The decline of the use of armor in response to the increased use of firearms resulted in fighting techniques which relied on agility and lighter weapons. The thrust became the principle attack and rapiers became smaller with hilts relying primarily on a frontal plate or pair of plates. This example is a dish hilt rapier in its later form. Its single thickened edge oval dish guard, decorated in high relief with baroque elements in and out, is backed by a recurved cross guard. Both hilt and blade retain considerable original gold overlay. 28 3/8" length blade.