This rapier dates precisely to the period leading up to the English Civil War of 1642. It was a time of polarization and expression of political opinions and loyalties. The cup is deeply chiseled with faces, twelve in all. The forward and back pair are probably intended to represent Charles I and Henrietta, though are ambiguous enough to avoid attention. The decoration, popularized at the time, was also used on military swords. The cup provides a fine defense for the hand without the cumbersome weight of earlier rapiers or the larger forms favored on the Continent. 33" length blade.