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Thread: Spanish cuphilt rapier

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Wilkinson View Post
    Hi Magnus

    Another reason for the disparity in corrosion would likely be the fact that a lot of cups not finished so well on the inside. Some can be quite rough in fact.
    Not only would the less finished surface be likely to trap moisture and be more difficult to clean, it also looks worse when it has rusted.
    Gene,
    In a way it surprises me that the inside of the cup would be rough in surface as it would be where your knuckles would probably rub. But perhaps it was cheaper to leave the unseen side like that and maybe they would wear gloves anyway?

    Found this which could be of interest but deals with a century at least earlier: https://the-eye.eu/public/WorldTrack...uistadores.pdf

  2. #27
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    The rough inside is due I think to the method of fabrication as these are hammered out in an opening. You can start on a flat surface cold hammering to start curvature. Your sword another beauty Gene as yours are always restored and cleaned top notch. The other one you posted is a very unusual variation. Thanks for sharing the photos. I believe as Magnus and Juan said from holding these that the quillions are the hold. The pas d'an hold cup if present and the cup protects your little fingers from getting whacked. Perhaps I should move to England and take up fencing to get a better understanding. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  3. #28
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    The rough inner finish is not rare for Spanish rapiers. Not specially in cup hilts, but mostly in some double-shell ones. Curiously enough, such a rough finish is not so common in military pieces, which are in other regards simpler than civil rapiers, as expected.

    I think that many civil cups and shells were covered in the inside with velvet or other materials, now long gone, being a smooth finish of iron not only unnecessary, but making it a bit more difficult for any glue to fix the velvet or fine leather. Therefore, apart from the fact of the hammering being perhaps the method of construction, a rough finish was cheaper and even recommended.

    Best,
    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  4. #29
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    The espada de taza shows some wear and tear with some repair on the cup. The blade is quite stiff but with a springy tip. The blade is very long at 98cm from tip to cup and 16cm from pommel to cup. It still has sharp edges to a little above where the fuller ends. The blade is marked T.... A I A L A S on one side and T O L E D O on the other. I don’t think the ricasso carries a mark.

    The cup has a crack on one side and a couple of repairs with light shining through a couple of tiny holes. There’s no guardopolvo. The rosettes are a nicely done and are made from steel/iron (tested with a magnet). The screws securing the rosettes are threaded.
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    Last edited by Magnus K; 07-14-2018 at 01:23 PM.

  5. #30
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    The rompepuntas suggests this is a Spanish proper rather than a colonial sword. The espada blades by this time in the 17thC were often produced by Solingen using illustrious names of Toledo swordsmiths of old.
    Last edited by Magnus K; 07-15-2018 at 01:52 PM.

  6. #31
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    I’m amazed by the length of the blade, which is longer than any of my other swords with the exception of an estoc/panzerstecher.

  7. #32
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    There’s no maker’s mark on the ricasso. The rings on the wire wrapped grip may have once been gilded as they are made from steel but the one nearest to the pommel shows some yellowish stain.
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    Last edited by Magnus K; 07-24-2018 at 05:56 AM.

  8. #33
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    Hello, Magnus.

    Rapiers could be very long indeed. It is rare for a Spanish sword to be longer than yours, but Italian examples could have blades longer than 1 metre, sometimes up to 110 cm... their fencing was different to Spanish, too.

    JJ
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

  9. #34
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    Interesting metallographic study which seems to prove scientifically that ”Thomas De Ayala” rapier blades of 17thC were produced in Solingen. Toledo blades fetched a higher price which may have tempted smiths to misslabel their produce.

    https://www.academia.edu/858988/Meta..._rapier_blades

  10. #35
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    Hello to the forum,

    The author of this article happens to be a good friend of mine, and we could discuss his research at the time of publishing the article. As for me (and at some extent, for him) the most astonishing discovery was the way that Solingen makers produced sword blades to get the properties that anyone expects in a good sword: resilience, toughness and flexibility. Both Toledo and Solingen makers' approaches were based in 'sandwich' structures, alternating layers of steel and iron (or very mild steel). But while Toledo makers used an iron core embraced by two layers of steel touching at the edge, extending for the whole blade length (apart from the tang, of course), in Solingen a steel core was covered by two layers of iron, but only in the forte of the blade, leaving the steel exposed for the rest of the blade, up to the point.

    We have to admit that the results were at least comparable, because both blademaking centres had a good enough reputation at the time (17th century, up to early 18th), being perhaps the only limitation for the Solingen method the impossibility of getting a decent edge in the forte. But for a rapier blade (and for most sword blades, in the end) this is not a real concern. The Solingen approach seems to save in steel, the iron being cheaper and used in the heaviest part of the blade. That would give Solingen a competitive advantage over Toledo, which along with internal factors put Toledo products out of the European market in the 18th century.

    It has to be said that later, in mid-19th century, narrow blades were made in Toledo of solid steel, but the intended use of such swords was not as demanding as it was before, while steels were much more predictable in nature.
    SI, SI
    NO, NON

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