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Exquisite Chiseled Italian Rapier, ca. 1620
One of the finest quality rapiers to come on the market in years, this rapier would be a showpiece in any museum or private collection. Steel hilt chiseled in fine detail with matching artichoke motif throughout. It consists of straight quillons with artichoke finials, quillon block chiseled in the form of artichoke leaves, pas d’ane joining the double side rings; each with opposing artichokes separated by a disk. Knucklebow also features opposing artichokes separated by a disk, ending just short of the artichoke pommel with button. The leaves in the design are chiseled with stems 360 degrees in the round. Reverse with unadorned single side ring and two symmetrical bars joining the base of the lower obverse side ring. Original wire-wrapped grip with turks heads and overlying twisted wire lattice. Hexagonal-section 44 ˝" blade with long tapered ricasso with line borders and stamped on each side with maker’s mark "* S *"; short central fuller stamped "* IHS *", with another "S" stamped just below the fuller on each side. Overall length 51 ˝". 100% original and complete in near excellent condition with just very light pinprick pitting on the blade. A smaller and less ornate rapier made approximately 20 years later featuring this exact same motif is in the Wallace Collection and featured in numerous publications. It is likely the work of the same artisan. The workmanship is superb in every detail. Though this sword looks great in photos, they cannot do it justice. From a multi-million dollar New York City estate, this is the finest sword we have ever offered!
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