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Exceptional Gilded Italian Rapier, ca. 1630
Elaborate cup guard of hollow flower petal shape formed of flattened bars, each of the 6 petals filled with a gilded panel of chiseled acanthus with flattened spiral finials. Vertically recurved quillons with gilded flattened spiral finials; large pas d’ane. Long faceted ovoid pommel with button and matching central gilded spiral panel. Grip wrapped with twisted iron wire in spiral shape with turks heads top and bottom. 44" diamond-section blade featuring gilt ricasso with double line borders and indistinct mark. Rare and elegant style rapier of large proportions, all original and matching in very good condition and retaining approx. 70% of its original gilding. Two rapiers, likely by the same maker, bearing finials of similar form and long looping recurved quillons are featured in Eric Valentine’s "Rapiers" (one of which is the cover illustration). Neither is gilded or as fine as this example. Length 52".
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