Steel, wood, copper wire
Support: Engraved scrolls on blade
Overall: 100.3 cm (39 1/2 in.); Blade: 83.7 cm (32 15/16 in.); Guard: 10.5 cm (4 1/8 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1101
During the 1700s, the small-sword emerged as a light, quick weapon. Like the rapier it was carried by unarmored civilians, the noblemen of the upper classes. Over time this delicate sword became more an accessory of male attire than a weapon essential to life and death. The sword hilt, which shows even when the blade is sheathed, became the ground for elaborate decoration. These small-swords thus represent the final stage in the evolution of the sword, from the edged weapons of antiquity to the elegantly refined blades of the 1700s and 1800s.
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