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Dean Castle Arms and Armour


Spanish swept hilt rapier 1

17th Century

Rapiers were the weapon of chocie in both military and civilian spheres in the 16th and 17th centuries. As armour was worn less by gentlemen in combat, swept hilt rapiers rose in popularity as they protected the hand and wrist.  While also providing a protective function, swept hilt rapiers also demosntrated the status of its owner through ornate beauty and decoration with fine, expensive materials. This rapier's hilt is gilded with foliate chiselled decoration across the barrel-shaped pommel, finger loops and guard.


The blade is inscribed with its Toledo-based maker, Sebastian Hernandez. Sebastian Hernandez the Senior was active between 1570 - 1600, and his son, Hernandez the Younger, was active between 1610 - 1630.

Place of Production:
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council
Valentine, Eric (1968) Rapiers: An Illustrated Reference Guide to the Rapiers of the 16th and 17th Centuries, with their Companions. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole

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