The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Smallsword
  • Smallsword
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Hilt- Paris, France; blade- probably Solingen, Germany
  • c. 1780 - c. 1790
  • Steel, gold and velvet, chiselled, gilded and blackened
  • Length: 74.4 cm
    Width: 2 cm
    Weight: 0.34 kg
  • A690
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Further Reading
  • Smallsword, the hilt composed of an oviform pommel with turned button; wire-bound grip of rectangular section; slender knuckle-guard of oval section swelling at the centre and returning to the pommel which is bored to receive it; single short quillon with lobated end, the escutcheon square and stepped at the base; diminutive hilt arms, small shell-guard formed of two oval panels; the whole decorated with horsemen, military figures, trophies, rococo scrollwork and spots in blackened steel chiselled in low relief on a ground of matt gold; on the shell-guard in oval frames are horsemen in eighteenth-century dress, Turks and Hussars. The blade of rectangular bayonet-section with hollowed sides, a velvet washer remains at the hilt to ease contact with the locket of the sheath, which is missing. The hilt is of workmanship similar to A689 and A691.

    About 1780-90; hilt French (Paris); blade probably German (Solingen).

    A very similar silver hilt in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, bears the partially defaced Paris date-letter for either 1784-5 or 1785-6, and the discharge mark for 1786-9 (no. 26.145.323; Dean, Court swords, no.87, pl. LXV).