quillons of circular section, all neatly chiselled with a spiralling ribbon pattern. The knuckle-guard terminates against the side of the pommel with a broad, flat button. Similar terminals are at each end of the quillons. There is a very wide, strongly shaped cusped ecusson, deeply chiselled with a springing and scrolling floral design. There is a pair of branches enclosed within the deep spherical cup-guard. This is rimmed with a roped border, below which the entire cup is chiselled à jour with the customary scrolling floral patterns common to most of these cup-hilt rapiers of Spanish fashion. In the case, the scrolls of foliage enclose apparent thistle-heads. The garda polvo, generally an exquisitely chiselled plate, is here merely a flat iron disc bolted on to the ends of the branches. At the bottom of the cup, on the outside is a circular panel (through the centre of which the blade joins) with a ribbon design incorporating the legend LAURENTIUS PALUMBO DE NAPOLI FECIT. The bottom of the cup, just above this panel is broken away, showing the edge ? replaced garda polvo. Blade of multiple section; diamond from the joint to halfway up, turning there to flat hexagonal. There is a short, narrow fuller on each side occupying 15.4 cm (6") of the flat of the blade, which above turns to a flat section. Strong ricasso, its lower half showing below the cup-guard. There is a maker's mark stamped on one side. Grooved blade inscribed 'I.N.R.I. & Maria'.


History note: Bought from the Stead Collection, October 18th 1947

Measurements and weight

Length: 118.1 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1947-10-18) by The Leverton Harris Fund


17th Century, Mid#
Circa 1650 CE - 1660 CE


Spanish - Neopolitan

Components of the work

Sword composed of steel
Blade Length 100.7 cm
Hilt Length 16.5 cm
Quillons Width 25.7 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On the cup
  • Text: I.N.R.I & Maria
  • Location: On the blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

Inscription present: with two other lockets: M.15-1942 and 223H

  • Text: 15.1947
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.15-1947
Primary reference Number: 18986
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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Rapier" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-27 00:22:28

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