Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Insolite - 3

After visiting the artist’s studio at the castle of Cinq-Mars, we were anxious to visit the castle ruins and the grounds in which they stand. The lady who had welcomed us handed us a leaflet which was clearly home-made. No glossy brochures here! She gave us detailed instructions regarding the itinerary we should follow in order to fully enjoy our visit.

The two towers of Cinq-Mars.

One is open to the public.
The other is used to stock the archives.

Just when we were about to set out, the proprietor stopped us. “I hope you are not afraid of …, because there are quite a lot of them on the terrace of the tower.” I don’t know about my friends, but I didn’t catch the name of the ‘species’ he was referring to. “As long as you don’t disturb them, they won’t attack you.” he added. “So be careful not to thread on those that are on the floor.” While the mystery thickened, my desire to climb to the top of the tower started to fade away.

Finally it turned out that the alleged possible attackers were … bees. To be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled by the prospect of finding myself surrounded by a swarm of bees, but the proprietor assured us that they were harmless as long as you didn’t provoke them.

Our hostess sent us on our way; leaflet in hand and with an enigma to solve. In the ground floor hall of one of the towers we would find a rapier hanging on one of the walls. It had been found in the moat by a crew doing some excavation work. 

The rapier has a particular feature. 
Can you spot it and solve the enigma?


chm said...

I agree with the owner of the château, bees are harmless if you don't go against their way. They'll go about their business as if you weren't there.

Recently, while converting important old emails into PDF, before my old laptop dies on me, I came upon one of yours dating back to early '09. I can't believe it's been more than four years now that you've been blogging. Seems like yesterday! Time flies!

ladybird said...

Chm, I started blogging in May 2009, but we met for the first time in June 2008 when - as a 'novice' blogger and new blogging acquaintance - I visited with Ken and Walt when you were staying with them! Lovely memories of happy times!

Susan said...

It looks like a fairly standard Italian style 16 - 17thC rapier to me. I'm guessing the answer is going to be something like it's made for a left hander or it has a cutting edge up the blade, but I can't tell from the photo if either of these things is the case.

Susan said...

It's not flame-bladed is it? The blade doesn't look like it has a wavy edge, but it might.

chm said...

It looks as though the blade is twisted from end to end. But I know next to nothing about rapiers.

Carolyn said...

Obviously it's a dual-use tool--rapier for workdays, fishing rod for weekends.

chm said...

Carolyn: LOLt

VirginiaC said...

I liked the photo of the two towers.
Not sure what to make of the rapier's a mystery for me.

Niall & Antoinette said...

I'd guess at early 17th century. Presumably it's for a left-hander but can't really tell from the photo.