Western European rapier

Silver encrusted swept hilt rapier with intricately chiselled hilt featuring scorlling floral and foliate designs across its hilt, and a silver wire grip.   Both faces of the ricasso bears the mark of a pair of pincers and is engraved in the flutes 'Wilhelm Wirsberg'.   Swords with richly decorated hilts such as this were worn in civilian dress on important occasions; the sword itself indicating nobility and its decoration the taste and wealth of the wearer. The Wirsberg family were among the leading sword cutlers in Solingen, a city which exported sword blades all over Europe as well as to North Africa and even to India. The most famous of several Wirsbergs called William was Burgermaster of Solingen in 1590 and 1594.
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East Ayrshire Council
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