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English Silver Hilted Smallsword, London 1782

English Silver Hilted Smallsword, London 1782

Status: Sold

Origin: United Kingdom | Culture: English

Date: 18th Century (George III)

Dimensions

Overall Length

  • 103cm

Blade Length

  • 86cm

Blade Thickness

  • 6.6mm

Blade Width

  • 15.2mm

Weight

  • 335 grams

This smallsword features a silver hilt with the London assay marks dated for 1782. The hilt is adorned with an oval dish-guard that has a chased beadwork border on the interior. The structure of the hilt includes a pair of straight quillons ending in globular terminals, a knuckle-guard, and an urn-shaped pommel, the latter echoing the beadwork of the guard. The grip is wrapped with plaited silver wire and ribbon. The blade is of a hollow-triangular construction, which was a common design for smallswords, optimized for precise thrusting and lightness.

The English smallsword emerged in the late 17th century and became a symbol of gentlemanly status during the 18th century. It was both a weapon and a fashion accessory, often richly decorated and indicative of the owner's taste and social standing. The smallsword was part of the daily attire for gentlemen and was used for civilian self-defense, as well as in duels, which were governed by a complex code of honor. The design of this smallsword, with its functional elegance and decorative elements, is representative of the period's fusion of artistry and weaponry. A nearly identical hilt is documented in Southwick's 2001 publication, providing further context for its design and historical significance.

There is some movement to the dish-guard and knuckle guard.

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