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Rapier: HEN.M.216-1933

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Unknown (Uncertain)




Rapier. Heavy fig-shaped pommel, oval in plan and cut into four vertical lobes; chiselled decoration of geometrical designs. Tang-button, mostly filed away. This is not en suite with the neck of the hilt. Long grip bound with wire in alternate double strands of plain and twisted wire. Turks' heads, badly made, at top and bottom. Knuckle-guards, loop-guard, straight quillons and three ring-guards in front, all of circular section. The quillons widen towards the tips and the guards all swell at midpoint. Back-guards of 3 elements. There is a very restrained decorative pattern of little oval cartouches placed at intervals along the guards, each having a pearled border and containing simple oval and trefoil shapes. Each element of the hilt has in addition a chiselled channel, once filled with silver wire, (some small parts of which remain) running parallel with the edges. Long blade of flat oval section with a strong ricasso, and a very short fuller on each side. Marked on the ricasso, on each side, with two equal-armed crosses and the viper mark of Milan. This mark is repeated at the lower ends of each fuller, the cross above the viper. Each fuller is engraved with the name NICODEMUS.
Norman hilt type.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 138.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Circa 1620 - 1630


The pommel is clearly associated, and, probably, is the modern grip

Western European

Components of the work

Inlay composed of silver ( traces remain)
Sword composed of steel
Blade Length 122.0 cm
Hilt Length 21.8 cm
Blade At Hilt Width 2.5 cm
Quillons Width 22.9 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Text: 216H
  • Type: Tag

Inscription present: the viper mark of Milan

  • Location: On ricasso and fuller
  • Type: Mark

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.216-1933
Primary reference Number: 18936
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: 2024-07-21 21:35:12

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{{cite web|url= |title=Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-21 21:35:12|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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