Skip to main content

Rapier: HEN.M.243-1933

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 (Uncertain)




Rapier. Large urn-shaped pommel with button, the upper part chiselled with leaves, the lower with spiralling ridges. Grip of very fine wire, woven in basket-fashion with Turks' heads at top and bottom. Narrow, angular knuckle-guard, with a knob below the midpoint from beneath which spring single loop-guards, one on each side of the hilt, joining the upper edges of a double shell-guard; each loop-guard ends, where it touches the edges of the shells, in a strong upward scroll. Each of these loop-guards has a triple knob at its midpoint. Short quillons (the rear one missing) with a very large rectangular quillon-block, and knobbed ends. The surviving one (on the front of the hilt) turns sharply upward to meet the lower curve of the knuckle-guard. Shallow arms, supporting the double shell, turned outward in the spaces where the edges of the two shells meet. These shells, chiselled with a pattern of overlapping scales pierced with small holes have rims fashioned in the same manner as the loop-guards. Inside the hilt, the ricasso is covered by a rectangular iron sleeve, chiselled with a kind of double and motif.
Narrow blade, of diamond section, the faces hollowed out.
Norman hilt type 96 (variant).

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 104.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century#
Circa 1640 CE - 1670 CE


There is a band of quite heavy corrosion along the blade about 1/3 of the way below thehilt, and the grip's wooden core has entirely perished, leaving the copper wire binding like an empty husk.

Components of the work

Grip Core composed of wood (plant material) ( almost perished)
Grip Binding composed of copper ( wire)
Ricasso Sleeve composed of iron (metal)
Hilt Length 17.0 cm
Blade Length 86.3 cm

Materials used in production


Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.243-1933
Primary reference Number: 18988
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 August 2016 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 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: 2023-12-09 05:42:11

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=2023-12-09 05:42:11|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.225-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.226-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.241-1933


Accession Number: HEN.M.242-1933

Sign up for updates

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