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Silver Inlaid Transitional Rapier with Exceptional Blade, ca. 1660
Chiseled iron hilt featuring bilobate shell guard; short quillons with acorn finials, slightly recurved in the horizontal plane; small pas díane; ovoid pommel with button. Hilt blackened and decorated ensuite with inlaid silver berries and foliage. Original grip wrap of three sizes of twisted iron wire with turks heads top and bottom. Straight asymmetrical 34 3/4" blade finely engraved with floral pattern, "* PETER * MONSIT * MEFECIT * SOLINGEN *" and a cartouche with a crowned horseshoe on one side and a cartouche bearing "JOHANNES WIRSBERGER with a pincers mark on the other. This is certainly Johannes Wirsberger (Weyersberg) of Solingen, 1641-1686, and this exact makerís cartouche is illustrated in "German Swords and Sword Makers" by Richard Bezdek, on page 157. Blade with minor wear to engraving and several small spots of pitting, primarily near the point. Hilt near excellent, retaining nearly all of its original silver inlay, Overall length 41".