A good quality rapier
A good quality rapier, English or N.European c.1630. The blade is of slightly flatened diamond section and is deeply struck in the fullers "DE PEDRO DE TORO EN TOLEDO" together with a mark. The finely wrought hilt involves swollen and fluted bars interrupted by small pairs of acanthus calyxes. The shell guards are filled with steel plates each finely pierced with tear-drop shaped openings. The knucklebow screws to the swollen and fluted pommel which is also chiselled with bands of acanthus calyx. The grip is finely bound with twisted silver wire and retains its woven turk's heads.Provenance: Lionel F. McCardle collection, sold at Sheffield Park 25th May 1971 Lot 844 illustrated.
Blade length 39½" (100.4cms),Overall length 46¾" (119cms)
The hilt shares some features with an English rapier in the Royal Armouries (Inv. No. IX. 970) illustrated in A.R.Dufty "European Swords and Daggers in the Tower of London" H.M.S.O. 1974 Pl. 28c. For a cup hilted rapier with the identical inscription on the blade see J. Mann "Wallace Collection Guides - European Arms and Armour" Vol II, London 1962, No. A 647 pp 328/9 and Pl. 124. Another example is in the Armeria Reale, Turin, and is illustrated in H.Seitz "Blankwaffen" Braunschweig 1968, No. 141. In the same work Pedro de Toro and his marks are shown as No. 81 on Francisco Palomares' compilation of 1762 (pp.266/7).