The sword of D. João de Mascarenhas can be characterized as a rapier, a type of sword that evolved from the Spanish ropera in the late XVI century. Rather than a military sword the rapier was used in a more civil fashion. It was an ornamental item used by the nobility of the XVII and XVIII centuries and if it ever had to be used in combat it would be mainly in duels. However, since duelers could not wear armor or bear shields, the use of the rapier lead to the development of defense techniques solely based on body movement and blocking with the sword itself. Usually the rapier was a very light and very balanced sword, with its guard in the shape of a cup. This, however, is not the case with the sword of D. João, since the guard has only a circular body section followed by three cross-guards in a similar fashion.
work done for Morbase - Municipality of Montemor-o-Novo