Steel; piercing; perforation
Support: Perforated blade
Overall: 97 cm (38 3/16 in.); Blade: 80.5 cm (31 11/16 in.); Grip: 12.6 cm (4 15/16 in.); Guard: 7.7 cm (3 1/16 in.)
Weight: 440 g (15.52 oz.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1489
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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