This dagger was made for use with a rapier, both of which remained popular in Spain through the 18th century, while abandoned in the rest of Europe but for isolated areas of Italy. The guard is decorated with foliage splays around a central portrait of a noble with laurel wreath, in the Roman style, and thick mustache as popular in Spain at the time. The 14” blade has a thumb rest on the back and a pair of circular holes to catch an opponent’s blade. In form, it follows the traditions of the second half of the 17th century but is distinguished by the construction of the guard which is cast iron, skillfully chased. While it is not known when sword hilts were first cast in iron, by the second half of the 18th century, the procedure was common and virtually all of the “glitter hilt” small swords of the second half of the century have cast iron hilts. An impressive show piece with its own place in history.