The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Smallsword with scabbard
  • Smallsword with scabbard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • HIlt- France; blade- Solingen, Germany
  • c. 1730 (hilt (France))
  • Steel, gold and fish-skin, etched, blackened, gilded and chiselled
  • Length: 69 cm
    Width: 1.8 cm
    Weight: 0.382 kg, sword
    Weight: 0.07 kg, scabbard
  • A688
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Smallsword and scabbard, probably for a page. The hilt of the sword is composed of a flattened, spherical pommel with button; steel grip of oval section swelling at the centre; slender knuckle-guard, also swelling in the centre, and returning to the pommel which is holed to receive it; single, short quillon with lobated end; diminutive hilt-arms, small shell-guard formed of two oval panels; the whole, including the grip, decorated with figures emblematical of the Arts and Sciences, with shells and rococo foliage, finely chiselled in low relief in bright steel on a ground matt of gold. Blade of flattened hexagonal section merging into a flat oval section at the forte, and etched throughout its length with interlaced scrollwork on a gilt ground.

    Scabbard covered with blackened fish-skin, and mounted with a locket (furnished with a slender tongue, or belt-hook, to slip into the hanger), and ferrule, both decorated en suite with the hilt.

    Hilt French (Paris), about 1730; blade probably German (Solingen).

    Hayward, Apollo, XLVIII, pp. 33-5, fig. VI; Norman, 1967, illus. 18; Norman and Barne, 1980, p. 384. A sword of similar style is in the Reubell Collection in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Dean, cat. of Court Swords, no. 40, pl. XXXI).