Changing fencing techniques necessitated greater protection from the frontal thrust and resulted in guard variations including the cup hilt, dish hilt and shell guard, all of which were produced simultaneously. The shell guard portends the smallsword hilt which remained effective for over 150 years. This example with its 34 1/4” SOLINGEN marked blade relies for its primary defense, on a pair of shell guards, fully half again as large as the smallswords which followed it half a century later. The right guard is larger than the left and both are pierced with a matrix of small holes, capable of engaging an opponent’s blade, momentarily disabling it. The hilt is decorated throughout with bands of circles flanked by flutes. The sword is in excellent preservation for the period.