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James Spurgeon

16th C Pedro Del Monte Spanish Rapier

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Edit: Correction: I meant 1600s 17th C... typing too fast.

Hey all,

A friend of mine was kind enough to loan me an antique rapier to study.

I apologize for the blurred pics, it was the best my phone could do. I will take some measurements and more detailed pictures with a real camera and update the post when I get home tonight, but I am hungry for any information anyone might have on this maker!!!

0702131252.jpg

The very small clam-shell guard has ornate fleur de li piercing and the rest of the hilt is finely engraved and pierced. It may have been gilded but it is difficult to tell for sure.

0702131252a.jpg

0702131256.jpg

There appears to be a soft metal (Lead?) spacer between the clam-shell and the blade that has been squished outwards leaving the hilt slightly loose.

0702131254a.jpg

0702131255.jpg

0702131254.jpg

The tang passes through the spherical pierced pommel and then attaches to a pommel nut though I am not certain if it was threaded or peened.

0702131253.jpg

The blade is engraved with Pedro Del Monte on one side and En Toledo on the other.

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Despite the patina this thing still has an edge, not scary sharp but enough to be careful while handling...

0702131257.jpg

 

Thanks,

James

Edited by James Spurgeon

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There appears to be a soft metal (Lead?) spacer between the clamshell and the blade that has been squished outwards leaving the hilt slightly loose.

A leather washer is common on antique fencing foils. Are you sure that the spacer is metal?

 

Sounds like it, the blade at least, was made by Pedro Del Monte, in Toledo.

 

~Bruce~

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Lead shims are common on old blades, especially those put together by a cultler who specializes in hilting bare blades. The hilt looks like an 18th century smallsword hilt to me, but the blade is certainly Spanish and possibly 16th century. I am not familiar with the maker, but that doesn't mean anything ;) . A bit short for a rapier, though, at least by the pics. How long is it?

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A leather washer is common on antique fencing foils. Are you sure that the spacer is metal?

 

Sounds like it, the blade at least, was made by Pedro Del Monte, in Toledo.

 

~Bruce~

There is a leather washer between the handle and pommel, and there appears to be leather remnants in a few of the other joints around the finger loops.

There is definitely a metallic washer between clam-shell and blade. It may have also had leather in there but if so it has deteriorated even farther than the leather in other parts of the handle.

It is far more substantial than a fencing foil. The blade appears strong enough for a cut-thrust sword, but with the handle style it appears to have been intended much more for use with the thrusting style.

Pedro Del Monte was indeed a sword smith in Toledo in the 1650s - 1680s and this does appear to be his work, blade at least, as you said.

That is about as in depth as I have found so far...

 

James

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Lead shims are common on old blades, especially those put together by a cultler who specializes in hilting bare blades. The hilt looks like an 18th century smallsword hilt to me, but the blade is certainly Spanish and possibly 16th century. I am not familiar with the maker, but that doesn't mean anything ;) . A bit short for a rapier, though, at least by the pics. How long is it?

Great info on the shims!

As a correction on my original post, I meant 17th C, 1600s, but typing too fast and 16th C came out...

 

It is quite short:

Blade 31 inches

OAL 37.5 inches

 

I found a recent auction on Christie's for a sword with the same name and etching style, and it indicated 1650-1680 for production date. Given a 30 year window, I am surmising that represents the productive career span for the smith.

James

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REAL PICS:

Pedro Del Monte inscription

Larry's Rapier - Pedro Del Monte.JPG

En Toledo inscription

Larry's Rapier - En Toledo.JPG

Larry's Rapier - finger bows.JPG

The remains of gilding?

Larry's Rapier - gilding.JPG

Lead washer between guard and blade

Larry's Rapier - lead blade washer.JPG

remains of leather spacer between handle and pommel

Larry's Rapier - pommel leather spacer.JPG

Pommel and pommel nut (threaded or peened?)

Larry's Rapier - pommel.JPG

Larry's Rapier.JPG

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Great info on the shims!

As a correction on my original post, I meant 17th C, 1600s, but typing too fast and 16th C came out...

 

It is quite short:

Blade 31 inches

OAL 37.5 inches

 

I found a recent auction on Christie's for a sword with the same name and etching style, and it indicated 1650-1680 for production date. Given a 30 year window, I am surmising that represents the productive career span for the smith.

James

 

 

Well there you go! :lol: I won't contradict Christie's research department on this particular item. It fits that time period as far as gentlemens' dress goes.

 

I think you are correct and the hilt was gilded at one time. I also suspect the pommel nut is threaded rather than peined, but I wouldn't try to take it apart to see. ;)

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I'm not an expert but from what I've read, mostly Oakeshott, I would agree with Alan that it's a small sword which would mean that I would class it as a thrusting sword rather than a cut-and-thrust. If it had ever been carried in battle it would have been by someone who didn't want to live long or wasn't expecting to do any of the actual fighting himself. Fantastic for pointing the way but not much else.

 

Ok, maybe I am channeling for George Silver but I consider them to be more jewelry than a weapon.

 

Doug

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I'm not an expert but from what I've read, mostly Oakeshott, I would agree with Alan that it's a small sword which would mean that I would class it as a thrusting sword rather than a cut-and-thrust. If it had ever been carried in battle it would have been by someone who didn't want to live long or wasn't expecting to do any of the actual fighting himself. Fantastic for pointing the way but not much else.

 

Ok, maybe I am channeling for George Silver but I consider them to be more jewelry than a weapon.

 

Doug

The blade actually shows subtle signs of use and I believe in the right hands it would have been a devastating dueling sword. But you are absolutely correct that it would not likely be used in conventional battle of the day.

James

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