In the 17th century, the streets of Spanish towns and cities were treacherous. A mans worth was judged by his dress and his vulnerability, by the weapon he carried. This rapier was worn in the streets and its boldly decorated hilt advertised at distance, that the carrier was capable of owning a fine weapon and being schooled in its use. The slender diamond section blade reflects the latest in fencing technique, emphasizing agility and the lightning fast thrust attack over the cut and thrust technique of earlier, heavier swords. Records exist of fighters having been run clean through, which this weapon is capable of doing, and fighting on. The boldly executed piercing and embossing of the cup are designed to channel the tip of an opponents blade into one of the opening where it could be snagged or broken off. Many pierced rapiers originally had pierced iron grips, however, examples retaining those original grips are largely in public collections. This example is a rare exception. 35 7/8" length blade.