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Cup-hilt Rapier: HEN.M.233-1933

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Cup-hilt Rapier


Blade maker: Unknown (Blade)
Production: Unknown




Small, insignificant spherical pommel, with large button. Grip of oval section, spirally-fluted and bound with strands of alternating plain and twisted copper (?) wire. Each fluting is bound with a flat ribbon of copper (?). Very small Turks' heads. Knuckle-guard of narrow circular section, widening to a trumpet-shape against the side of the pommel, with a balustic-shaped feature a little below the midpoint. From this springs a loop-guard on each side of the hilt, each joining a ring-guard which is joined to the long straight quillons, which are (as are all the guards) of narrow circular section, widening at the tips in the same way as the end of the knuckle-guard. Each ring has the same balustic-like feature at its midpoint as the knuckle-guard. Branches spring from the underside of the quillons. These are flattened at their ends and riveted to the inside of a very deep cup-guard. This is chiselled (rather crudely) with some horizontal bands of scrolling tendrils, each band separated from its neighbour by a plain band. The upper rim of the cup is scalloped. Blade of flat hexagonal section with well-defined narrow fullers at the forte, each fuller bearing the name PIETRO HERNANDES.
Norman hilt type .


History note: Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Length: 117.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


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


Italian (blade probably Spanish)

The grip seems to be the original one, and though the blade enters the bottom of the cup-guard some 1.27 cm (1/2") before the ricasso begins, it does not appear to be a replacement.

Components of the work

Grip Wire composed of copper ( possibly)
Cup Depth 8.2 cm
Hilt Length 18.3 cm Width 2.0 cm
Blade Length 97.3 cm
Quillons Width 26.5 cm

Materials used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On blade
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Text: 233H
  • Type: Tag
  • Text: 86
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.233-1933
Primary reference Number: 18970
Old object number: B86
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 6 February 2020 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: 2023-09-22 01:40:10

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cup-hilt Rapier |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-22 01:40:10|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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