The evolution of the swept-hilted rapier in the early 17th century produced a near hemispherical guard comprised of graduated bars. The three bar form defined the style and variations, usually four to six bars were common. This example takes that style a step further by bisecting the guard halves and forming a medial with the bars. The upper and lower bars describe the full hemisphere while five sets of bars converge, making it a variation of the seven bar rapier. One other example, formerly in the J.F.R. Winsbury and Robin Wiggenton collections is known. Both have pierced bottom plates and large faceted pommels with the high raised symmetrical leaf motif. The pommel of this example, additionally, has a high relief embellishment of two grotesque masks, perhaps representing Satan on the forward side. A second relief motif on the pommel side is unique in our experience. It probably is a whimsy of the owner, added in its working life, probably to counter the simplicity of the principal decoration. When worn sheathed, the second motif would be exposed. Evan without that feature, this weapon is of fine large proportions and superbly balanced for its intended task. Blade length: 45"