The rapier swords - also called rapier - owed their name due to the fact that they were worn as a complement to clothing - they were carried both for fashion and for personal defenses. This model, very popular during the Renaissance, features a steel blade and a handmade iron trim.
- Total Longitude
- 43 in
- Sheet Longitude
- 35 in
- 42 oz
- Handle made in
- Iron, manual assembly
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The rapier sword refers to those swords of the Renaissance period with a straight and long blade and that were wielded with one hand. The name is due to the fact that it was worn as an addition to clothing (it was used both for fashion and for personal defense).
Regarding the morphology of the rapier, two parts can be distinguished: the blade and the garnish:
The blades can be classified in two categories depending on the type of fencing: those of cut and point, and those that only had a point and whose edge was not sharp.
The garrison, whose mission is to protect the hand and, therefore, has a defensive role. It is the most characteristic part of this type of swords. This changes as the need to protect the wearer's hand increases in combat. Therefore, we have to speak of three types (in chronological order): first, tie; immediately followed by shell; and finally, a cup.
- Tie garrison: they appear in Spain in the second third of the 16th century. It is composed of a quillon -the classic cross of medieval swords-, which were long and thin; a handguard, to shield the knuckles; and one or two rings that were perpendicular to the blade of the sword. In addition, there were a series of branches whose function was to unite all these elements around the garrison. The swords were carried with leather gloves because the hand wasn’t fully protected.
- Shell garnish: at the beginning of the 17th century, as fencing became more dependent on the tip, a metal sheet - called a shell - was added among the details described in the loop garnish. After this, the rest of the elements were detached so that only the iron -or bilobed steel- shell which was attached to the cross through a pair of sideburns remained.
Cup lining: they were contemporary to the shell garnish, since the first of this style appeared at the beginning of the 17th century and were popular until the beginning of the 18th. These are closed garnishes -or bowls-. Instead of having a plate, a hemispherical cap was incorporated that resembled the shape of a cup -hence the name-. It is the one that offers the most protection to the wearer and, therefore, the most common among the three types of garnish that we have described. In addition, it is the one most associated with rapier swords and its popularity spread, above all, through Spain and Italy until the 18th century.