11 March 2010

Incredible craftsmanship

I was tempted to post this as a "What Is It" entry, but anyone could find the answer with a reverse image search.  This is a rapier within a circular snake-shaped sheath.  The photo below shows the rapier removed from the sheath. 

Found at Izismile, where there are additional photos, but that site unfortunately seldom gives credit to original sources; if anyone knows, please notify me and I'll switch the credit.  Brief notes at the link suggest that this weapon was crafted in the mid-nineteenth century based on much older Spanish technology.  Despite half an hour of Googling, I've been unable to come up with any further information.  Perhaps someone can read the name of the "artilleria" etched near the hilt.


  1. I read it as "acargo del cuerpo de artilleria", "by the horn of artillery"

    Which doesn't do anything for me, but Google search found that phrase in the following document, in a paragraph that Google translated as:

    "As already said in this cycle, education is the foundation of everything. By
    It is therefore essential from the institutionalization of education artillery
    in Spanish Enlightenment and the historical context in which it developed,
    to understand how they arrived in 1803 to create the first Museum by Godoy
    Military of Spain by the Horn of Artillery. These are elements indicative
    of the historical necessity of the gunners to look after education, especially
    their worldly conditioned its industrial skills education
    scientific and military. Undoubtedly, the alliance between science and the artillery was
    defining the profession artillery. Education for as mainstay
    the formation of the Spanish gunners."

  2. Forgot pdf link:


  3. Nate, from what you found I used a different translator to get "artillery Corps," so pending other comments I'll assume this rapier was crafted for an officer in the Artillery Corps.

  4. Cuerpo is body or corps, so I believe that Artillery Corps is correct. Horn is cuerno.

  5. One of many nearly identical Russian websites with an article on the sword:


    Looks like it was made in Toledo in 1846, and given as some sort of gift in France in 1878. Maybe an investigation of the ducal symbol on the case, as well as the somewhat cryptic gift inscription will reveal more about the sword.

    Note that these Russian sites interpret the "c" word as cuerno rather than cuerpo. Though it does kind of look like cuerno, cuerpo fits just as well and makes much more sense.

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