Italy, c. 1650–1680s.

Steel, copper.

110 cm.

A rapier formed part of an officer’s civilian attire and was used in duels. In a combat situation, a man would typically also carry a dagger in his left hand. The rapier’s cup-like hand guard is decorated all around with a so-called vine of life, which surrounds four pairs of nude female figures. Both faces of the blade are adorned with diabolic, grimacing visages. Both sides also have two fullers (“blood grooves”) 20 cm in length, decorated with perforations and engraved text.