A German Pappenheimer
The term ‘Pappenheimer’ dates from the 30 years war due to the influence of earl ‘Gottfried Heinrich zu Pappenheim’. The type of hilt which became popular during this period is therefor widespread referred to as ‘Pappenheimer rapier’. A form of rapier with two pierced plates within the bars of the hilt to protect the hand while wielding the sword.
Germany, circa 1640
Materials: Steel, Iron, Brass
Since medieval times and even untill the early 20th century, disputes or disagree’s were often settled by a duel. Most of the time untill first blood was drawn, but sometimes even untill death.
The first half of the 17th century was a period of civil war in Europe. At the social level, conviction of any kind could lead to physical confrontations, which took the form of duels among the upper class.
To fight off an opponent, rapiers were often used; large long bladed weapons which are excellent for damaging or even piercing the opponent at long reach. This rapier is known as the ‘Pappenheimer’ type and features a very long ricasso and double edged blade which makes us able to categories it as dueling rapier.
Purely German, basically a swept-hilt with three rings forming the cup which is filled with two pierced handprotectors. The pas d’ane loops into a wide crossbar with attached knuckle guard. The pommel is rather square formed, with two chiseled lines as decoration. The handle is made of wood, covered in iron wire with an overlay of brass wire ending in two Turkish knots on both ends. The pommel and protection plates shows traces of original gilding, a feature which was commonly seen at the swords of the nobility.
Keeped its original length, long stretched ricasso marked with ‘The running wolf of Passau’ which was both a quality mark as wel of talismanic purpose. The running wolf is of stylistic form, according to Wagner to be made in the 17th century. While many swords from Solingen started to copy this mark and even produced it more then in Passau itself, it is not ruled out that this blade was made in Solingen. The fine quality of the blades represents both towns and I will therefor name it ‘German’. The further section toward the tip is double edged.
A fine dueling rapier dating from the first half of the 17th century. Rarely seen complete with original blade and original hand guards.
Condition: Very good and well balanced. Some ware on the steel, which is common considering its age. The blade is professionally polished with some pitting left. The hilt has traces of gilding and has its original grip wire on the hilt. One brass wire is missing. Further excellent, a fine type of Pappenheimer in its sort.
Hilt length: 21cm
Hilt width: 23.9cm
Blade length: 98cm
Total length: 115cm
Point of balance: Right under the guard.
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