From the William Fagan Ltd. Collection

Iron hilt with thick modeled elements similar to those found on stilettos of the period. Banded quillon block providing a space for the first finger. Pierced asymmetrical shell guard. 30 5/8 blade with fuller at the forte marked GLORIA one side and TOLEDO the other, in original blade seat. The forte is decorated with scrolling foliage on hatched ground, a royal portrait, probably Grand Duke Fernando II, a further portrait, a standing male and a mythological sea creature. The workmanship is unmistakably Brescian. Our research produced two related examples. One sold at auction years ago, is very similar to this with double shell guard, but reeded rather than pierced as here. The other is in the Medici Armory, Florence, #BA m 261, illustrated Armi Bianchie Italiane #621, and appears to have had a double shell guard, now reduced to an oval plate below the cross guard. The decade at the middle of the 17th century produced a number of short lived variations of the rapier hilt. Most were variations of what we today, call dish hilts. The form of this group indicates that they were made for use with the gauntleted hand. Probably the sword of a military officer, serving the Medici who were closely allied with the Papal States.

Stock Number: FNS8217

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