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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Pierce-work on cup-hilt rapiers and main gauche daggers Reply to topic
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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
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Location: Canada
Joined: 04 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Jan, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Pierce-work on cup-hilt rapiers and main gauche daggers         Reply with quote

I recently returned from a tour of Russia's State Hermitage Museum, where several exquisite cup-hilt rapiers and main gauche daggers filled me with enthusiasm for pierce-worked guards. I am anxious to order a set of blunt sparring blades and a practice dagger blade to fit with mid-to-late 17th C. Spanish hilts. My dilemma is that while I do know how to execute pierce-work in steel sheet, I am puzzled by how well shaped the resulting pierce-work is - how the scrolls are three-dimensional and the filigree is rounded.

Was the steel worked with gravers, was it filed, was it stamped, or some combination of the above? I am certain that this knowledge is old news to some of the craftspeople who frequent this forum, so I hope that some of you can shed some light on the techniques employed, whether modern or historical. If anyone knows of any books that treat on the subject, please feel free to mention them.

As an additional note, I am delighted to announce that I took a significant number of detailed photographs in various Russian and Scandinavian collections, which I will happily share. Here is a start with some images of a sword and dagger from the Hermitage to represent the sort of work I hope to emulate:



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