This fine sword is from a small subgroup represented by a few examples in museum collections. Most notable is A685 of the Wallace collection numerously illustrated and described (supplement) as French (Paris) C.1655. Its companion, A686 is described as North Italian c.1660. A further example, V & A #M.170-1951 is described as French C.1660. All three have had knuckle bows added later to conform to then-current taste with the last two retaining the additions. A further example in the Royal Armouries, Leeds, IX.1012, survives as made without a knuckle bow. This example as well has never had a knuckle bow. The hilt is silver, decorated in full relief in the North Italian taste. The broad pommel, characteristic for the group is embellished with flowers and foliage. The quillon block bears a large bird on foliage ground each side. The recurved quillons, also characteristic for the group are of bound foliage as are the shell edges. The shells are decorated with finely detailed pierced foliage and three birds each. The grip is slender as was the taste at the time, wrapped with silver wire. The blade is 32 ¼” in length and of flattened diamond section with a fuller, each side marked *** ANTONIO RUIZ *** each side. A remarkable example as any silver hilted rapier is exceedingly rare and this one is distinguished by its quality and state of preservation.

Stock Number: UC9867

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