Pappenheim Rapier, ca. 1630
I've had this sword all my life. It's been in my home as long as I can remember. My father picked it up many years ago. It's always been hanging on our wall.
And where did he get it?
He got it in Italy during the war in the Vomero section of Naples. After a bombing during the war, it was found, and he brought it to the people that were in the building that was bombed, and they said to just take it. He sent it home, and we've had it in our home for over 60 years, to my knowledge. Maybe a little longer. My father told me he thought it was a medieval sword, but that's really all I know, and I believe it's bronze, but I don't know.
I believe, but that's really all I know. Well, the sword is not medieval. It actually is about three centuries afterwards and dates to the first half of the 17th century. And it's known as a Pappenheim rapier. We can see these distinctive pierce cutouts on both sides of the hilt, which sort of made the sword ambidextrous. And the large guards also gave considerable protection to the head. It was named after Count Pappenheim, who was a field marshal for the Holy Roman Empire that was neither really holy (chuckles) or Roman. It was actually German.
It's not medieval, it's late Renaissance. The name for Pappenheim, it's just sort of maybe an honorific name. It's a very versatile type of sword because it's very long, slender and light. It could serve to cut and thrust. It's made out of steel; it's not bronze, which is interesting because it has this very dark patina to it,
It’s almost so much so that, I mean, it could have been in a fire. One of the things that you might notice too is there was a mark in here which is very indistinct. It's on what they call the ricasso of the sword, which is the rigid base where it goes through to the grip. At auction, I feel that this Pappenheim rapier would fetch around $3,000 to $5,000.
That's very significant. Thank you very much.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.