I received an old looking sword as a gift. The giving party has no information on the piece whatsoever, as it was bought online, on our local version of craigslist.

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The blade is very blunt. So blunt in fact, that it could just be a sword bought by a Tourist. If so, I would like to sharpen it and use as decor. Also, the handle is fitted with a piece of felt in between. --> Probably used to reduce play, instead of fitting the pieces together more precisely.

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However this sword is made with more effort than I would expect for a Touri-piece. (Mostly because of an intricate Handle, and an etch on the blade)

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As this sword has no year, maker or similar engraved / etched, on it, I'm not sure where to start looking for some background of the piece. (with the exception of Toledo, (?)where this sword maybe came from(?))

How could I proceed to make sure it realy is just a souvenir? Would some pictures be helpful?

Does anyone know:

  1. blunt swords not used as decor?
  2. real swords with no makers-mark?

EDIT 1: added pictures and Dimensions:

  • length of blade 80cm / 31 inches
  • length of handle 20cm / 8 inches (with hand-guard)
  • width of blade (base) 33mm / 1.3 inches
  • width of blade (behind the tip) 20mm / 0.8 inches

@MAGolding see this image for a close-up of the coat of arms. seems like to boars and to Stars on opposite sides. enter image description here

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 7
    Can you include photos (preferably with both sides and with dimensions)? Without these, it will be difficult to help you. Feb 9, 2020 at 11:27
  • 3
    Photographs of the whole blade would help. If that engraving on the blade extends close to the tip, you can be pretty sure it's an expensive tourist piece. Cleaning an engraved blade after use would be very difficult and inadequate cleaning would let rusting start rapidly. Feb 9, 2020 at 16:37
  • 1
    @Marco If you want to research a little about the model, you have a cup-hilted rapier, early 16th century-style. It might be a reproduction of the Tizona made in the Toledo factory in Spain, because they make some of them now as "Roperas de cazuela" (cup-hilted rapiers). Feb 9, 2020 at 18:02
  • 1
    I would say focus more on replicas of the Carlos III rapiers
    – justCal
    Feb 9, 2020 at 18:12
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    I note that the hilt has what looks like a coat of arms. Adding a good picture of the coat of arms might be helpful. All I can say at the moment is that it looks like an bend between to other charges..
    – MAGolding
    Feb 9, 2020 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


More images would be useful to be sure, but to me this part of the guard awfully looks like the sword was made using die casting (and it was poorly done so, at that):

Not a dick pic

Best I can recollect this type of stuff wasn't even possible until the late 19th century when foundries could achieve heat strong enough that you could actually melt steel.

(Another tell in my mind is the precision of the blade decoration. Even if we leave aside the rust issue raised in the question's comments (i.e. it wouldn't be functional as a blade) on the basis that it could be ceremonial blade, it still leaves the issue of it being way too precise for forged steel to my taste. But don't take my word for it here, it's just a hunch.)

  • 4
    Can't really tell on the photo, but this part of the guard doesn't really look like steel (and probably isn't the same material as the handle or the blade). Could be aluminum, which would mean it was made in 1890s or later. Also, the correct term to use for metalworking process would be "die casting", "injection molding" is only used with plastic. Feb 10, 2020 at 5:14
  • 2
    @Marco: Usually you don't want your sword to rust, so you keep it clean. Engravings like those in your pictures simply guarantee that you'll need more than a 30s wipe of the blade to get rid of any blood on it. Feb 10, 2020 at 6:24
  • 2
    Also, I checked, the only magnetic part of sword is the blade and "bell". Handle is non magnetic. (all 3 parts of it)
    – Marco
    Feb 10, 2020 at 8:47
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    @Marco: Insofar as I've understood metallurgy, not every metal will behave well when you hit something. So much so, in fact, that shattered blades weren't unheard of in medieval battles -- better your battle tested grandfather's blade than a shiny new blade that might die on you the first time it is struck by a superior sword. Anyway, if the blade is meant to be strictly decorative you might be better off leaving it as is. (Plus, you never know when a kid might play with a sword.) Feb 10, 2020 at 21:09
  • 1
    @PieterGeerkens thanks a lot for the guidance on the sword-care!
    – Marco
    Feb 17, 2020 at 11:30

This is too long for a comment so I made it an answer.

The arms on the sword are rather familiar looking.

Here is a link to an image of the coat of arms of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.


It has a similar design to the one on the sword, a bend going between two heads and mouths, and two other charges.

In this case the heads are identified as dragons, and the charges are the Pillars of Hercules.

The bend between two dragon's mouths is described as The Royal Band of Castile.


So it appears that the coat of arms, genuine or fictional, on the sword was inspired by the Royal Band of Castile.

I hope this may help you learn the nature of the sword.

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