This sword represents the rapier as it was used in Spain and her colonies in 18th century. It is, in fact, the final form of the rapier which, by this time had been replaced by the small-sword in the rest of Europe. It is a form of the cup-hilt with a solid "melon slice" form guard which extends to form the knuckle bow. The blade is earlier and signed JOHANNES BRACH. That signature was popular among Spanish sword owners and spuriously applied to enhance the appeal of Spanish swords. A pair of rapiers signed respectively Johannes Brach and En Toledo is recorded in the collection of Czar Alexander III in 1861, now presumably in the Hermitage. The use of an earlier blade was common if not usual for Spanish rapiers of the 18th century. Blade length: 35 1/4"