Rapier

photo of thin sword, or rapier

Northern Italian
Rapier,  ca. 1550/60
Steel, gilt iron, wood, brass and copper wire
46 7/8 x 10 in. (119 cm x 25.5 cm overall)
Imperial Armoury, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (A 683)
KHM-Museumsverband

 
This rapier (a long thin sword suitable for thrusting) bears on its ricasso (the unsharpened part of the blade just above the knuckle guard) a sailing ship, which is the maker’s mark of the city of Nave, near Brescia and not far from Moroni’s Bergamo. The hilt — the same type as that in Gabriel de la Cueva — is typical of its time in its somewhat heavier form with relatively short, straight quillons (arms of the crossbar). In the second half of the sixteenth century, these elements become lighter and thinner.