Pierced and chiseled steel;
Support: Pierced and chiseled
Overall: 122.9 cm (48 3/8 in.); Quillions: 26.7 cm (10 1/2 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1810
The guard is richly decorated with chiseled and pierced arabesques, an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines.
For parrying, rapiers were often made with accompanying daggers as a matched set, although the dagger shown in this image (1916.699) doesn't belong with this rapier. The aristocracy's taste for rich and intricate styles of decoration led to extravagant gilding, chiseling, piercing, enameling, and silvering. The more costly or unusual these weapons appeared, the more they were desired by the gentlemanly clientele who commissioned them, not only for dueling but also as the ultimate accessory.
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