Pappenheimer Rapiers from Medieval Collectables
A Pappenheimer rapier whose modern name derives from that of Gottfried Heinrich, Count of Pappenheim (1594-1632), colonel of cuirassier regiment and later the general in command of the imperial cavalry. During the Thirty Years War (1618-48) he adopted and encouraged the use of a sword that was in style among the officers of the day, and which was subsequently named after him. With its dashing good looks, the rapier became the weapon of choice for the civilian gentry, but the military never fully adopted it except as a dress item. However, it was obvious that the hand protection the new sword afforded was something that would be useful in battle. Since armor was in decline, blades could be slimmer. Sword designers conjured up a magic combination- a rapier style guard with a blade somewhere between a rapier and cutting sword. The sword rapier became the sword of choice for most of the military. It was carried by many combatants in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648 AD). The Pappenheimer was light, flexible, capable of both cut and thrust and yet not too heavy for good point work. Hilt is ambidextrous, comprising of a pair of symmetrical shell guards enclosed in rings and pierced with holes, wide recurved quillions, and a knuckle guard with side bars. Some types of hilts had a pair of ring guards below the shells for additional protection. The heavy pommel was most often urn-shaped and also topped off by a button. Grip is wire wrapped wood. Guard and pommel are both steel. Scabbard is leather with steel mounts. The Pappenheimer rapier is a historically important sword and one that belongs in a collection of edged weapons.