Apr 17, 2020

Small Sword

Small Sword


Steel, copper alloy inlays; wood grip with steel wire

Overall: 90.7 cm (35 11/16 in.); Blade: 77.2 cm (30 3/8 in.); Quillions: 8.6 cm (3 3/8 in.)

Weight: 320 g (11.29 oz.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1096

Did you know?

The banded pattern on the hilt was achieved by carefully winding wire over a wooden core. The result was a handle with a textured surface that improved the user's grip.


The small-sword was a civilian thrusting weapon customarily worn by well-to-do gentleman in civilian dress during the weapon's heyday in the 1700s, and were later worn on formal or court occasions. They were traditionally suspended at about mid-thigh from the left side of the belt, the gilt exposed through an opening in the gentleman's coat. Since it was highly visible it was subject to lavish decoration with precious materials and fashions came and went. Many were decorated to match personal costume and were truly an emblem of social rank.

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