Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Early Small-Sword?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Rugby, UK
    Posts
    550

    Early Small-Sword?

    I recently acquired a small-sword at auction. The catalogue description was:

    Early 18th Century Small Sword with engraved blade. 28 inch double edged narrow blade. Both sides with engraved figures, birds and flowers with Latin inscriptions. Steel double shellguard, pas d’ane, ball ended quillon. D shape knuckle bow, ball pommel and ribbed grip. All with traces of heavy gilt finish.

    My Stats:

    Weight, sword: 15.2oz (0.43kg)
    Length overall: 34'' (86.5cm) Blade: 28'' (71 cm)
    POB: 3'' (7.5cm)
    Profile taper: 0.83'' (21.3 mm) at ricasso, 0.66'' (16.7mm)at mid blade, 0.45'' (11.4mm) 2 inches from tip.
    Distal taper 0.27'' (6.9 mm) at ricasso, 0.16'' (4.3mm)at mid blade,. 0.1'' (2.6mm) 2 inches from tip.

    Now the remains of the finish are silver plate not gilt and there does seem to be the remnants of heavier silver foil on the front of the shell guards. The Pas d'ane are quite large which can indicate an older small-sword and the style of the engraving also indicates some good age. The blade is diamond section, slightly hollow ground, very flexible. There is a slight bend in the blade, however, J.D Aylward in The Small-Sword in England quotes McArthur in stating “The blade should not be of straight form, but should incline at least two degrees downwards when you hold your sword in the horizontal position” If the blade was originally blue and gilt there is no trace left now. I think this is a fairly utilitarian quality sword although when fully silvered and perhaps with a blue and gilt blade it would have looked rather smart. The pin etching covers the first third of the blade and includes several Latin inscriptions. If anyone can help me with these I would be most grateful, I cannot make head nor tail of them. I have tried to produce the clearest black and white images of them that I can. As ever all comments, criticisms and suggestions welcomed.
    Attached Images Attached Images            
    The journey not the destination

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    154
    The text is something like this:

    Inter arma silent leges (Cicero: In war the law is silent)

    In te Domine speravi ne confundar in aeternum (King James Bible psalm 71 The prayer of an old man: in thee O Lord I have hoped, let me never be confused)

    The rest I couldn’t figure out. Hope this helps!

    Liberal translation from Latin!
    Last edited by Magnus K; 02-11-2018 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Rugby, UK
    Posts
    550
    Thank you Magnus. I'll keep working on the rest.
    The journey not the destination

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Kingston, Canada
    Posts
    893
    Ah so you're the one who got it! It looks to me like a French épée de soldat (1680 pattern) probably for a foot sergeant. They are rarely decorated like this one, and usually have full brass fittings but it isn't unheard of.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Rugby, UK
    Posts
    550
    Thanks, Max. I had not thought of this possibility because the blade is so light and insubstantial, however, a sergeant's sword would be lighter than an enlisted man's, so this is a distinct possibility. That would place this sword at the very end of the 17th century or the beginning of the 18th.
    The journey not the destination

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •